Rihanna has donated an additional R17.9 million to fight coronavirus, and the sum has been matched by a donation from Jay-Z.
The “Diamonds” singer previously announced her Clara Lionel Foundation will give R89 million in grants to people working against the disease on the frontline, and has now revealed the additional sum will be made available and also matched by the “99 Problems” hitmaker’s own eponymous Shawn Carter Foundation.
The R35.9 million will help to support undocumented workers, imprisoned, elderly and homeless people, and the children of health workers and first responders in both Los Angeles and New York City.
Justine Lucas, Executive Director of the Clara Lionel Foundation said: “There are a number of populations who are especially vulnerable during this pandemic — those who are undocumented, incarcerated, elderly and homeless, as well as children of frontline health workers and first responders. Now more than ever, we need to support organizations prioritizing the health and rights of these individuals.”
Gloria Carter, CEO and Co-Founder of the Shawn Carter Foundation added: “In times of crisis it is imperative that we come together as one community to ensure that everyone, especially the most vulnerable, has access to critical needs: shelter, health, nutrition and education.
“The only way to get through this pandemic is with love and action.”
Rihanna’s annual Diamond Ball – which raises money for her foundation – has been postponed this year and will not be taking place in September as usual.
It is unclear if and when another date will be set for the fundraiser.
Rihanna’s foundation outlined a range of purposes when their original donation was announced last week.
The money will be used for a multitude of causes, including to help provide supplies to foodbanks, which are feeding the vulnerable and elderly at this time, as well as to provide funds to help with more coronavirus testing and care in countries such as Haiti and Malawi.
As well as being used to purchase protective equipment such as gloves and masks, it is hoped the fund will also help with the cost of development of vaccines and to train healthcare workers.