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Walmart launches global effort to provide India COVID-19 aid

Walmart is mobilizing its global resources to expand support for COVID-19 relief efforts in India as the country struggles with a devastating second wave of the virus.

Walmart, the Walmart Foundation, and the Indian Flipkart e-commerce platform and PhonePe digital payment app (both majority-owned by Walmart), along with Walmart’s global technology and sourcing hubs, are collaborating to counter oxygen shortages in India. Walmart and its subsidiaries will also support India’s national vaccination drive and donate to organizations providing COVID-19 assistance across India.

To help India meet its urgent need for medical-grade oxygen, Walmart will donate up to 20 oxygen-generating plants and 20 cryogenic containers for oxygen storage and transportation, as well as more than 3,000 oxygen concentrators and 500 oxygen cylinders for delivering oxygen therapy to patients at home or in the hospital. 

The equipment is being sourced globally and will be donated to hospitals and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in India for distribution. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have also committed to fund an additional 2,500 oxygen concentrators as part of the U.S.-India Business Council and U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum’s joint relief effort.

“Walmart is a global family,” said Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Walmart Inc., in a corporate blog post. “We feel the impact of this devastating surge on our associates, families and friends across India, and it’s important that we come together to support however we can. We feel called to bring our resources to bear in times of crisis, and this moment is no different. We are working hard to combine Walmart’s global capabilities and Flipkart’s distribution network to ensure vital oxygen and supplies are made available to those who need them most. Our hearts are with everyone in India.”

Extending these efforts, the Walmart Foundation is donating $2 million to support various NGOs in India. A total of about $1 million will be allocated through the donor-advised Walmart Foundation Disaster Relief Fund, to recommend support for Doctors for You to operate isolation centers and temporary hospitals, as well as provide personal protective equipment for frontline medical workers. 

The other $1 million will be allocated to GIVE Foundation Inc. to support GiveIndia’s COVID response fund, which will support physical infrastructure and equipment for the medical sector in India.

Walmart, Flipkart, and PhonePe are also taking steps to encourage COVID-19 vaccination, including setting up free on-site vaccination clinics for associates and their households, as well as Flipkart and PhonePe’s full-time contractors and delivery workers, more than 200,000 people in all. Associates will continue to receive expanded sick leave if they become ill or must self-isolate, time off to get the vaccine or tested, and expanded compassionate care leave to care for ill family members.

Flipkart is also partnering with GiveIndia to raise funds to provide critical medical supplies such as oxygen, PPE kits, hand sanitizers and other essentials at COVID-19 centers, charitable hospitals and for healthcare workers. In addition, Flipkart customers can now use their loyalty point to donate directly toward ambulance services and oxygen cylinder refills that GiveIndia will mobilize to help those in critical need.

Previously, Walmart, Flipkart Group and the Walmart Foundation provided $6.2 million in financial and in-kind support in India, including over 1 million PPE and CPE gowns, 600,000 N95 masks, and 88 ventilators. Walmart Canada will also support relief efforts through the Canadian Red Cross India COVID-19 Response Appeal, funding ambulance and transport services for patients, quarantine isolation centers and other services.

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