Retail giant Walmart on Friday announced that it will donate up to 20 oxygen-generating plants and 20 cryogenic containers for oxygen storage and transportation to India, as well as more than 3,000 oxygen concentrators and 500 oxygen cylinders for delivering oxygen therapy to patients at home or in hospital.
These are being sourced globally and will be donated to hospitals and NGOs in India for distribution as the country gasps for oxygen amid the lethal second Covid wave.
Walmart, the Walmart Foundation, Flipkart and PhonePe, along with Walmart's Global Technology and Sourcing hubs, are collaborating to counter oxygen shortages.
"Walmart is a global family. We feel the impact of this devastating surge on our associates, families and friends across India, and it's important that we come together to support however we can," said Doug McMillon, President and CEO of Walmart.
"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," he said in a statement.
Walmart, Flipkart and PhonePe continue to step up efforts to encourage COVID-19 vaccination, including setting up on-site vaccination clinics, at no cost, for associates and their households, as well as Flipkart and PhonePe's full-time contractors and delivery workers - more than 200,000 people.
"We and our colleagues at PhonePe are committed to doing our bit to help people in this challenging time, leveraging our logistics capabilities and mobilizing resources towards the most critical needs of patients and healthcare professionals," said Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO of Flipkart.
Extending these efforts, the Walmart Foundation is donating Rs 148.2 million to support various NGOs in India.
A total of about Rs 74.1 million will be allocated through the Walmart Foundation Disaster Relief Fund, a donor advised fund, 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 other Rs 74.1 million will be allocated to GIVE Foundation Inc to support GiveIndia's COVID response fund, which will support physical infrastructure and equipment for the medical sector in India, prioritizing the most impacted and vulnerable communities, Walmart said.
Flipkart is also partnering with GiveIndia to raise funds to provide critical medical supplies such as oxygen, PPE kits, hand sanitizers and other essentials at COVID-19 centres, charitable hospitals and for healthcare workers in Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru.
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.