News Commits $2.5 Million to Help Scale up COVID-19 Response in Southeast Asia

A view in a vaccination center in Manila.
Google is working with governments, health authorities, and nonprofits as inoculation programs roll out. Photo credit: ADB

This article is published in collaboration with Google.

In many parts of Southeast Asia and beyond, the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic remains severe. More than 18 months after the virus first began spreading, high caseloads and new variants are putting pressure on health systems. It is a difficult time for people across the region, and heartbreaking for those who have lost loved ones.  

Vaccines offer a path to stability and recovery, and Google is working closely with governments, health authorities, and nonprofits as inoculation programs roll out. But there is also an urgent need for the equipment that health workers depend on as they battle the pandemic and care for patients on the front lines. 

Through our philanthropic arm,, we are announcing a new, $2.5 million grant to help UNICEF and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)—as well as partners on the ground—scale up the COVID-19 response in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Pakistan, Thailand, and Viet Nam. This will provide critical, life-saving support to the people who need it most.

In addition to funding this immediate medical response, will provide a further $5 million in ad grants so local government agencies and organizations like UNICEF can run public information campaigns—ensuring important health messages reach the widest possible audience.

The new funds are part of Google’s broader contribution to the response to COVID-19 across Asia-Pacific, including in Southeast Asia. In partnership with health authorities, we are sharing the latest health information and supporting news sources people can trust. We are also contributing in every way we can to Southeast Asia’s economic recovery, from providing small business owners and workers with digital skills training to fostering the next generation of startup founders. Through a separate grant, we are helping ASEAN, the Asia Foundation, and local nonprofits close digital divides in marginalized communities

And we continue to be humbled and inspired by the generosity of Googlers. Our global employee giving campaign—matched by and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance—has helped fully vaccinate more than 1 million people globally. Here in Southeast Asia, Googlers have donated $80,000 and counting for local nonprofits’ COVID-19 response efforts in Indonesia and Viet Nam.  

We are sending our best wishes for safety and wellbeing to everyone affected by the pandemic throughout the region. Looking ahead, we will keep standing with the communities we serve—and working with our partners to shape a sustainable recovery for the long term. 

This story was first published by Google on 29 July 2021.