MasterCard, a multinational financial services firm based in the United States, revealed a USD 10 million pledge on Tuesday to resolve India’s “gut-wrenching” COVID-19 crisis.
According to an official announcement, the donation will be provided via the MasterCard Impact Fund and will focus on three priority areas: access to hospital services, access to additional oxygen supplies, and continued assistance to its employees around the world.
“The situation in India is heartbreaking; it is obvious that no one has been left untouched and that no one can be a bystander,” said MasterCard executive chairman Ajay Banga. “As employers and economic enablers, we have long been advocates for the people of India. Now is the time for us to put our shoulders to the wheel and do whatever we can to assist India as a whole in dealing with this escalating crisis,” he added.
The largest donation will be used to fund the expansion of 2,000 beds through the construction of portable hospitals capable of meeting urgent healthcare needs. Working with the government and local partners on the ground, these hospitals can be built quickly and help an estimated 2.5 million Indians gain access to healthcare, contributing to the nation’s healthcare infrastructure, according to a statement from MasterCard.
“The United States and India have a long tradition of assisting one another in times of crisis,” said Richard Verma, general counsel at MasterCard and former US ambassador to India. “We are hearing from our teams about the difficulties that they and their families are experiencing. We must support our friends and assist those who have been affected. “Our dedication is deep and lasting today and in the future,” he said.
As part of a larger corporate initiative, MasterCard is also allocating funds for additional shipments of 1,000 oxygen generators. It is contributing to local hospitals and non-governmental organizations to provide direct assistance to those affected by the virus, including frontline medical workers around the world.
In a statement, Prof. K. Vijay Raghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, said that the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases presents a significant challenge to clinical care facilities.
It is of the utmost importance to upgrade current hospital facilities by increasing the number of beds to accommodate more patients needing critical care and purchasing more equipment to improve oxygenation for patients.