Media CenterCRS Pledges $14 Million to Continued Global COVID-19 Response

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Brittany Wichtendahl
Catholic Relief Services
[email protected]

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 12, 2022 – Against the backdrop of the second Global COVID-19 Summit, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) announced today a $14 million commitment to the continued global COVID-19 response.

“At CRS, we know that the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over,” said Emily Doogue, CRS’ Technical Director for health. “People all around the world remain vulnerable to severe illness or death from COVID-19. We are committed to doing our part to bring an end to the pandemic as quickly as possible, and this commitment will help achieve that.”

According to the World Health Organization, between January 2020 and December 2021, nearly 15 million deaths were caused directly or indirectly by COVID-19. The $14 million funding will allow for CRS to continue its COVID-19 programming and commit to three key objectives of: vaccinating the world, saving lives now, and building better global health security.

“Right now, the world is not on track to prevent future waves of COVID-19,” Doogue said. “For many countries, it seems like the virus is diminishing, but we have not done enough to prevent people from illness or death. There needs to be a refocus on vaccinations and improving health systems, or else we are going to be stuck in a nonstop COVID-19 cycle.”

In addition to the $14 million commitment, among other things CRS pledges to:

  1. Work with in-country teams to increase vaccine coverage and uptake, directly supporting COVID-19 vaccinations in 22 countries and mobilizing at-risk populations in over 100 countries.
  2. Leverage our network of over 1500 partners to communicate essential information to reduce COVID-19 transmission, illness and death.
  3. Use available resources to identify, finance and fill gaps in health systems in the countries in which we operate. CRS will continue implementing activities to address vaccine hesitancy, conducting primary research to inform vaccine strategies, supporting faith-based organizations, and financing critical health workforce trainings.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, CRS has addressed the immediate and secondary COVID-19 needs of more than 48 million people through a variety of programming, including training health care staff and disseminating educational information on best prevention practices.

The full list of CRS’ commitments to the continued global COVID-19 response is available here.


Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding. For more information, visit or and follow Catholic Relief Services on social media in English at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube; and in Spanish at: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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Public Relations Strategist

Brittany Wichtendahl
May 12, 2022

Brittany Wichtendahl is a public relations strategist for Catholic Relief Services, out of Baltimore. Drafting press releases for secular and Catholic news media, Brittany also crafts pitches to help publicize CRS's work. She writes op-eds for placement in national print publications, and monitors news outlets for stories related to CRS and CRS programming.

Brittany is a graduate...More