Cisco pledges US$225 million to global COVID-19 response
Technology giant Cisco has pledged US$225 million to support global efforts to combat the COVID-19 outbreak. $8 million in cash and $210 million in product will be distributed across responses efforts in the US and around the world, including to the United Nations Foundation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, which supports the World Health Organisation’s worldwide efforts to help prevent, detect and manage the spread of COVID-19.
Writing in a blog post, Chuck Robbins, CEO of Cisco, said, “Many of us are adjusting to working from home and social distancing, while all of us are working to understand this new normal. Through all this, one thing has become clear – Cisco must, and will, do even more to help others respond to this global pandemic.”
Through its Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) programme, Cisco is also providing funding for heads of state, government agencies and businesses to rapidly deploy COVID-19-related technology, while the company continues to securely connect some 2.2 million people worldwide.
In February, Cisco’s Webex video conference service reportedly saw 22 times the usual amount of network traffic per second from users in China, while traffic in Singapore, Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong increased by three or four times. Webex, reported Robbins, has also helped facilitate virtual response meetings for the French, Canadian, German, and Columbian governments, among others.
To support employees in communities across 180 countries who have reached out to contribute to non-profit organisations, the Cisco Foundation has also launched a campaign allocating up to $5 million in grants and matching funds. Additionally, Cisco is launching Let’s Give Together, a 72-hour employee giving campaign to encourage further donations. “To support this, Cisco Foundation has launched an employee matching gift campaign of up to $4 million in total giving, and is allocating $1 million in additional grants to help non-profit partners,” added Robbins.
Cisco joins a growing list of companies throwing their support behind the COVID-19 response efforts. Chinese e-commerce and cloud computing giant Alibaba pledged to donate emergency supplies to various countries in Asia, while Apple and Facebook are donating masks to the healthcare profession.