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UCB Community Health Fund: Created to support those in most need

Picture of author Xavier Hormaechea
Posted by
Xavier Hormaechea, UCB Community Health Fund
The pandemic has touched all of us. We have changed how we live and how we work. Many have lost jobs, seen loss of income, experienced reduced access to healthcare, endured isolation, and faced new mental and physical stresses. Many have suffered ill-health or lost loved ones.

In every community in every country, the ‘new normal’ looks different than our pre-COVID world. Yet, while everyone has been impacted, some will face greater challenges in the medium and long-term than others. People who suffered the most from the pandemic and its consequences are: racial and ethnic minorities, children, young people, older people, socio-economically disadvantaged persons, un(der)insured or those living with certain medical conditions.

As we begin to realise the extent of the health and economic crisis we are living through, many vulnerable communities remain at risk.

The question is: what can we do?

At UCB, part of our response is the new UCB Community Health Fund. By supporting impact-driven support projects and social science research studies, the Fund aims to bring much needed relief and also strengthen relationships between UCB, communities and stakeholders.

It is important to highlight that this initiative goes beyond our areas of clinical interest; it looks outside the scope of our business and seeks to meet the needs of at-risk communities. When we talk about ‘health’, we take a holistic view of physical and psychosocial well-being rather than focusing on our primary areas of medical expertise.

In keeping with this ethos, I am pleased to see the first Call for Projects which aims to understand and reduce the medium- and long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health of vulnerable young people (15-24 years old), those who have experienced injustice, hardship, health disparities, and health inequities both before and since COVID-19.

Specifically, we aim to support programs and services with a focus on young people from the most vulnerable communities including racial and ethnic minorities, refugees and asylum seekers, those with disabilities and certain health conditions, and those who are socio-economically disadvantaged.

The Call for Projects targets existing, as well as new projects and initiatives within the geographic areas where we operate. Grants should be used within 12 months upon award of funding.

In addition, academic research teams/non-profit organizations pursuing cutting-edge social sciences research on the consequences of the pandemic on the health of vulnerable young people can apply for grants. Grants should be used within 24 months upon award of funding

The total budget for this Call for Projects will be in the range of €2 million to €2.5 million. Voluntary contributions from the donation campaign will be added to this budget. Support projects may apply for funding between € 30.000 and €50.000, while research initiatives may apply for a grant between € 50.000  and €150.000. The Fund will consider high impact support projects and research project proposals of a higher amount although, these grants will only be considered by the selection committee on an exceptionally basis.

We know the road to recovery is long. This is our first step to rebuilding more resilient communities and easing the burden on the most vulnerable. There is a long way to go – let’s go together.

Find out more about the calls for projects
•    Link to KBF webpage
•    UCB Community Health Fund

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