Retail giant Walmart on Friday said it is mobilising its global resources to further expand support for COVID-19 relief efforts in India, which is reeling under a deadly second wave of the pandemic.
Walmart, the Walmart Foundation, Flipkart, and PhonePe, along with Walmart’s Global Technology and Sourcing hubs, are collaborating to counter oxygen shortages, support the national vaccination drive, and donate to organisations making a difference in communities nationwide, a statement said.
This includes a Rs 14.82 crore ($2 million) donation from the Walmart Foundation to support various NGOs in India.
“Walmart is a global family… 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,” Doug McMillon, President and CEO of Walmart Inc, said.
Walmart businesses worldwide are working together to procure vital oxygen concentrators and other equipment.
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.
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have also committed to fund an additional 2,500 oxygen concentrators as part of the US-India Business Council and US-India Strategic Partnership Forum’s joint relief effort.
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 centres and other services.
The massive rise in infections in the second wave of the pandemic has led to hospitals in several states reeling under a shortage of medical oxygen and beds. Social media timelines are filled with SOS calls with people looking for oxygen cylinders, hospital beds, plasma donors, and ventilators.
Organisations across the spectrum have come forward to source and donate oxygenators, breathing machines, and ventilators.
The Walmart Foundation is donating Rs 14.82 crore ($2 million) to support various NGOs in India, of which Rs 7.41 crore will be allocated to recommend support for Doctors for You to operate isolation centres and temporary hospitals, as well as provide personal protective equipment for frontline medical workers, the statement said.
The other half will be allocated to GIVE Foundation Inc to support GiveIndia’s COVID-19 response fund, which will support physical infrastructure and equipment for the medical sector in India, prioritising the most impacted and vulnerable communities, the statement said.
Walmart, Flipkart, and PhonePe will also set up on-site vaccination clinics for associates and their households, as well as for Flipkart and PhonePe’s full-time contractors and delivery workers covering more than two lakh people.
Flipkart customers can also use their SuperCoins (loyalty points) to donate directly toward ambulance services and oxygen cylinder refills that GiveIndia will mobilise to help those in critical need, it added.
“We and our colleagues at PhonePe are committed to doing our bit to help people in this challenging time, leveraging our logistics capabilities and mobilising resources towards the most critical needs of patients and healthcare professionals,” Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO of Flipkart, said.
Previously, Walmart, Flipkart Group and the Walmart Foundation had provided Rs 46 crore ($6.2 million) in financial and in-kind support in India, including over one million PPE and CPE gowns, 600,000 N95 masks and 88 ventilators, among other contributions.