UBS donates Rs 11.07 Cr for COVID-19 relief measures in India

In the initial phase, UBS will work with Swasti, a Bangalore-based NGO that designs and delivers health and well-being solutions across India.
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Swiss bank UBS Group AG on Wednesday announced a donation of Rs 11.07 crore ($1.5 million) to support COVID-19 emergency and long-term relief programmes in India.

The first tranche of the donation will target the immediate supply of oxygen, medical supplies, and medicine, the bank said in a statement.

In the initial phase, UBS said it would work with Swasti, a Bangalore-based NGO that designs and delivers health and well-being solutions across India.

In stage two, UBS will support COVAX on education programmes and ensuring the equitable procurement and distribution of vaccines.

In the third phase, UBS will team up with some of its existing partners in India to help build resilience in local communities and support mental well-being, it added.

Edmund Koh, President of UBS Asia Pacific and member of the Group Executive Board, said: "As was the case last year, when we donated $1 million to support emergency relief for frontline and migrant workers, UBS is seeking to help alleviate the suffering in the worst affected regions."

The donation is made from UBS Optimus Foundation that pursues social impact in a variety of ways from traditional charitable giving to sustainable investing.

In another development, American banking major Citibank on Wednesday committed an additional Rs 200 crore to support COVID-19 relief measures in India.

The Rs 200 crore amount will be spent over the next three financial years, and a sum of Rs 75 crore will be allocated towards immediate medical and humanitarian needs, an official statement said.

India has been experiencing shortage of oxygen, medical equipment and other health infrastructure amid a sharp rise in Covid cases and a slew of multinational companies have rushed with necessary support.

Citi said the immediate support of Rs 75 crore will focus on procurement of oxygen supplies, adding beds to hospitals, diagnostic testing systems, personal protection kits and other supplies for India's frontline healthcare workers.

Edited by Teja Lele Desai

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