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How our COVID-19 Fund is supporting communities across the world

3 Mar 2021

Home > News > Industries > How our COVID-19 Fund is supporting communities across the world

COVID-19 has had a massive impact on the lives of people all over the world. For children, it has meant disruption to learning.

Thirteen-year old Effat usually studies at Milestone School in Dhaka, Bangladesh. But in 2020, the pandemic meant that  attending in person was no longer possible. Her classroom and teacher were replaced with lessons given by television, radio and mobile phone.

In Kenya, 12-year-old Diana lives in Korogocho, an informal settlement in Nairobi. She misses school and playing football with her friends but has been able to keep up her studies thanks to remote learning and tutoring through her neighbour’s mobile phone.

Millions of children like Effat and Diana have stayed safe , while continuing to study during the pandemic thanks to the work of our partners like UNICEF and the Red Cross* who are supported by our COVID-19 Global Charitable Fund.

How the Fund has helped

When the pandemic hit, we acted quickly to identify and support our partners so they could mobilise support to impacted communities. We’ve now completed USD27.8 million for emergency relief across 59 markets. Find out where our donations went in 2020 to support vulnerable communities.

Our USD5 million donation to UNICEF has so far reached 22 million people across 12 markets. This includes around 10.9 million children, families and caregivers who have received mental and emotional support and care in Laos, Nepal, Pakistan and Côte d’Ivoire. Nearly 11.3 million children have also benefited from distance learning in Bangladesh, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia. UNICEF has helped prevent the spread of the virus within the learning environment with its Safe Schools guidance, which has been used by more than 50,000 schools across Cameroon, Ghana and Zambia.

Our USD4 million donation to the Red Cross has helped the charity work with vulnerable communities to slow the spread of the virus, provide information on COVID-19 prevention, and help  protect against poverty and hunger. In Botswana, volunteers have distributed food packages. In Kenya, safety messages have been communicated in public and community spaces and in Cameroon, volunteers have discussed the pandemic on the radio. In Nigeria, the Red Cross has supported contact tracing and given emotional and practical support.

Across 11 markets, with support from Standard Chartered and other donors, the Red Cross has provided COVID-19 testing for more than 25,000 people; support to 1,000 health facilities; food and in-kind assistance to almost 2 million people; cash support to more than 97,000 people and emotional support to 410,000 people.

To provide emergency relief in Zimbabwe, we donated USD1 million to the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Oxfam. The IRC will provide healthcare supplies, infection prevention and control measures, and risk communication to communities while Oxfam will provide emergency food aid to vulnerable communities.

Rebuilding the economy

We’ve already moved to the next phase of COVID-19 support with USD25 million from Bank donations and employee fundraising aimed at economic recovery programmes for young people through Futuremakers by Standard Chartered. This will help address the dramatic impact of the pandemic on inequality and rebuild communities.

To help young people get back to work and support micro and small businesses, community projects will focus on learning and livelihoods. Funding for these projects has already began with a target to commit all funds by the end of 2021.

*Red Cross is an umbrella term for the British Red Cross and International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). USD1m of the USD5m originally donated to Red Cross in 2020 was reallocated to Oxfam and IRC for emergency relief in Zimbabwe.

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