Cisco Chairman and CEO, Chuck Robbins has announced the company’s efforts to combat the impact of COVID-19, by supporting a range of global and local initiatives. Cisco is committing $225 million in cash, in-kind, and planned-giving to support causes and is also rallying its 77,000-strong employee network to work alongside community partners on the frontlines during the time of need.
Of the total sum, $8 million in cash and $210 million in product is going directly towards global COVID-19 response efforts, with a focus on delivering resources to key sectors, including health, education, government response and critical technology. Part of this number will also go towards the United Nations’ COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, supporting the World Health Organization’s (WHO) focus on preventing, detecting and managing the spread of COVID-19.
Through its Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) program, partnerships with local stakeholders to fast-track national digitization agendas, Cisco is also providing funding for heads of state, government agencies and businesses to rapidly deploy COVID-19 related technology solutions. Cisco’s CDA program is currently running in select countries, including the UAE and Saudi Arabia, where the company is working closely with the government and local institutions to transform industries – including healthcare.
Cisco is also empowering those on the forefront of emergency response with access to its critical technologies, including free Webex collaboration software and security offers. To date, the organization has helped secure over 2.2 million people online, and Webex has facilitated virtual response meetings for the French, Canadian, German, Colombian, and other governments around the world.
Robbins also shared how Cisco is proud to have seen an outpouring of support from its employees, who have reached out and contributed directly to non-profit organizations. To support, the Cisco Foundation has launched a campaign, allocating up to $5 million in grants and matching funds. Several funds have also been set up to support non-governmental organizations in regions such as the Middle East and Africa.
Commenting on the announcement, Reem Asaad – Vice President, Cisco Middle East and Africa said, “In these challenging times, it is inspiring to see people from all walks of life uniting in their efforts to tackle COVID-19 – from local governments and emergency response teams, to our fellow partners, customers, employees and the wider public. Our primary goal is to ensure that public safety and business continuity can work in cohesion and be maintained. We will continue to monitor the impacts of COVID-19, determining how best to leverage the power of technology to connect and protect our communities.”