The fund will specifically help farmers in rural areas.
In a recent interview with the Associated Press, Idris Elba opened up about contracting the coronavirus.
Both Elba and his wife have tested positive for COVID-19 despite only experiencing mild symptoms. The actor said testing positive was "definitely scary and unsettling and nervous."
"You know, everyone's sort of feeling the way we have been feeling, but it has definitely been sort of just a complete upheaval," he continued.
Despite this, Elba found quarantine to be an experience that reminded him "the world doesn't tick on your time."
"I think that the world should take a week of quarantine every year just to remember this time. Remember each other. I really do," he said.
Now, Elba and his wife, Sabrina Dhowre Elba, are giving back to people whose lives have been severely impacted by COVID-19. Specifically, they're working with the United Nations to lessen the impact of COVID-19 on farmers and food producers in rural areas.
Elba visiting Africa with the UN in December
"People forget that 80 percent of the poor population live in these rural areas." Dhowre Elba said. "What we are really worried about at the moment, and why we are launching this fund is that those people are being forgotten."
Dhowre Elba and her husband are now U.N. Goodwill Ambassadors, meaning they will work with the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to launch the new $40 million fund.
The actor expanded on his reasons for helping this specific population, saying, "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," he said. "Social distancing is almost laughable."
"What we are really worried about at the moment, and why we are launching this fund is that those people are being forgotten," Dhowre Elba said. "While health, you know, is so important at the moment ... we don't want people to forget about what comes after that."
The actor and his wife are currently recovering in New Mexico but hope to return to London soon and see their 6-year-old son. "We've been fortunate," he added. "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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