Story at a glance

  • On Monday, the 17-year-old announced she received the Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity and will donate the prize money through her foundation to projects aimed at taking on the climate crisis.
  • Thunberg said she will be donating 100,000 euros, or $114,000 in U.S. dollars, in prize money to the SOS Amazonia Campaign, which is led by Fridays for Future Brazil, a group that assists in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic among indigenous communities.
  • The donation from Thunberg comes just one day after the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that COVID-19 is especially risky for the half a billion indigenous people across the globe.

As teen climate activist Greta Thunberg donates 1 million euros in prize money she was awarded to projects aimed at fighting the climate crisis, she’s also putting some of the funds toward fighting the spread of the coronavirus in the Brazilian Amazon. 

On Monday, the 17-year-old announced she received the Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity and will donate the prize money through her foundation to organizations and projects working to “help people on the frontlines affected by the climate crisis and ecological crisis especially in the global South.” 


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Thunberg said she will be donating 100,000 euros, or $114,000, in prize money to the SOS Amazonia Campaign, which is led by Fridays for Future Brazil, a group that assists in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic among indigenous communities. Another $114,000 will be given to the Stop Ecocide Foundation to support the foundation’s work to make ecocide — environmental destruction — an international crime. 


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The donation from Thunberg comes just one day after the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that COVID-19 is especially risky for the half a billion indigenous people across the globe, as they often lack political representation and access to health, education and social services. 

“Indigenous peoples often have a high burden of poverty, unemployment, malnutrition and both communicable and non-communicable diseases, making them more vulnerable to COVID-19 and its severe outcomes,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreysus said Monday during a news conference in Geneva. 

Since July 6, more than 70,000 COVID-19 cases have been reported among indigenous peoples in the Americas, with more than 2,000 deaths. At least six cases have been reported among the Nahua people, who live in the Peruvian Amazon. 

Brazil currently holds second place behind the U.S. in the number of coronavirus cases and deaths. The country has tallied more than 2.1 million cases and more than 80,000 fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins University data. 

Jorge Sampaio, chair of the grand jury of the Gulbenkian Foundation prize, said Thunberg was honored with the prize because of her ability to “mobilize younger generations for the cause of climate change and her tenacious struggle to alter a status quo that persists.”


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Published on Jul 21, 2020