Google on Monday announced Rs 135 crore ($18 million) to help get urgent medical supplies, including oxygen and testing equipment, for India that is currently going through a devastating Covid wave.
The donation includes two grants from Google.org, Google’s philanthropic arm, totaling Rs 20 crore.
“The first is to GiveIndia to provide cash assistance to families hit hardest by the crisis to help with their everyday expenses. The second will go to UNICEF to help get urgent medical supplies, including oxygen and testing equipment, to where it’s needed most in India,” said Sanjay Gupta, Country Head and VP, India.
It also includes donations from Google’s ongoing employee giving campaign e so far more than 900 Googlers have contributed Rs 3.7 crore for organizations supporting high-risk and marginalized communities.
Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai tweeted: “Devastated to see the worsening Covid crisis in India. Google & Googlers are providing Rs 135 Crore in funding to @GiveIndia, @UNICEF for medical supplies, orgs supporting high-risk communities, and grants to help spread critical information”.
India is going through its most difficult moment in the pandemic thus far.
Daily COVID-19 cases continue to set record highs, with hospitals filled to capacity and in need of urgent supplies to cope with the increasing number of patients.
The Google funding also includes increased Ad Grant support for public health information campaigns.
“We’re increasing our support today with an additional Rs 112 crore in Ad Grants to local health authorities and nonprofits for more language coverage options,” Gupta mentioned.
The Covid features on Search are available in India, in English and eight Indian languages, and the company said it is continuing to improve localization and highlight authoritative information.
“That includes information on where to get testing and vaccines; so far, Maps and Search surface thousands of vaccine sites, and we are working to add tens of thousands more. We’re also collaborating closely with the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, and with organizations like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to support vaccine awareness initiatives,” Google elaborated.