Cisco commits $225 million to battle coronavirus, leading tech’s fight against the pandemic

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Cisco plans to dedicate $225 million in cash and services to support various causes dedicated to combating the spread of the coronavirus and helping those affected.

“Cisco must, and will, do even more to help others respond to this global pandemic,” said Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins in a blog post published Sunday evening.

The investment, which includes $8 million in cash and $210 million in products, will be dispersed to a variety of groups including the United Nations Foundation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and the World Health Organization’s various coronavirus efforts.

“People who were already vulnerable are facing even more risks to their health, stability, housing, and well-being,” Robbins wrote. “Nonprofits are struggling to serve their populations as the number of volunteers declines due to social distancing practices and donations are at-risk due to financial concerns.”

The networking giant will also provide funding for unspecified “heads of state, government agencies, and businesses to rapidly deploy COVID-19-related technology solutions,” Robbins wrote.  

According to Robbins, Cisco is helping to secure over 2.2 million people online to date, and Webex, the company’s video conference and online collaboration tool, has facilitated the virtual response meetings for the French, Canadian, German, Colombian, and other governments around the world.  

Cisco, along with other unnamed companies, will also announce on Monday a multi-million-dollar financial assistance program for at-risk people, Robbins said. 

“With support from Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, and Destination: Home’s CEO Jen Loving, we will be able to rapidly support low-income individuals during this time,” he wrote.

Cisco’s announcement comes after various tech companies and figures have announced their efforts to combat the spread of the virus and support overwhelmed medical professionals worldwide.

Amazon was among the earliest to respond, announcing on March 10 that it would create a $5 million grant to help small businesses in the Seattle area that were affected by the coronavirus.

A week later, Jack Ma, the CEO of Chinese e-commerce and cloud computing giant Alibaba, pledged to donate emergency supplies to various countries in Asia that have been severely impacted by the coronavirus.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella described in a LinkedIn post on Saturday several ways his company was helping others who are fighting the coronavirus. “In healthcare, our technology is being used for telemedicine, enabling user-intuitive solutions to share data and access critical information,” Nadella wrote. “St. Luke’s University Health Network in Pennsylvania is using Teams to video chat with patients most vulnerable to COVID-19.” 

Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted on Saturday that his company was “donating millions of masks for health professionals in the U.S. and Europe.” 

On Sunday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg followed suit, saying his social media company has “donated our emergency reserve of 720,000 masks that we had bought in case the wildfires continued.”

The move by Cisco could be just the start of the company’s coronavirus pandemic response efforts, noted Robbins. “While our world will be different as we move into the future,” he wrote, “it is important that we stay focused on making a positive impact in every way possible.”

More coronavirus coverage from Fortune:

—Financial crisis looms as corporate America presses for coronavirus bailout
Tax deadline moved to July 15 due to coronavirus
Death rate in China’s coronavirus epicenter is lower than previously thought
How working parents are navigating childcare during the coronavirus pandemic
—As oil slides on coronavirus and price war, the market looks for the new normal
Funerals in the time of coronavirus: How a pandemic is changing the industry
—Listen to Leadership Next, a Fortune podcast examining the evolving role of CEO
—WATCH: World leaders and health experts on how to stop the spread of COVID-19

Subscribe to Outbreak, a daily newsletter roundup of stories on the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on global business. It’s free to get it in your inbox.

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