May 17 2021 08:33 AM

The funds will assist those in India and Brazil who are affected by the pandemic.

Deerfield, Illinois-based Caterpillar Inc. and the Caterpillar Foundation, the company’s philanthropic arm, announced a series of relief efforts to support countries struggling with a significant rise of COVID-19 cases.

As part of the Caterpillar Foundation’s ongoing response to COVID-19 and commitment to building stronger, more resilient communities, it is collaborating with partners and relief organizations to provide essential medical supplies and improve equitable access to vaccines.

“Supporting communities in need around the world aligns with the Caterpillar Foundation’s strategy and our company’s values,” says Jim Umpleby, Caterpillar chairman and CEO. “Through partnering with relief organizations, the generosity of our employees and the Foundation’s platform, we are helping fight the spread of COVID-19 and give front-line workers resources to act quickly and save lives.”

Currently, India is experiencing the world’s worst outbreak. The surge of COVID-19 cases has resulted in an overwhelmed healthcare system and shortage of oxygen throughout the country.

The Caterpillar Foundation is giving $1 million to help India’s health system deliver care to families and communities by funding medical equipment, including oxygen concentrators and oxygen plant optimization, as well as critical medical supplies across identified hot spot locations. In addition to the Foundation’s efforts, Caterpillar India is providing an initial contribution of $1.4 million, enabling an additional supply of oxygen, donating beds with ventilator support to hospitals, supporting vaccination drives and setting up temporary relief shelters. Independent Cat dealers are also contributing oxygen solutions to address the shortage.

In Brazil, the Foundation is donating $250,000 to help coordinate with local partners to deliver essential medical and basic service supplies to hospitals and communities to help combat the rising new cases and more than 400,000 deaths.

The Caterpillar Foundation, through its partnership with the UN Foundation and the WHO Foundation, is supporting the COVAX initiative to promote equitable access to COVID-19 vaccinations with a $500,000 gift. This partnership will help increase access to vaccines across the globe, including in India. Additionally, to continue the emergency relief work and address vaccine hesitancy, particularly among rural, Black and Hispanic communities in the United States, the Foundation is investing $250,000 to support the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative’s COVID-19 Vaccine Education Initiative, “It’s Up To You.” Representing one of the largest public education efforts in U.S. history, the effort is designed to reach multiple distinct audiences throughout the country, answering top questions and empowering Americans with the information they need to make informed decisions for themselves and their families about the COVID-19 vaccines.

In 2020, the Caterpillar Foundation also donated $10 million to support response efforts and help organizations that have been directly impacted by COVID-19.