The Open Society Foundations today announced a donation of $1 million euros to the city of Milan, to help Italy’s financial capital rebuild in the wake of COVID-19.
The pandemic has hit especially hard in Italy. According to the latest figures, the country has more than 97,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, second only to the U.S.A; more than 10,000 Italians have died from the virus to date.
Milan, the regional capital, is more than a mainstay of Italy’s economy. The once bustling city is inextricably linked to the European project, and a crucial driver of the whole European economy. And yet the European Union has been slow to respond, closing borders and turning inward rather than reaching out in the spirit of cooperation and shared sacrifice.
In announcing the grant, Alex Soros, deputy chair of the Open Society Foundations and son of founder and chair George Soros, explained his father’s deep commitment to Europe and long history of philanthropic giving to support human rights, democratic practice and equality for Europe’s people.
“In the coming days, my father and the Open Society Foundations will be announcing a series of interventions to try to help in this public health crisis. Given his history, it is perhaps no surprise that one of his first efforts will come in support of Italy in its hour of need—by pledging €1 million to the city of Milan to support the hard work of aiding its most vulnerable and rebuilding its economy, health and spirit in the months ahead,” he said.
Soros called on other philanthropic institutions to follow suit and offer a helping hand to the areas hardest hit by COVID-19.
The Open Society Foundations works in more than 120 countries around the world to build vibrant and inclusive democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens