Menlo Park-based tech company Facebook has initiated a $10 million match fundraiser to support efforts to fight the novel coronavirus, a move announced in a Facebook post by CEO Mark Zuckerberg March 13.
The social networking company has opened a fundraiser page where people can donate, and Facebook said it will match the donations up to $10 million. The current amount of contributions to the page totals approximately $4.5 million of the $10 million.
The funds raised will go toward the World Health Organization's efforts to battle the coronavirus, according to the fundraising page.
"It’s critical that global and national health organizations leading the response efforts have the financial support needed in rapidly emerging response needs," the company said in a statement. "Following major crises, like COVID-19, our community always steps up to help. Because this is a health crisis, it’s not as easy for people to know how or where to help.
Now, with the launch of the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fundraiser, they can support and donate to the WHO’s global efforts to track the outbreak, help patients and frontline workers, and speed up vaccine and treatment development."
The recent fundraising announcement comes after Zuckerberg announced in a March 3 post that the company would be giving the World Health Organization free ads on the social network, which the company says has 2.5 billion active users.
The company also said that it plans to launch a second fundraiser for the CDC Foundation in the coming weeks.
Facebook, which is Menlo Park's largest employer with over 15,000 employees, was among the first Silicon Valley companies to ask employees to begin working from home two weeks ago in order to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by the Almanac, Mountain View Voice and Palo Alto Online here.