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Idris Elba launches $40 million COVID-19 relief fund while recovering from virus

The fund will go toward farmers and those living in rural areas.

Idris Elba PA Images

Idris Elba and his wife Sabrina Dhowre Elba are on the mend after revealing they had both been diagnosed with Coronavirus last month. Despite not suffering from any severe symptoms, the entire experience has been “definitely scary and unsettling and nervous,” Idris tells the Associated Press.

“You know, everyone’s sort of feeling the way we have been feeling, but it has definitely been sort of just a complete upheaval,” the British actor shared.

Now that he and Sabrina are recovering from the novel virus, the couple is looking to help out farmers and those living in rural areas who may be disproportionately affected by the global pandemic.

“People forget that 80 percent of the poor population live in these rural areas,” Sabrina told the outlet. “What we are really worried about at the moment, and why we are launching this fund is that those people are being forgotten.”

“If you imagine being in a village where no one even knows the name of your village or your population, and that you live in a slum where there is one room and six of you live in it,” Idris added. “Social distancing is almost laughable.”

Both Idris and Sabrina are newly appointed United Nations Goodwill Ambassadors. In their roles, the couple has partnered with the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to start a $40 million COVID-19 relief fund aimed at helping those living in rural areas.

Sabrina and Idris first joined forces with the IFAD when they took a trip to Sierra Leone, where Idris’ parents are from, to see how the organization had helped those in the West African country. Sabrina and Idris’ goal is to raise up to $200 million with the IFAD for Coronavirus relief from governments worldwide.

“We have to think about the forward planning,” Idris said. “What’s the fallout going to be?”

The couple has reportedly been recuperating in New Mexico and are looking forward to returning home to London as soon as traveling is permitted.

“We’ve been fortunate,” Idris said. “We have been staying in a lovely place that’s been very comfortable for the time. But we’re looking forward to going home.”

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