COVID update: helping those at risk

In the last issue of Swire News, we highlighted efforts by the group's Greater China businesses to support communities worst affected by COVID-19. In this edition, we look at a few of the initiatives taken by other Swire operating companies around the world. With the need to follow specific national and sometimes state requirements and guidelines, every company's experience has been different. But even while facing their own challenges, Swire companies have continued to address the needs of less fortunate sectors of the wider community.

The China Navigation Company
CNCo's Country Manager, Nithin Menon (left) hands over a cheque for 150,000 rupees (US$2,000) to volunteers from the Annapurna Movement.
CNCo's Country Manager, Nithin Menon (left) hands over a cheque for 150,000 rupees (US$2,000) to volunteers from the Annapurna Movement.
The group's oldest operational company, Singapore-headquartered, China Navigation ("CNCo"), has been one of the most proactive in supporting the communities it serves across the Asia-Pacific region, earmarking a total of US$50,000 to aid frontliners in the fight against COVID-19. In India, which has seen a spike in COVID cases to become one of the most affected countries globally, CNCo's Mumbai liaison office has been supporting the Annapurna Movement, a volunteer-led organisation tackling the virus-related hunger challenge faced by the daily-wage labourers who live in the city's shanties. Distributing thousands of cooked meals and grocery packages every day, the movement has provided a lifeline for underprivileged clusters of migrant workers across the metropolis. CNCo has also supported non-profit SEEDS – known for its work with some of the most remote and vulnerable communities in India – funding the purchase and distribution of personal protective equipment ("PPE") kits for frontline health workers in the city of Bangalore.

In Papua New Guinea, CNCo has donated funds to the Accident and Emergency department at ANGAU Hospital in Lae to purchase much-needed PPE for medical staff, including gloves and surgical masks, as well as pulse oximeters. In the nation's capital, Port Moresby, the General Hospital's Paediatric Department was severely under-resourced following the diversion of medical equipment to COVID care. CNCo has enabled the children's unit to purchase blood pressure sets, pulse oximeters, weighing scales, IV drop stands, digital thermometers, baby blankets and CPAP neonatal masks. The company has also funded handwashing stations at the Red Cross Society's Special Education Resource Centre for children with special needs in Port Moresby. Meanwhile, in Vanuatu, through local shipping agency, Tropical Agency Limited, CNCo has donated to Port Vila social enterprise, Mamma's Laef Vanuatu, which makes face masks, as well as reusable women's sanitary products.
United States Cold Storage
The USA has seen a rapid spread of the disease leading to a huge increase in unemployment and food insecurity. New Jersey-based United States Cold Storage ("USCS") has risen to these challenges by helping to maintain a safe and reliable food supply chain. The company has been providing essential distribution services to its food manufacturing customer base, as well as ensuring local communities have access to food. In March, USCS fully funded one month's operating expenses for a local food bank, enabling the charity to feed 90 families a week. By April, the company had developed a strategic plan to fund neighbourhood restaurants to prepare and deliver meals to needy families sheltering in place. By the end of June, USCS had provided over 2,000 meals through local businesses and had also teamed up with a restaurant to provide 130 meals to frontline healthcare staff at a local hospital, in order to show support and appreciation for their efforts. USCS has also partnered with a food manufacturer customer, facilitating deliveries of free meals to two local food banks in Florida and Dallas, as well as a daybreak centre in Illinois.
Swire Coca-Cola, USA facilitated the donation of bottled water to the Navajo Nation to combat the territory's water shortage during the coronavirus outbreak.
Swire Coca-Cola, USA facilitated the donation of bottled water to the Navajo Nation to combat the territory's water shortage during the coronavirus outbreak.
Swire Coca-Cola, USA
Swire Coca-Cola, USA has also rallied to show support to the communities it serves. The company has funded meals for children who have missed them due to school closures, distributed plastic sheeting to make PPE for healthcare workers, provided face masks and hand sanitiser, and donated bottled water and other beverages to healthcare workers and vulnerable communities across the 13 states where it operates. One of the largest consignments has been delivered to the Navajo Nation, which has been disproportionately hard-hit by COVID-19. In April, Swire Coca-Cola delivered 30,000 litres of Dasani Water and two pallets of Coca-Cola beverages to the community, with a second delivery of 36,000 litres of Dasani made in June. The Navajo Nation is a Native American territory covering about 71,000 km², where Swire Coca-Cola, USA is also supporting long-term tribal efforts to modernize irrigation systems through the Bonneville Environmental Foundation's work along the Colorado River. Additional donations of bottled water were made to the White Mountain Apaches and Hopi Nation communities in Arizona.
Learn more about SCC, USA's relief efforts.

Learn more about SCC, USA's relief efforts.
Finlays
The pandemic has also taken a savage toll in the UK, where Swire companies have found a range of ways to assist response efforts. International natural beverage supplier Finlays has been supporting the UK Government's nationwide care-package scheme, which provides essential supplies to individuals at high-risk, who have been isolating at home. Via its wholesale customer Brakes Foodservice, Finlays supplies tea for the packages, which have been a vital service for the elderly and vulnerable who have no other means of obtaining groceries.

Argent Energy
With many annual fundraising events cancelled because of the virus, UK charities are facing a funding crisis. Recognising this, staff at biodiesel producer, Argent Energy, took a creative approach to fundraising by undertaking gruelling 'lockdown' running and cycling challenges in their own gardens or neighbouring streets. Thanks to the generosity of their colleagues, matched by Argent, they have raised over £2,500 for NHS Charities Together, an association of charities that support Britain's National Health Service, its staff, volunteers and patients.
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