The COVID-19 outbreak has taken a devastating toll on lives and communities around the world. To help those affected, we are supporting and scaling effective solutions throughout the course of this pandemic - from immediate relief to long term recovery and future preparedness.
We’ve committed £80 million and 50,000 hours of pro bono support to the global COVID-19 response, focusing our efforts in areas where our resources and people can have the most impact - health and science, economic relief and recovery, and distance learning.
Health and science
We are supporting the people and organisations on the frontlines battling this disease.
Immediate humanitarian relief
Donations from Google employees and the public were matched by Google.org to provide £8.5 million to benefit the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization (through the UN Foundation) and Center for Disaster Philanthropy to support preparedness, containment, response and recovery efforts.
Data tracking for disease spread
Data is critical to understanding and managing a pandemic’s spread. We’re supporting efforts by La Fondation Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders) and Boston Children’s Hospital’s HealthMap with grants and Google.org Fellows to develop new epidemiological models to monitor the spread of COVID-19 and provide real-time information to governments and healthcare systems.
Supporting communities of colour who are being disproportionately affected
A team of Google.org Fellows worked full-time with the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine to help create a Health Equity Tracker to map and contextualize COVID-19 health disparities in communities of color throughout the U.S. We’ve also committed $5 million in grants to organisations addressing racial and geographic disparities in COVID-19 vaccinations, including Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and the CDC Foundation.
Economic relief and recovery
Millions of people around the world have been laid off and businesses have had to close their doors. These closures hit small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) hardest1 along with households that live paycheck to paycheck or rely on food assistance programs.
Direct cash assistance
Direct cash transfers are one of the most effective ways to give relief during a crisis.2 Through our £80 million commitment, we tripled our funding to organisations like GiveDirectly, Family Independence Initiative, and GiveIndia which get cash directly in the hands of families who need it most. In 2020, Google.org grantees provided emergency cash assistance to 149,000 people, 64% of which were women.
At the peak of COVID-19, more than a billion students were out of school.3 Teachers, parents, and schools responded through a massive shift to online education. We announced a £8 million Distance Learning Fund, to support organisations around the globe that help educators and parents access resources needed to provide high quality learning opportunities to children, particularly those from underserved communities.
Scaled global learning platforms
We gave an £800,000 grant to Khan Academy, who will reach over 18 million learners a month with new COVID-19-specific resources for parents and teachers in over 20 languages.
Local education efforts
We granted £2.2 million to INCO to accelerate grassroots nonprofits across Europe and Asia that support families of children who are at risk for severe learning disruption. INCO will distribute sub-grants and provide tailored coaching on high quality distance learning to parents.
Google.org grantees are rising to the challenge
Past Google.org grantees are using their resources and tools to help respond to COVID-19.
Triaging inbound outreach from the LGBTQ community with AI
When the COVID-19 pandemic began, Trevor Space registrations increased by 40% per week. Funding and full-time pro bono support from Google.org Fellows enabled The Trevor Project to develop AI-based queue triage methods. As a result, high risk text conversations have been answered significantly faster than before, with a 79% decrease in response times.
Using AI for fact checking
Full Fact is using an AI-based tool created with Google.org funding and improved features created with assistance from Google.org Fellows to provide fact checkers with the information they need to validate or disprove claims on the Internet. Full Fact is using this tool to prevent the spread of misinformation regarding COVID-19.
AI for parent-teacher communication
TalkingPoints has seen an engagement growth of 10-20 times previous rates since the start of COVID-19 on a tool created with full time Google.org Fellows, which enables AI-based translations to be used between parents and teachers.