Hugh Grosvenor, 29, is the seventh Duke of Westminster and one of the UK’s richest men with a fortune running into billions of pounds. Through his Grosvenor Estates company, the Duke owns hundreds of acres of prime real estate in Mayfair and Belgravia in central London. The Duke said: “I want to say a huge thank you to all our amazing NHS staff and everyone providing critical frontline services.
“We are all humbled and incredibly grateful that you are working tirelessly to keep us safe and keep the country functioning.”
NHS Charities Together will receive £5 million to create a “family fund” that will support NHS workers and their families.
The Duke explained: “NHS staff and key workers don’t work in isolation.
“They have children and families whose health and wellbeing will also be highly impacted by this crisis.
“As they keep us safe, I want to help provide as much support to them and their families as we can.
“Our donation will help create a Family Fund within NHS Charities Together to provide food, respite, rehabilitation and positive mental health support to NHS staff and their families.”
A spokesperson for NHS Charities Together said it was “incredibly grateful for this generous donation”.
A further £3 million will be go towards funding national medical research and development tied to COVID-19.
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A spokesman for Boris Johnson said the government still supported the UN agency, saying it had “an important role to play” in the global fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
The US president told reporters at a White House press conference on Tuesday that he was stopping funding to WHO, as it had “failed in its basic duty” in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He accused WHO of mismanaging and covering up the spread of the virus in China and said that it had to be held accountable.
The US is the largest single contributor to WHO, and gave the organisation more than £300 million in 2019.
The British government pays the UN agency around £200 million a year and the PM’s spokesperson confirmed that it had no intention of halting its contributions.
The Downing Street official said: “Our position is that the UK has no plans to stop funding the WHO, which has an important role to play in leading the global health response.