Wellcome Trust

The Wellcome Trust is a United Kingdom-based independent charitable foundation established in 1936 by the legacy of the American-born pharmacist and medical entrepreneur Sir Henry Wellcome. Guided by the founder’s broad interests and his conviction that health can be improved when research generates, tests and investigates new ideas, the Wellcome Trust takes on big health challenges, campaigns for better science, and helps everyone get involved with science and health research.

The Wellcome Trust directly funds research every step of the way, from discovery to impact. Its funding schemes offer grants across biomedical science, population health, medical innovation, humanities and social science, and public engagement. The foundation also identifies areas in which Wellcome can lead significant change within five or ten years, aiming to transform the global response to some of today’s biggest health challenges, such as vaccine development, drug-resistant infections, snakebites and mental health.

The Wellcome Trust provided USD 509.8 million for development in 2021 through its grantmaking activities. Compared to 2020, this amount represents a decrease of 10.9% in real terms.

In 2021, the Wellcome Trust provided USD 69.7 million as its COVID-19 response, representing 13.7% of its development finance. All of this financing was provided for COVID-19 control and other health-related activities.

In 2021, the Wellcome Trust provided USD 24.6 million to the multilateral system, representing 4.8% of its development finance, all of which was earmarked for specific countries, regions, themes or purposes.

The Wellcome Trust channelled its multilateral contributions through the United Nations (UN) entities, International Vaccine Institution and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

The United Nations (UN) system received USD 18.7 million from the Wellcome Trust in 2021, notably WHO.

See the section on geographic and thematic focus for the geographical and thematic breakdown of bilateral allocations earmarked through the multilateral development system.

In 2021, the Wellcome Trust channelled its contributions mostly through universities, research institutes or think tanks (USD 367.8 million), Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) and the private sector (USD 88.4 million) and multilateral organisations (USD 24.6 million).

In 2021, the Wellcome Trust’s development finance was mostly geographically unallocated. Still, USD 80 million was provided to Africa and USD 8.4 million to South and East Asia, accounting respectively for 15.7% and 8.4% of development finance. A sum of USD 381.1 million (74.7%) was unspecified by region in 2021, mainly including support to multi-regional programmes and research.

In 2021, 12.1% of development finance went to the top 10 recipients. The Wellcome Trust’s most significant recipients included Malawi (USD 11 million), India (USD 10.6 million) and South Africa (USD 6.6 million). Moreover, 82% of development finance was not allocated by country.

Least developed countries (LDCs) received USD 38.3 million (7.5%) of Wellcome Trust’s development finance in 2021. The Wellcome Trust allocated USD 36.6 million (7.2%) to lower middle income countries and USD 16.8 million (3.3%) to upper middle income countries in 2021, noting that USD 418.1 million (82%) was unallocated by income group.

Support to fragile contexts reached USD 36.2 million in 2021, representing 7.1% of Wellcome Trust’s development finance. Of this, extremely fragile contexts received USD 6 million.

Learn more about support to fragile contexts on the States of Fragility platform.

In 2021, almost all of Wellcome Trust’s commitments were allocated to social infrastructure and services. Investments in this area accounted for 99.7% of commitments (USD 508.4 million), primarily focusing on support for health and population. A share of 85.9% of the Wellcome Trusts commitments in 2021 were explicitly aimed at controlling infectious diseases.

In 2021, the Wellcome Trust committed the largest shares of its contributions to the goals on partnerships for the goals (SDG 17) and good health and well-being (SDG 3) of the United Nations 2030 Agenda.

Official website: http://www.wellcome.org

The methodological notes provide further details on the definitions and statistical methodologies applied, including core and earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations, the Sustainable Development Goal focus of private development finance, channels of delivery, unspecified/unallocated allocations, the gender equality policy marker, and the environment markers.

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