UNDP and Samsung fighting COVID-19

July 13, 2020


Nearly a year ago UNDP and Samsung announced an innovative partnership. Together we launched the Samsung Global Goals app and quickly reached millions of people, many of whom had no prior exposure to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Neither could have predicted just how much the world would change in just a few months.

In March 2020, as the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that COVID-19 had become a pandemic, at a time when engaging with apps through our mobile devices was not the first thought on our  minds, Samsung immediately sought to use this powerful tool to open a new channel of support for the UN. As the world faced a public health emergency unprecedented in modern times, and UNDP leapt to develop responses that would aid the immediate crisis, as well as the long-term recovery, our partners were working with us to disseminate clear information and ways to take action.

Connecting audiences to UNDP’s work, and the Global Goals

By April 2020, the Samsung app contained key information on UNDP’s COVID-19 response. From the WhatsApp hub delivering real-time healthcare information to billions around the world, to podcasts from public health leaders on ways to slow the pandemic’s spread, we countered waves of misinformation. The app also provided simple ways to contribute, either by donating or by giving directly to UNDP or WHO’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

The app is changing the way we communicate, empowering engaged global citizens to advocate for the Global Goals. It connects to all 17 Goals, providing a straightforward way to learn about their focus, as well the issues they address, and a fun way to support them. It serves as an engaging channel to show how interconnected the SDGs are, and the progress we have made so far.


The Samsung Global Goals App, at a Glance


Developing alternative sources of funding

Samsung is also changing how UNDP raises funds to respond to the crisis. As the lead UN agency on the technical socio-economic response to COVID-19, we quickly mobilized existing core funding, the flexible channel into which Samsung donations flow.

Core funding is the lifeblood of UNDP’s work in 170 countries. In one year alone, we partnered with 103 countries on integrated SDGs support, four million people in 27 countries gained access to justice, 28 million protected acres in 55 countries were better managed, 48 percent of  voters registered with UNDP support were women, and 62 countries strengthened social protections for their citizens.

Private sector and individual donations, plus revenues from UNDP’s shop, contribute to filling funding gaps, particularly in times of economic stress, and they complement funding from other partners.

Delivering on the Global Goals through digital platforms

As we enter the Decade of Action, the final extra push to meeting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, our Samsung partnerships supports UNDP's role in helping countries achieve the Goals through integrated solutions. Now reaching more than 40 million mobile devices, we are raising awareness about COVID-19, the Global Goals, as well as delivering alternative sources of funding, and lending support to our UN family network.

As with our work in country crisis crowdfunding, Samsung Global Goals is among today’s UNDP toolsets to drive collective advocacy via digital platforms to promote involvement from the private sector, leading civil society members, and individuals.

Building forward better

In 2020, for the first time in three decades, global human development is expected to decline. With these challenges ahead, UNDP is grateful to Samsung for its role in helping reverse the socio-economic impact of the pandemic, and in building beyond recovery on an accelerated path to sustainable development.


About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

Samsung inspires the world and shapes the future with transformative ideas and technologies. The company is redefining the worlds of TVs, smartphones, wearable devices, tablets, digital appliances, network systems, and memory, system LSI, foundry and LED solutions. For the latest news, please visit the Samsung Newsroom at http://news.samsung.com.

About UNDP

UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet. www.undp.org