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Rihanna, Jack Dorsey, Jay-Z Donate $6.2M in COVID-19 Grants for New York, New Orleans, Puerto Rico


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Rihanna, Jay-Z and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey are adding to their seven-figure efforts to aid coronavirus relief efforts, this time with a focus on marginalized communities in cities that have been hit hard during the current pandemic. 

Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation, Jay-Z’s Shawn Carter Foundation, and Twitter and Square CEO Dorsey’s #startsmall on Wednesday announced additional joint grants totaling more than $6.2 million that will fund COVID-19 rapid response efforts protecting vulnerable populations with a focus on New York, New Orleans and Puerto Rico, and some international communities. 

In the U.S., the grants will be distributed to the following: 

• Give Directly to support cash transfers to low income families in the mainland U.S. and Puerto Rico.

Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City to support the Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence (ENDGBV). Grants will help finance essentials like food, clothing and temporary housing.

Covenant House New Orleans to support shelter, food, clothing, counseling and medicine for homeless, at-risk and trafficked youth. Funds will be used for six months’ worth of shelter, food, medical attention and supplies.

World Central Kitchen, founded by José Andrés, will provide meals for homeless and senior populations in New Orleans, while also supporting local restaurants and workers in the effort.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans & Acadiana, the Feeding America network member that serves the city. Funds will support food sourcing and storage, non-touch distribution and delivery services, and supplemental staff.

Total Community Action, in partnership with the New Orleans Mayor’s Office of Community and Economic Development, to support rental assistance for vulnerable Orleans Parish residents. Funds will match the current government funding to grant up to $750 in rental assistance per household.

The Hispanic Federation to support health clinics in Puerto Rico. Funds will be used for triage shelters, supplies and personal protective equipment for a network of over 20 clinics.

Outside the U.S., the grants will be distributed to the following:

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières to support efforts in hard-to-reach and vulnerable areas of the world. Funds will be utilized for case management, training, setup of ICU and hospital beds and isolation units, and development of response guidelines and best practices.

The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation to support the Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance (GAIA) Community-Based HIV Testing Services to work with mobile clinics to manage an anticipated spread of COVID-19 in parts of Malawi.

Direct Relief to support purchasing of testing cartridges to build COVID-19 testing capacity in Saint Lucia, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica ,St. Kitts and Nevis, and Antigua and Barbuda, while also supporting medicine kits for hospital ICUs to over five locations throughout the Caribbean.

Team Humanity to support sanitization efforts in the Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesvos.

Also as part of Wednesday’s grant news, the UBS Optimus Foundation has committed to matching 100 percent of a $1 million grant with an additional $1 million dedicated to Doctors Without Borders. The multi-million-dollar grants from Rihanna, Jay-Z and Dorsey follow earlier donations during the current crisis. Last week, CLF and Dorsey’s #startsmall partnered on a joint grant of $4.2 million to the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles to directly aid domestic violence victims in the city as a result of “Safer at Home” guidelines. Dorsey also announced earlier this month that he was dedicating $1 billion of his equity in Square to COVID-19 relief efforts.

Those donations followed Rihanna’s CLF and Jay-Z’s SCF $2 million in grants to COVID-19 response efforts to support undocumented workers, the children of front line health workers and first responders, and incarcerated, elderly and homeless populations in New York City and Los Angeles. Prior to that, CLF offered $5 million in grants to on-the-ground partners working on the front lines of the coronavirus response to protect and prepare vulnerable and marginalized communities in the U.S., the Caribbean and Africa.

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