Networking giant Cisco has announced that it is committing $225 million in cash and equipment to support both the global and local response to Covid-19.

The worthy pledge comes as many in the world adjust to working from home and social distancing. Many tech firms have already told staff to work from home if at all possible.

In the UK on Monday 22 March, Prime Minister Boris Johnson implemented an unprecedented lock-down in the UK, with people only allowed to leave their house for ‘essential shopping’ such as food and medicine, or to check on the elderly. All non-essential shops including clothing stores, libraries and electronic shops have been ordered to close.

Image credit: World Health Organisation

Coronavirus Funding

Into this world of profound changes, Cisco has opted to donate cash to those impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic, and those on the frontlines battling it.

“Our world is changing day to day and it is overwhelming for businesses, governments, families, and individuals globally,” wrote Cisco chairman and CEO Chuck Robbins in a blog post.

“The Coronavirus-19 (Covid-19) pandemic has us living in a dynamic and intense time, and we are continuing to help all of our stakeholders navigate these difficulties as we always do.”

“Many people in our communities were already struggling before this tragic pandemic,” wrote Robbins. “That is why Cisco is committing $225 million in cash, in-kind, and planned-giving to support both the global and local response to Covid-19.”

“In addition, we are rallying our 77,000 employees and encouraging them to give what they can to help our community partners on the front lines bolster their operations in this time of need,” he wrote.

Funding breakdown

Robbins explained that the $225 million will be made of up of $8 million in cash and $210 million in product to the global coronavirus response.

He explained that Cisco is focusing these resources on supporting healthcare and education, government response and critical technology. Part of this will go to the United Nations Foundation’s Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund, supporting the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) worldwide efforts.

“Through our Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) program, we are providing funding for heads of state, government agencies, and businesses to rapidly deploy Covid-19-related technology solutions,” wrote Robbins.

“We are also empowering those on the front lines with access to our critical technologies with our free Webex and Security offers,” he wrote. “To date, we are helping to 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.”

“Over the past few weeks, I have been incredibly inspired by the way I’ve seen people come together, inside and outside of Cisco, and this gives me tremendous hope,” Robbins concluded. “We will continue to monitor the impact of Covid-19 on our employees, customers, partners, and communities, and evaluate other ways we can help as things evolve. While our world will be different as we move into the future, it is important that we stay focused on making a positive impact in every way possible.”

According to WHO data, Coronavirus has so far killed 17,147 people around the world, as of Tuesday 24 March. On Monday 23 March the death toll stood at 15,485 deaths.

There are now 392,230 Covid-19 cases (that we know of) around the world.

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Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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