ESSMART to support families & businesses across India amidst COVID-19
In April Swiss Re Group announced it was providing the Swiss Re Foundation with an additional CHF 5 million to fund COVID-19 relief efforts. Over the last two months, the Swiss Re Foundation has been in contact with its local and global partners to assess the business impact of the COVID-19 crisis.
We're happy to report back on how funds are being used and how we're making a collective impact. Here is one of the stories.
Swiss Re Foundation and India-based charity ESSMART partner to support families & businesses across India amidst COVID-19
Across India, countless lives and families have been impacted as a result of COVID-19. The impact has most especially affected those vulnerable rural communities that live far from the major cities and therefore do not have access to the essential products to survive. In response to this, ESSMART has positioned themselves as a distributor of essential goods to support and help rural local businesses and families survive during this period of economic distress.
ESSMART is an organisation that works for social good and creates systematic change within local and underserved communities. The rise of COVID-19 has caused a massive disruption not only in technology manufacturing, but also a shortage of essential products to low-income families and communities who cannot afford basic healthcare products. The impact of COVID-19 has also affected people's livelihoods and means of sustainable income. With the Swiss Re Foundation's donation, ESSMART can actively address these key challenges.
As part of ESSMART's COVID-19 specific relief efforts, they have also extended longer credit repayment terms to many of the local business and shops in these vulnerable communities. Many of the shop owners in ESSMART's network have faced reduced or no sales as a result of nationwide lockdowns and credit terms which dynamicly reacted to this reality have been crucial to helping rural shops endure and survive. ESSMART have supplied sprayers used for larger scale disinfection and though many supply chains have been disrupted, they have been able to secure agricultural products to shop owners in time for the upcoming growing seasons.
With the Swiss Re Foundation's support, ESSMART have purchased products that will help sustain these communities with their basic essential needs from medical, food supplies and even contributing to salary/wages to maintain some level of income. We should not lose sight that COVID-19 has not only impacted those that live in the large cities, but also those in these small rural areas. When we recognise the pandemic extends further into these small towns and provinces, the Foundation is confident in ESSMART's mission and that they have the resources and expertise to help save more lives.
"Thanks to the timely support from Swiss Re Foundation, we were able to restart the supply of essential technology products, especially in the agriculture and health sector, as soon as restrictions were lifted," said Prashanth Ventkataramana, CEO and Co-Founder of ESSMART. "We also restarted our own operations sustainably and kept our team together through this difficult time."
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