The Borgen Project’s Response to COVID-19



The Borgen Project’s top priority is to ensure a global response to the COVID-19 crisis. Slowing the spread of COVID-19 is crucial to combating extreme global poverty as it directly affects food security, WASH services and infectious diseases such as Tuberculosis. We know that not a single country will beat this highly-contagious virus until every country has defeated it. 

Now, more than ever, it is time to put pressure on Congress to recommit to U.S. leadership in global health security in order to defeat COVID-19 and prevent future pandemics. The Borgen Project is helping policymakers navigate their response to this global pandemic.

“No matter how successful we are in fighting the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic at home, we will never stop it unless we are also fighting it around the world. As Congress works on emergency funding to address the domestic impact – which is and must be our top priority – we must also prioritize resources for the State Department, USAID, and other development agencies on the frontlines keeping Americans safe.”

-Admiral James Stavridis (Ret.) & General Tony Zinni (Ret.)

“If there is one country in the world that still has the coronavirus, the whole world has it.”

– Vera Songwe, UNECA Executive Secretary



What We Know

  • What’s bad here, will be really bad there. Many wealthy countries have struggled to effectively prepare for and respond to COVID-19. Impoverished countries have a small fraction of the resources and medical systems that are already overwhelmed.
  • Food supplies around the world will be decimated by COVID-19 and unless governments act accordingly, the number of people suffering from chronic hunger could double.

COVID-19 and Africa

  • Africa carries 23 percent of the global disease burden but only accounts for 1 percent of global health expenditure.
  • Even with hundreds of thousands of deaths each year from Malaria, HIV/Aids and TB, the continent has never experienced a crisis on the scale of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The numbers are on the rise. Although COVID-19 was slow to reach Africa, more than 5,000 cases have been confirmed and 500 deaths have been recorded since the first full week in April.
  • “The risk of major interruptions to food supplies over the coming months is growing, especially for low-income net-food-importing countries, many of which are in sub-Saharan Africa.”
  • Africa needs an emergency $100 billion economic stimulus. The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa estimates that $100 billion will bolster preventative measures and support its fragile healthcare systems. Half of the funds could come from waiving interest payments to multilateral institutions.

Cases of COVID-19 in Africa – April 20, 2020

(CSIS Africa Program)


Latest News & Good Reads on Africa & COVID-19


Help Stop COVID-19


[bctt tweet=”Our work as advocates on behalf of the world’s poor is needed more than ever. Email Congress about the importance of addressing #COVID19 at a global level and the need for proactive, preventative U.S. global health security funding.” url=”″ username=”borgenproject”]

[bctt tweet=”The US needs to lead in protecting the world from #COVID19 and future pandemics. @WhiteHouse please further the goals of the 2014 Global Health Security Agenda and authorize annual funding for global health security programs.” url=”″ username=”borgenproject”]

[bctt tweet=”I stand in solidarity with everyone around the world affected by #COVID19 and I’m joining @borgenproject in telling Congress that a global pandemic demands a global response. Let’s unite and email our leaders today.” url=”″ via=”no”]

[bctt tweet=”With an abundant amount of action per nation, generous donations and hard-work from medical professionals, it is the hope of many that this pandemic will soon take a more positive turn.” url=”” username=”borgenproject”]