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Three Ways AVPN Members Have Responded

Two months after coronavirus (COVID-19) first came to the forefront of news, around 110,000 people from over 100 different countries were afflicted with the virus, and hundreds of deaths were confirmed. It is known as being a “once-in-a-century pathogen”, the virus has taken off the global trade in goods by $50 billion during February all by itself.

In the past few months, how have our members reacted to such shocking, unexpected black swan incidents? Below are three ways that members of the community have reacted to the outbreak that has occurred in Greater China.

1. Delivered Early, Proactive Response to Local Communities

Connecting in local areas and network of partners can help wealthy wealth-holders be responsive and agile in times of need.

In addition to donating masks to vulnerable groups and hospitals, The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust created its “COVID-19 Emergency Fund” to help NGOs that are focused on local residents. The trust has also committed two rounds of funding immediately to help vulnerable groups, such as those who are part of the supervision of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service, with food items that are non-perishable, personal hygiene products, and household products to clean up their homes. In conjunction with other relief initiatives for the community, the total amount of funds committed will amount to Hong Kong dollars 196 million (US$25 million).

2. Partnership in Public as well as Private Sectors for Coordinated Action

Wealth-holders hold a significant power of convening and can leverage this in crisis situations to facilitate cooperation and coordination between the policymakers, private sector, non-profits, and other community groups.

Within one month of the initial incident, Narada Foundation, One Foundation, along with other partners, launched an initiative called the China Non-Profit Incubator Consortium for COVID-19 to share information and coordinate actions in combating the coronavirus. Non-Profit Incubator also initiated an alliance with other NGOs in order to create and develop a post-disaster rebuilding community plan. This has not just created an impact on the health system as well as those in the social care sector but have have also established themselves as a foundation to help government initiatives during times of need.

The widespread utilization of technology has increased our members’ ability to engage multiple stakeholders effectively. SEE Foundation expanded the function of its app to monitor air quality Blue Map Blue Map – to share information on the disease. Others contributed to the creation of online health platforms which provide medical advice to patients in quarantine in their homes. These tools have increased the efficiency of the industry and encouraged public participation.

On the other hand, schools are shifting to online education to cope with the closure of schools. A lot of families, however, that are struggling to have access to adequate broadband internet are likely to face an unexpected rise in the cost of mobile data. To address this issue, the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust approached mobile operators to provide data plans at no cost to students who are not financially privileged. Mobile SIM cards were made available through school networks with the assistance of the government and non-governmental organizations. When it comes to coordinating large-scale solutions to promote public good, public-private partnerships show the broad effectiveness of philanthropy.

3. Developed Structures for Long-term Resilience on Local and Regional Levels

The COVID-19 epidemic has impacted the economy from every angle, which includes a decline in consumption and the possibility of a retraction in investment. Businesses, particularly small and medium-sized ones, are under immense stress.

To meet their needs efficiently, China Social Enterprise and Investment Forum (CSEIF) and CreditEase have begun surveys to identify the ways that COVID-19 has affected small and medium-sized companies (SMEs). In a similar vein, Shunde Foundation for Innovation and Entrepreneurship has allocated RMB 200 million (US28.57 million) in 28.57 million) grants to help micro-enterprises that have been affected by the widespread stoppage of business operations, and PWC China has developed a set of guidelines that will help businesses assess the effects of COVID-19 and develop strategies for coping.

Alongside taking care of immediate needs, smart AVPN members are also looking toward the future to tackle issues that may arise and also to reduce post-outbreak issues. For instance, the Beijing Pro Bono Foundation, for instance, has launched an initiative to offer volunteers post-disaster psychotherapy to assist those working in the frontline as well as people affected by the rigors of restrictions on containment. As we look to the future, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has committed US$100 million to the improvement of isolation, detection, and treatment methods, which includes US$60 million toward vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics.

As the virus spreads across the globe As the virus is spreading around the world, more and greater participants in the AVPN network are changing their strategies of social investment to deal with the situation. Find out about the best opportunities or share your experience with us by emailing


Yifei Zhang is a researcher with the Knowledge Centre. Prior to joining APVN, she worked for the London School of Economics doing qualitative research about China’s drug and development policies. She also had five years of experience in investigative journalism as well as the digital market in China and focusing upon Asian problems of social justice, policy as well as international developments.


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Jane S. King

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