COVID-19 Global Response

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COVID-19 Global Response

Last Updated: July 16, 2020

 

In March 2020, MetLife Foundation committed to donating $25 million toward the global response to COVID-19 in support of communities impacted by the pandemic. The grant funding will span all regions where MetLife operates, and will address both short- and longer-term relief efforts.

“Supporting and protecting people is at the core of who we are and what MetLife stands for – in our business and in the Foundation’s giving,” said MetLife President and CEO Michel Khalaf. “MetLife Foundation is directing its resources to those most impacted by coronavirus. The communities where we work and live have never needed our support more, and we’re going to do everything we can to help.” 

Initial grants will support communities and people with urgent needs for food, healthcare, and direct financial support. MetLife Foundation also stands by its existing partners on the frontlines of helping low-income people and small businesses build financial health, helping them respond quickly to emerging needs.

United States

MetLife Foundation and MetLife employees have donated more than $2.5 million, almost half of which supported U.S. food banks to help them deal with increased demand for their services as a result of COVID-19.

In New York City, the Foundation provided a total of more than $1 million in grants to organizations including Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, Children’s Health Fund, Hot Bread Kitchen, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, and Neighborhood Housing Services of NYC. These organizations’ efforts have helped families and businesses with expenses such as rent, healthcare, childcare, transportation, and food supplies, as well as access to technology for remote education and financial counseling.

A financial coaching client from Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation.

Nationally, the Foundation contributed $425,000 to SaverLife, a nonprofit fintech to give cash support to around 800 SaverLife clients facing economic instability as a result of COVID-19.

“With MetLife Foundation’s support and by leveraging our existing technology, SaverLife is uniquely poised to provide effective and rapid economic support to working families facing unprecedented financial uncertainty.” – Leigh Phillips, CEO, SaverLife

Asia

In Asia, MetLife Foundation has committed more than $2.3 million across 10 countries to support immediate healthcare needs, as well as to provide food supplies and meet other financial needs for low-income families most affected by the pandemic.

MetLife Foundation responded rapidly in January 2020 during the early days of the pandemic. In partnership with MetLife China, the Foundation donated approximately $450,000 to the Chinese Red Cross for reconstructing Dabie Mountain Regional Medical Center and providing essential supplies to frontline healthcare workers in Hubei Province. The Foundation also provided $300,000 to Henghui Children’s Charity Foundation (HCCF) cover educational expenses for more than 50 children who lost a parent in the fight against the pandemic.

To help address a nationwide shortage of facemasks, MetLife Korea employees, agents, customers, and family members participated in a volunteer-from-home event organized by MetLife Korea Foundation. The volunteers assembled 2,000 kits providing facemasks and sanitizers for senior citizens living alone.

“Since the outbreak of COVID-19, many frontline workers in China sacrificed themselves to save others’ lives, which left many children without a parent. In addition to the psychological trauma to those children, they will also face many hardships in the future, such as financial difficulties for education and single parents’ unable to give them adequate and appropriate psychological care especially as the single parents are still in great grief. The funds from MetLife Foundation will allow us to provide growth and education funds to those families to ease their financial burden of and ensure the children can receive a good education.” – Xia Chunwei, Secretary General, HCCF.

MetLife China Volunteers providing medical supplies to local community centers
MetLife China Volunteers providing medical supplies to local community centers.

To help address a nationwide shortage of facemasks, MetLife Korea employees, agents, customers, and family members participated in a volunteer-from-home event organized by MetLife Korea Foundation. The volunteers assembled 2,000 kits - providing facemasks and sanitizers for senior citizens living alone.

MetLife Korea volunteers create kits for senior citizens.
MetLife Korea volunteers create kits for senior citizens.

MetLife Foundation donated $1 million to Nippon Foundation to support around 6,800 nurses and caregivers in hospitals and homecare nursing centers across Japan. The donation has helped maintain a safe work environment through the distribution of masks, sanitizers, and other personal protective equipment. The program has also focused on ensuring that nurses and caregivers had the broader support they needed to continue working.

MetLife Foundation also supported leading organizations in India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Malaysia, Australia and Singapore by providing critical support for immediate healthcare needs, as well as food and cash assistance to low-income families most affected by the pandemic.

MetLife Korea volunteers create kits for senior citizens.
A family from the state of Bihar in India receiving cash transfer using biometric technology.

Latin America

MetLife Foundation contributed $450,000 toward the COVID-19 response in Chile. Rapid antibody identification tests can play a key role in limiting the spread of COVID-19. In May, MetLife Foundation donated 14,400 rapid tests which at the time represented about 20 percent of Chile’s stock of such tests. The test will be used to assist senior care residents and staff to control and understand the disease.  Additionally, 1,700 senior citizens throughout the country were provided technology resources and access to services ensuring that their needs were met while maintaining physical distancing.

In partnership with TECHO, MetLife Foundation provided immediate relief for low-income communities in Colombia, Mexico, and Uruguay. In Colombia, funding helped provide the community of El Chontaduro access to quality health services by improving infrastructure and setting up sanitary installations to prevent the spread of disease. In Mexico, funding supported the installation of 32 water collection systems in Mexico City and Toluca, enabling more than 150 people to access water and improve water management for families. In Uruguay, funding provided vulnerable families with emergency hygiene kits.

MetLife Foundation joined forces with Habitat for Humanity in Brazil to donate essential materials to combat COVID-19 for about 2,000 families.  The aid reached more than 20 communities in the states of Bahia, Ceará, Goiás, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, Paraná and São Paulo.

Additionally, Fundación MetLife Mexico donated more than $1.8 million to support 15 states in Mexico, providing vital medical supplies and equipment to nine local hospitals and hygiene kits and materials to low-income communities. Funding also supported the development of a national hotline for mental health.

Fundación MetLife Mexico donated more than $1.8 million to support 15 states in Mexico
Fundación MetLife Mexico donated more than $1.8 million to support 15 states in Mexico.

EMEA

MetLife Foundation committed $600,000 to COVID-19 response initiatives across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In Italy, donations added beds and supplies to Milan’s Buzzi Hospital and other hospitals in the hard-hit Lombardy region. In Spain, the Foundation helped Madrid’s Hospital Universitario La Paz provide personal protective equipment for staff and patients. In France, the Foundation gave equipment and other assistance to the Fondation des Hôpitaux de Paris, which supports public hospitals. The Foundation also supported health care response in Cyprus, Ireland, Poland, Romania, Jordan and Lebanon.

In Bulgaria and Hungary, MetLife Foundation contributions responded to the changed educational environment to ensure that both teachers and students had the support they needed to adapt to digital learning.

MetLife Foundation partnered with organizations in Greece, Egypt and the UK to ensure that vulnerable populations were able to meet their basic needs. In Greece, the Foundation worked with Demos to provide nutrition, medical equipment and other supplies for six senior care homes. The Foundation also supported local food banks responding to increased demand in Egypt and the Brighton area of the UK.

  

Over time, the Foundation will closely monitor the global landscape for opportunities to deploy the remaining funds where they can make the biggest difference in helping people recover from the pandemic.