As different countries across the world continue to feel the devastating effects of the pandemic, we have seen U.S. businesses leading the call to action, working in partnership with governments, to provide much-needed assistance to countries facing surges in COVID-19 cases.
In May, the U.S. Chamber, with support from Business Roundtable, mobilized the Global Task Force on Pandemic Response to provide a unified platform for businesses to assist COVID-19 efforts in areas with the highest need around the world. Working together with governments and communities, U.S. businesses are driving impact on relief measures and providing hope for citizens around the globe.
The Global Task Force’s initial efforts focused on the pressing need for support in India, with more than 400,000 cases reported on May 1 alone. Working in close collaboration with U.S. and Indian government officials, the Global Task Force took immediate actions to help address the COVID-19 surge in India, and led a $46.5M response effort, including:
- Sourcing, shipping, and delivering 1,000 ventilators desperately needed by healthcare facilities across India (Fact Sheet).
- Delivering 31,000 oxygen concentrators to India (Fact Sheet)
- Creating the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) India Action Group to provide ideas and practical information to CHROs to help their people in India. (Fact Sheet)
Indonesia & Southeast Asia
In August, the Global Task Force pivoted to mobilize support for COVID-19 pandemic relief and response in Indonesia and Southeast Asia, as the region started experiencing a major outbreak. The Global Task Force’s mission is two-fold: strengthening Indonesia and Southeast Asia’s diagnostic capacity as they continue to battle the outbreak and provide critically needed medical supplies and protective equipment in Indonesia.
The Global Task Force will assist in procuring PCR test equipment, rapid antigen tests that can easily be deployed across the country, and genomic sequencing equipment to help identify COVID-19 variants. Donations from Microsoft, Accenture, and Deloitte are funding the work with more companies expected to contribute to a $10 million fund for diagnostics equipment in Southeast Asia. The Global Task Force is also working with manufacturers to confirm an adequate supply of resources for the region and local non-profits to support distribution (To support this fund, contact: PandemicTaskForce@USChamber.com)
Power of Partnerships
The Global Task Force network has reinforced the value of collective resources. In India, Indonesia, and Southeast Asia, partnerships have been essential to achieving the impact needed in those regions. In addition to the critical partnership with local governments, business and non-profit networks have also been vital. In India, our impact was made possible through the collaboration between the U.S. Chamber of Commerce U.S. India Business Council and the U.S. India Strategic Partnership Forum. Similarly in Indonesia and Southeast Asia, the Global Task Force is working in partnership with the US-ASEAN Business Council, the American Indonesian Chamber of Commerce, and the American Chamber of Commerce in Indonesia to provide critically needed medical supplies and protective equipment in Indonesia.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation also launched a COVID-19 Business Response portal, a platform for U.S. businesses to offer essential in-kind products and services needed outside of the United States. Visit the portal to review a list of critically needed supplies or offer in-kind donations to support Indonesia’s pandemic response.
At the U.S. Chamber, we know the powerful impact businesses, governments, and communities can have on citizens around the world when they work together, and we are starting to see those impacts in the global pandemic response. To join the Global Task Force on Pandemic Response and to see the full list of participating companies, visit here or contact PandemicTaskForce@USChamber.com.
About the authors
Kaitlyn Ridel is the Senior Director of Digital Content at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.