As the World responds to the ongoing health emergency of Covid-19, infrastructure investors are stepping up to meet the challenge, providing much needed assistance, relief and support to their employees, customers, supply chains and communities.
“We have seen many great examples of support for communities through the provision of much needed medical equipment, use of facilities for medical testing operations and production of critical supplies, significant financial contributions and flexible payment terms for customers,” said Jon Phillips, GIIA’s Director of Corporate Affairs.
With already constrained Government budgets rightly focusing on the enormity of the health emergency caused by the virus, the private sector will have a vital role to play in the economic recovery efforts that will surely follow. GIIA is in active dialogue with policy makers in the key markets in order to position the role of private investment in infrastructure as a fundamental element of their economic recovery plans and a vital part of that story is to be able to demonstrate the highest principles of responsible asset stewardship and corporate social responsibility.
GIIA has collected examples from around the world to illustrate the extent of the support our members have provided, including:
To combat the corona pandemic and its socio-economic impact, APG on behalf of its pension fund clients has invested nearly €90 million in Covid-19 response bonds, earmarked for financing of a range of emergency measures, including expansion of healthcare services, and support to SMEs. These bonds can also provide for financial help to local governments and medical equipment and healthcare companies facing unprecedented demand due to the pandemic.
Aviva is donating £5m to NHS Charities Together, to support the welfare and wellbeing for NHS employees, volunteers and patients, assist patients leaving hospital and help fund long-term mental health support for NHS workers. The firm is also donating £10m to the British Red Cross, as well as supplying surplus stock of hand sanitisers, rubber gloves, antiseptic wipe pod refills and face masks to key worker organisations and charities.
British Columbia Investment Management Corporation
BCI contributed C$75,000 to the Rapid Relief Fund created by the Victoria foundation, which aims to support residents in Greater Victoria throughout the Covid-19 crisis. BCI staff also made individual donations, while the executive management team contributed an additional C$50,000.
Blackstone is contributing US $15m to Covid-19 relief efforts in New York. $10 million will go to the New York State COVID-19 First Responders Fund, which will deploy emergency aid and resources where they are needed most. The fund will also support food, transportation and housing assistance for healthcare workers on the frontlines of the fight against the Covid-19 outbreak.
CDPQ is also donating CA$300,000 among 5 selected charities while also deploying its financial and operational expertise to help companies in developing and structuring innovative financial solutions.
Yorkshire Water has made a commitment not to use the Government’s furlough scheme for any of its employees and will retain all staff during the Covid-19 pandemic. Yorkshire Water is also continuing to offer support to customers who are facing financial difficulties as a result of the crisis, including special tariffs and payment holidays.
Credit Suisse is offering bridging loan solutions and access to credit for SMEs in Switzerland to help stave off the economic effects of Covid-19. The loan conditions are extremely favourable and there is no aim to earn income but any net profits will be donated to projects to support other Swiss companies.
DWS have donated EUR 1 million to various charities and foodbanks across Italy, Spain, the UK, Germany and the US. They have also set up part of their website for other donations as part of a collective effort to fight Covid-19.
Goldman Sachs has pledged US $25 million as part of the Goldman Sachs Covid-19 Relief Fund to support communities in most urgent need globally, with the firm contributing to match employee donations up to an additional $5 million. $1 million of this is being deployed to Barts Charity, which funds Barts Health NHS Trust, the organisation behind the new NHS Nightingale Hospital at the ExCeL convention centre in East London.
IFC Asset Management
IFC is increasing the amount of financing for companies to help fight the outbreak. IFC’s Board of Directors on Tuesday approved an additional $2 billion in fast-track financing, bringing the total to $8 billion in support to help sustain economies and protect jobs.
IFM is demonstrating its appreciation of healthcare workers on the front-line of the Covid-19 pandemic and supporting local restaurants in the process. It is buying food from restaurants, such as Outback Steakhouse, which is delivered to frontline healthcare workers. They are also delivering to locations such as Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to keep up morale for frontline staff.
KKR & Co. has created a $50 million fund dedicated to supporting frontline workers and mitigating the financial hardship created by the pandemic. The fund will be used to help first responders and health workers, and in various financial relief efforts aimed workers and small businesses in the communities where it invests.
Macquarie Group is allocating $A20 million in charitable donations to the Macquarie Group Foundation to support a select number of non-profit organisations working to combat Covid-19 and provide relief to affected communities. The first organisation to receive $A2 million of the allocated funds will be The Global Foodbanking Network, which is providing vital hunger relief to vulnerable populations in places of active Covid-19 outbreaks around the world.
Fraport Greece and Copelouzos Group are actively participating in the Covid-19 support effort by donating 500,000 surgical facemasks in support of the health system with needed medical supplies. Management and staff of the two organizations have thanked all the health sector and civil protection employees for their service and contribution to their communities.
In March, Morgan Stanley announced a $10 million cash commitment in aid to support Coronavirus relief efforts. Funding will support critical frontline medical responders globally as well as community providers serving those economically impacted by the crisis. The first three grants of $2 million each were announced for Feeding America, the CDC Foundation, and the World Health Organization’s Covid-19 Solidarity Health Fund.
PGGM has invested more than €20 million in the Nordic Investment Bank’s €1 billion Response Bond with proceeds of the bond helping to finance projects that help alleviate the social and economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic in NIB’s eight member countries: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden.
Nortegas, a natural gas distribution company in Spain which Swiss Life has a stake in, have donated the equivalent of 52 tonnes of food to regional food banks in Spain while also extending payment terms to customers and small businesses.