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Walmart, Flipkart pledge Rs 46 crore towards India’s COVID-19 efforts

Bengaluru, April 18 (IANS) In a bid to support Indias fight against COVID-19, retail giant Walmart, Flipkart and the Walmart Foundation on Saturday announced to provide Rs 46 crore worth help that will focus on personal protective equipment (PPEs) including N95 masks and medical gowns for medical staff, and other necessities for vulnerable communities.

Walmart and ecommerce player Flipkart will spend Rs 38.3 crore to bring in-kind donations into India to help with the front-line response efforts. The companies will focus on providing PPE, such as N95 masks and medical gowns, for distribution by non-government organizations (NGOs) to public healthcare workers, it said in a statement,

In addition, the Walmart Foundation is donating Rs 7.7 crore to non-profits Goonj and Srijan which are to be used to support the procurement of essential relief materials, such as food, medicine, and hygiene items, for distribution by the organizations to support farmers, rural communities, and the micro-businesses.

“Our customers and associates in India have been deeply impacted by Covid-19 and our hearts continue to be with them,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, executive vice president and chief sustainability officer for Walmart and president of the Walmart Foundation.

“In times like these, we all need to come together to support our communities and the efforts of healthcare workers, NGOs and government organizations. We are grateful to all those providing relief in India and we want to help,” McLaughlin added.

Walmart and Flipkart have already secured 300,000 N95 masks and 10 lakh medical gowns, and will continue to leverage their global supply chains to source these critical necessities for medical workers who stand at the frontline of the fight against the Covid-19 outbreak in India.

“The emergency relief efforts we are announcing today underscore our commitment to continuing to work with the private and public sector in India to respond to this unprecedented challenge,” said Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart Group.

While keeping supply lines open to ensure that Indian consumers have access to essential daily necessities, Walmart and Flipkart are also taking important steps to help protect public health and the safety of customers and associates as the Covid-19 situation continues to evolve.

These efforts include enhanced hygiene practices across the supply chain and delivery network, insurance and health benefits for workers, contactless deliveries where possible and supporting cashless payments.

After the government’s decision to allow non-essential items sale on e-commerce platforms from April 20, Flipkart has announced several measures to empower lakhs of sellers and SMBs on their marketplaces, as they began the exercise to chart the best route for resuming full operations.

Flipkart announced a three-month moratorium on existing loans, special offers on its growth capital programme and constant counsel and on-ground support for nearly 2 lakh sellers on its platform before resuming operations.

The etailer said that the seller support team is providing constant counsel and on-ground support to sellers on its platform to help them resume operations in a few days and help consumers in this time of need as they continue to stay indoors.

Flipkart has provided its sellers the flexibility of choosing to work or not work during the lockdown period, without any concerns of their performance metrics being hampered.




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