US-based tech giant Google has pledged more than $800 million relief effort in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The aid will come both in cash and advertising credits on the internet giant’s platforms.
The firm also pledged to sponsor production of about 3 million face masks through the company’s supply chain partners.
Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and its parent Alphabet Friday said in a blog post that the firm’s latest initiative commits to “support small- and medium-sized businesses, health organizations and governments, and health workers on the frontline of this global pandemic.”
The biggest chunk of the aid is a $340 million in Google Ads credits will go to all small and medium-sized businesses with “active accounts over the past year.”
This is in addition to the $15 million in cash grants Google.org is already providing to nonprofits to help bridge these gaps for SMEs.
To alleviate some of the cost of staying in touch with their customers, the beneficiary enterprises will be able to use the grants at any point until the end of 2020 across all Google’s advertising platforms.
Credit notifications will appear in their Google Ads accounts.
As part of the effort, Google is providing the World Health Organization and more than 100 government agencies globally with $250 million in ad grants to help “provide critical information on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other measures to help local communities.”
The company is also supporting community-based financial institutions and NGOs with $20 million in ad grants to run public service announcements on relief funds.
This will allow organizations to run adverts that will be widely seen on websites and apps using Google’s advertising network.
Similarly, a $200 million investment fund is geared towards NGOs and financial institutions around the world to help small businesses access capital at a time when many are closing or laying off workers.
The company will further inject $20 million in Google Cloud credits for academic institutions and researchers to leverage computing capabilities and infrastructure as they study potential therapies and vaccines, track critical data, and identify new ways to combat COVID-19.
In addition to the financial commitments, Google is committing to the production of 2-3 million face masks and direct financial support and expertise to help increase the production capacity for personal protective equipment and lifesaving medical devices like ventilators.
Google’s support comes as other tech companies around the globe continue responding to the respiratory disease that has been declared a pandemic.
Earlier Friday, Apple launched a COVID-19 website and app with a screening tool and other essential information about the deadly disease and the coronavirus, according to a statement.