Sony announced today it’s donating $US10 ($16) million to the World Health Organisation’s Solidarity Response Fund aimed at fighting the ongoing Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic as part of the company’s new $US100 ($165) million relief effort.
“Through this fund, Sony will provide support in three areas: assistance for those individuals engaged in frontline medical and first responder efforts to fight the virus, support for children and educators who must now work remotely, and support for members of the creative community in the entertainment industry, which has been greatly impacted by the spread of the virus,” the company announced in a press release on its website.
While the first $US10 ($16) million will go directly to supporting the global effort currently being coordinated by the WHO, the larger portion will be allocated to efforts to support remote education and supporting artists across film, television, music, and games who have been impacted by postponements, cancellations, or shutdowns related to the ongoing pandemic. Sony didn’t share details of how this part of the fund will be structured, but said employees who wish to donate to it will have their additional contributions matched by the company.
Other companies have also recently announced similar relief efforts. Rockstar Games has stated that 5% of all revenue from in-game purchases in GTA Online and Red Dead Online for the next two months will go to Covid-19 relief efforts. Likewise Microsoft announced all proceeds from a new $US10 ($16) “Relief and Recovery” REQ pack in Halo 5 will be donated to the Global Giving Coronavirus Relief Fund. And last week Nintendo donated 9,500 N95 respirator masks to local responders in North Bend, Washington. Companies like Ubisoft, CD Projekt Red, and Riot Games, meanwhile, have donated money directly.
According to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Centre, there are over 950,000 confirmed cases of infection globally, 216,000 of which are in the US where yesterday alone an estimated 1,000 people died as a result of the ongoing pandemic.