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New York - WhatsApp today announced the launch of two initiatives in support of the global fight against the Coronavirus pandemic: the global launch of the WhatsApp Coronavirus Information Hub in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme, the World Health Organization and UNICEF, and a $1m donation to the Poynter Institute's International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN).

The WhatsApp Coronavirus Information Hub provides simple, actionable guidance for health workers, educators, community leaders, nonprofits, local governments and local businesses that rely on WhatsApp to communicate. The site also offers general tips and resources for users around the world to reduce the spread of rumors and connect with accurate health information.

These recommendations provide quick guidance on how small groups can make the most of WhatsApp features, and will be distributed by UNDP to those coordinating local efforts. In addition, WhatsApp is working with the WHO and UNICEF to provide messaging hotlines for people around the world to use directly. These hotlines will provide reliable information and will be listed on the WhatsApp Coronavirus Information Hub.

“Getting up to date information about COVID-19 to local communities around the world is a critical piece of the international community’s efforts to stem the spread of the virus,” said Achim Steiner, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). “Partnerships with private sector companies like WhatsApp will help get this vital, real time information from the World Health Organization and local health officials to billions of users around the globe.”

To date, WhatsApp has worked with a number of national health ministries and NGOs to provide factual information to users via text in countries including; Singapore, Israel, South Africa, Brazil, and Indonesia. As these efforts continue, the hub will be updated with the latest resources.

WhatsApp’s $1m grant to the IFCN will support fact-checking for the #CoronaVirusFacts Alliance, which spans more than 100 local organizations in at least 45 countries.

“We know that our users are reaching out on WhatsApp more than ever at this time of crisis, whether it’s to friends and loved ones, doctors to patients, or teachers to students. We wanted to provide a simple resource that can help connect people at this time," said Will Cathcart, Head of WhatsApp. 

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