US ambassador to South Africa, Lana Marks has highlighted how US businesses in South Africa have contributed to the country’s fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
“In addition to providing South Africa with direct support from the US government of more than R410 million to fight Covid-19, our “All-of-America” approach is assisting South Africa through the generosity of American citizens, including private businesses,” Marks said.
Globally, American businesses, nonprofit groups, charities, faith-based organisations, and individuals have committed more than R120 billion in donations and assistance to the world’s efforts to defeat Covid-19, she said.
Examples of support from US companies to South Africa in responding to the Covid-19 pandemic include, but are not limited to, the following:
- American Tower Corporation donated R1 million to the Solidarity Fund, R500,000 to FoodForward SA, and R500,000 to Nelson Mandela Foundation’s Each1Feed1. Executives pledged 1/3 of their salaries for three months to the Solidarity Fund and other charities.
- Cisco has offered governments free support for 90 days with digital solutions to current communication challenges, with technical expertise, security, and videoconferencing free for 90 days.
- Coca-Cola is contributing over R17 million to the Solidarity Fund and over R3.5 million to the Gift of the Givers, as well as using its extensive distribution network to donate relief water, food parcels, Personal Protective Equipment, and care kits.
- Dow partnered with Plastics SA and the Justice Coalition to distribute and replenish 20-litre refillable plastic pouches of soapy water across Khayelitsha, Mitchells Plain, Woodstock, and Wynberg. Cape Town’s Solid Waste Department received 80 pouches for waste collectors.
- Ford is producing 57,000 protective face shields to be donated to front-line medical and essential services personnel. The company aims to produce at least 500,000 to meet growing demand.
- Gilead announced the creation of the global Gilead CARES (Covid-19 Acute Relief and Emergency Support) Grantee Fund to provide financial support to current grantees facing an imminent closure or termination of vital services due to losses attributable to the Covid-19 pandemic. The fund will provide up to $20 million in donations to these nonprofit groups.
- Google expanded its SOS Alerts linked to the Ministry of Health and other Covid-19 education and prevention efforts. It is countering harmful Covid-19 misinformation and ads, funding fact-checking, offering cloud computing credits for vaccine/treatment research, and supporting small businesses through ad credits and access to capital investment.
- HP Inc. is mobilizing its 3D printing teams, technology, experience, and production capacity to deliver critical parts for face masks, face shields, mask adjusters, nasal swabs, hands-free door openers, and respirator parts.
- John Deere is donating 9,000 facemasks to local agricultural organisations, farms, fruit-packers, and fresh produce markets. The company is also working with agricultural, transport, and port officials to ensure stable food production and supply.
- Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is accelerating development of a lead Covid-19 candidate vaccine and collaborating with local partners to ensure supply of its critical medicines, devices, and products in South Africa.
- Krispy Kreme is donating doughnuts to healthcare workers, first responders, FoodForward SA, Avril Elizabeth Home, and Little Eden, and supporting Reach for a Dream.
- MSD scientists are assessing antiviral candidates and vaccine assets for potential Covid-19 impact. MSD has committed R55.5 million for pandemic-related maternal health needs, supported the African Children’s Feeding Scheme, and facilitated entry into South Africa of 900,000 sterile gloves; 20,000 face shields; 1.12 million N95 masks; 6 million surgical masks for health workers; 8.5 million surgical masks for patients; and 200 ventilators.
- Microsoft has contributed R4.9 million to the Solidarity Fund, and is providing remote education and work solutions, often free or discounted for schools, universities, and government entities.
- PepsiCo has implemented a R12 million #GiveMealsGiveHope initiative, which will serve more than 11 million meals to communities in need.
- Procter & Gamble (P&G) is donating over R9 million to government and non-profit organiations to support communities, relief agencies, and people impacted by Covid-19.
- TransUnion is offering free credit reports to consumers and commercial reports to small and medium-sized businesses, sharing insights with policymakers from its surveys of Covid-19’s impact on consumers and key industries, and conducting industry-specific webinars.
- Uber and Uber Eats are providing up to 14 days of financial assistance to drivers and delivery people who are diagnosed with Covid-19 or ordered to self-quarantine by a doctor or public health authority because they’re suspected to have an active case of Covid-19. They also have partnered with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to deliver chronic medication to vulnerable patients and SA Harvest, helping to feed those most impacted by the lockdown.
“For more than a half century, the United States has been the largest contributor to global health security – we have partnered with South Africans to control HIV, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases, and we also are your partner in the fight against Covid-19.
“This includes generous support from the American people, and partnerships with US scientists, researchers, innovators, and the private sector,” said Marks.