Greta Thunberg launched a new campaign with UNICEF and Human Act Foundation to help some of the world's most vulnerable people

By Rachel DeSantis
April 30, 2020 11:21 AM
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Greta Thunberg

Climate activist Greta Thunberg is setting her sights on a new cause: helping children affected by the coronavirus.

The 17-year-old is launching a new campaign to support one of the world’s most vulnerable groups with some help from the Human Act Foundation and UNICEF, she announced Thursday morning.

Thunberg will kick things off with a $100,000 donation to UNICEF to support their efforts — money that was initially awarded to her as a prize after she received the Human Act Award 2020 on Earth Day.

Human Act will match Thunberg’s donation, meaning the new campaign will start with $200,000 in all.

“Like the climate crisis, the coronavirus pandemic is a child-rights crisis. It will affect all children, now and in the long-term, but vulnerable groups will be impacted the most,” Thunberg said in a UNICEF media release. “I’m asking everyone to step up and join me in support of UNICEF’s vital work to save children’s lives, to protect health and continue education.”

UNICEF is working with different partners across the globe to offer educational resources, social protection and ongoing essential healthcare to the millions of children who are out of school because of the pandemic.

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The agency is working with kids in more than 190 countries, providing services such as water and sanitation supplies in Yemen and essential protective supplies and equipment in Ecuador.

“The time is now, there isn’t a day to lose. We must unite together in this fight,” Thunberg said in the media release.

She received the Human Act Award on April 22, and it came with a $100,000 donation given to her through the Greta Thunberg Foundation. That money will now go instead to UNICEF.

Human Act said it chose Thunberg as this year’s recipient “for her fearless and determined efforts to mobilize millions of people around the world to fight climate change.”

The teen activist is now working toward helping people affected by the coronavirus — an issue she knows well.

Thunberg said in late March that she believes she may have contracted the virus, though she was never tested.

She said she’d “basically recovered” from all of her symptoms, but had to spend two weeks isolating herself from her mother and sister following a trip to central Europe with her father.

“I was feeling tired, had shivers, a sore throat and coughed,” she wrote on Instagram. “My dad experienced the same symptoms, but much more intense and with a fever.”

At the time, Thunberg said people in Sweden were unable to get tested for the virus unless they were in need of emergency medical treatment, and because she wasn’t, she was simply told to stay at home and isolate herself.

“I have therefore not been tested for COVID-19, but it’s extremely likely that I’ve had it, given the combined symptoms and circumstances,” she wrote.

As of Thursday morning, there have been more than 3.1 million cases and 227,675 deaths attributed to coronavirus worldwide, according to The New York Times.

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