Citi Commits Additional $27 Mn To Support COVID-19 Relief And Recovery Efforts In India
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Global bank Citi on Wednesday announced an additional $27 million pledge over the next three financial years towards India’s recovery and relief efforts against COVID-19, as the country experiences a surge in cases.
Of the total pledged amount, $10 million is being allocated immediately towards the procurement of oxygen supplies, adding beds to hospitals, diagnostic testing systems, personal protection kits and other supplies for India’s frontline healthcare workers.
The funds will also be utilized towards food and hygiene supplies for low-income families.
“We have been in India for more than 100 years, and the country is home to over 20,000 of our colleagues. We are determined to support India through this unprecedented health crisis,” said Peter Babej, Asia Pacific chief executive officer, Citi. “Our efforts in India are an important part of our global commitment to fight COVID. Since the onset of the pandemic, we have focused on assisting communities around the world, including through financial support of $100 million from Citi and the Citi Foundation.”
The additional pledged amount for India will also be used to fund public and private healthcare infrastructure and to impart employable skills to the youth, thereby promoting economic revival, important for India’s recovery.
“The resurgence in India, which is now overwhelming the country’s healthcare system, calls for efforts from all sections of our society to come together to bring India back on track. This is an extraordinary situation and while the need of the hour is for medical equipment, it is equally important to reinforce the country’s healthcare infrastructure for citizens’ health and safety,” added Ashu Khullar, India chief executive officer, Citi.
The announced commitment builds on the 75 crore Citi has already deployed in India towards pandemic relief efforts. The establishment has facilitated 115,076 RT-PCR tests across 17 municipal corporations and 9 districts in Maharashtra covering 24 COVID-19 hospitals/centers, delivered 850 tons of ration supplies to 26,200 families across 20 locations nationally by over 1,000 trucks, enabling 7.8 million meals over a one-month period, and funded six startups incubated at the Society for Development and Innovation, at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. These start-ups are working on a variety of societal, preventive and diagnostic solutions to mitigate the spread of the pandemic and are at various stages of patent acquisitions and ICMR approvals
In addition, employees participated in programs to provide masks and sanitizers for over 450 children at St Jude, and daily meals for ~1 million migrant workers through Akshaya Patra, while Citi debit and credit cardholders along with employees also participated in a unique engagement program, to help raise $300,000 towards PM-Cares Fund.