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Press Release

GE Foundation Grants Help Communities in India Combat COVID-19

May 19, 2021

Boston, MA - May 19, 2021 – The GE Foundation today announced US$600,000 in COVID-19 Community Response Grants, which will provide critical funds to enable treatment of patients with COVID-19. A US$450,000 grant to United Way Bengaluru will support the build-out of 60 intensive treatment units (ITUs) at St. John’s Hospital in Bengaluru, which will provide intensive level nursing and oxygen for up to 600 patients each month and free up intensive care beds for critically ill COVID-19 patients. A US$150,000 grant to Americares will fund 100 oxygen concentrators to hospitals in need across Vadodara, Noida, Pune, Hyderabad, and Chennai. The oxygen concentrators and associated supplies will support approximately 2,500 patients over the next six months.

“The GE Foundation is proud to work with trusted partners in disaster response to help families in India facing unprecedented challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Linda Boff, President, GE Foundation, and Vice President, GE. 

“We believe that this grant will bring timely medical care to critically affected COVID-19 patients in India,” Mahesh Palashikar, President and CEO, GE South Asia.

“At this time of adversity in India where we are bearing the brunt of the brutal Covid second wave, it is important to have a balance between addressing immediate needs and medium to long term needs. I appreciate the response from GE Foundation wherein they have addressed both the needs.  The 60 bed ITU at St. John’s is a big step in the that direction,” said Rajesh Krishnan, Executive Director, United Way Bengaluru.

“The GE Foundation is among Americares’ most reliable and committed supporters, and thanks to their generous donation, our emergency response team in India will be better positioned to provide health facilities and COVID-19 treatment centers with the supplies they need to protect health workers and care for patients,” said Christine Squires, President and CEO, Americares.

Today’s announcement builds on a US$275,000 COVID-19 Community Response Grant made in late 2020 to the United Way India, which supported the organization’s “Hungry No More” initiative. The program set up kiosks to distribute more than 18,000 food kits to migrant workers and families in five cities -- Vadodara, Pune, Noida, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad. The 7-10-day dry ration food kits helped an estimated 90,000 people, reducing hunger and stress in these areas.

Throughout the pandemic, GE has supported communities across India. Recent community initiatives include working with state governments to implement smart kiosks in Noida, Gurugram, Lucknow, Agra, Varanasi, Panaji, and Bengaluru for random population-based screening of COVID-19. These walk-in sample collection kiosks helped eliminate contact between healthcare workers and suspected patients. In addition, GE Volunteers worked with United Way India to distribute ration kits in Karnataka, Telangana, and Gujarat.

About United Way Bengaluru

UWBe, part of United Way Worldwide is an NGO, focused on social issues that seek immediate attention. The chapter catalyzes unified efforts from corporates, civic bodies and citizen associations to bring about visible change. We work in four key areas – Environment, Education, Healthcare and Livelihood. Our three flagship campaigns serve important purposes: ‘Wake the Lake’ works to protect Bengaluru’s lakes, ‘Born Learning’ helps provide nutrition and education to very young children and ‘Rural Rising’ aims to develop and empower the rural communities. Besides, volunteering is yet another key area that inculcates a sense of social responsibility amongst the citizens.

About Americares

Americares is a health-focused relief and development organization that saves lives and improves health for people affected by poverty or disaster. Each year, Americares reaches 90 countries on average, including the United States, with life-changing health programs, medicine, medical supplies and emergency aid. Americares is the world’s leading nonprofit provider of donated medicine and medical supplies. For more information, visit

About GE Foundation

GE Foundation, an independent charitable organization funded by GE, is committed to transforming our communities and shaping the diverse workforce of tomorrow by leveraging the power of GE. GE Foundation is developing skills by bringing innovative learning in community health globally and STEM education, scaling what works, and building sustainable solutions. GE Foundation is inspiring others to act by connecting GE people with communities through matching gifts, leading on emerging issues such as the opiate crisis, and convening community leaders to maximize our impact. Learn more at or follow the us on Twitter at @GE_Foundation.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Jeff Caywood
Director, Sustainability & Headquarters Communications
+1 857 337 4101
+1 617 443 2993
[email protected]
Gayatri Rath
Communications, South Asia
+91 98736 91843
[email protected]
Diana Maquire
[email protected]
Rajesh Krishnan
United Way Bengaluru
[email protected]

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