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King Baudouin Foundation distributed more than €15m during coronavirus crisis
The global Covid-19 pandemic sparked an outpouring of charitable donations as individuals, groups and companies sought to show solidarity with the most vulnerable in society.
In Belgium, much of the fundraising was facilitated and distributed by King Baudouin Foundation (KBF), the country’s leading philanthropy organisation.
Between March and May, the KBF donated more than €15m to 1,100 frontline organisations and field workers active in the fight against coronavirus in Belgium, Europe and Africa. This figure included more than €10m from the foundation’s own resources plus an additional €5m in donations for its various projects.
In Belgium, private citizens, businesses and institutions contributed almost €20m for the foundation’s own initiatives and those of third parties – of which almost €10m was destined for hospital facilities.
In total, 500 organisations fighting poverty and homelessness in the country received €5m and around 300 frontline organisations received €3m. They were each given either €5,000 or €10,000. Thirty organisations supporting nursing homes received almost €900,000.
The foundation said the financial support was to meet urgent needs, including "food aid, protective equipment and disinfectants, as well as technologies for working and communicating remotely."
As a worldwide network, the foundation contributed €150,000 to the European Program for Integration and Migration (EPIM) for organisations helping refugees, mainly in the Greek islands.
It also supported 54 projects in Africa with over €200,000 to help raise awareness and prevention of the virus. In North America, KBFUS and KBF CANADA collected donations totalling more than €8.6m for projects in Europe (Italy, Spain), and in Africa (DRC and Burundi).
Now the KBF is focusing on its principal mission supporting sustainable structural change in society – notably in hospitals and care homes, said the organisation.