Google on Thursday announced a $2.5 million grant to help UNICEF as well as the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), along with partners on the ground, to scale up the COVID-19 response in Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and Pakistan, where the impact of COVID has been severe.
The new funds are a part of Google's broader contribution to the response to COVID across Asia-Pacific and will be instrumental in providing critical, life-saving support to the people who need it the most, Google mentioned.
"In many parts of Southeast Asia and beyond, the impact of COVID-19 remains severe. More than 18 months after the virus first began spreading, high caseloads and new variants are putting pressure on health systems. It's a difficult time for people across the region, and heart-breaking for those who've lost loved ones," Google said in a blog post on its philanthropic arm, Google.org.
Additionally, the search giant will provide a further $5 million in ad grants for local government agencies and organisations like UNICEF to run public information campaigns.
Furthermore, through a separate Google.org grant, the company is helping ASEAN, the Asia Foundation and local non-profits close digital divides in marginalized communities. They have also partnered with health authorities to share the latest health information and support news sources that people can trust.
Google has also contributed to Southeast Asia's economic recovery by providing digital skills to small business owners and workers as well as fostering a new generation of startup founders.
In Southeast Asia, Googlers have donated $80,000 and counting for local non-profits' COVID response efforts in Indonesia and Vietnam. Its global employee giving campaign, matched by Google.org and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, has helped one million people around the world get fully vaccinated.
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