16 OCTOBER 2020

MSC Foundation among the first to help combat the effects of the pandemic

Focus area: Emergency Relief and Recovery

When the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern in January 2020, the Chinese government, health authorities and medical relief teams had already committed immense resources and energy to combating the virus. However, the scale of the challenge led to a demand-supply discrepancy in immediate medical necessities.

The MSC Foundation moved swiftly to support China's intensive commitment, liaising directly with Minister of Transport Li Xiaopeng to identify the most effective response. MSC Foundation consequently arranged for the immediate supply of 100,000 medical masks, with each box featuring the message of hope and solidarity - 同舟共济,共盼春回 or Joining hands in expectation of China’s speedy recovery. The entire initiative took less than ten days from start to finish, making it one of the earliest concrete acts of solidarity from outside China and the first by any shipping company. 

As the pandemic spread, MSC Foundation moved to provide equally prompt support for local and national initiatives across every continent, helping to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on disadvantaged groups such as refugees, forced displaced people, the elderly, children and unemployed heads of households. 

To date, the MSC Foundation has provided a total of 136,000 medical masks with a value of €165,000 and 50,600 kg of perishable goods with a value of €241,000, including 5,000 Easter gifts to hospital patients in Italy. It has donated 2 containers for relief goods storage in Costa Rica and loaned 10 containers free of charge for one month in Panama for the storage of relief supplies and provision of health information services. Moreover, it is now also providing cash assistance for vulnerable families to support workers’ families affected by the covid-19 pandemic – mainly unemployed people.

This extensive, prompt and effective support provided to help combat the pandemic and its effects worldwide is a powerful example of what the MSC Foundation is able to achieve through the global scale, synergies and close collaboration of the entire MSC Group.

The countries involved to date are Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Guinea, Italy, France, Madagascar, Portugal, Spain, Suriname and Switzerland.

Most recently, we handed over a sizable food donation with a value of €35,000, to the Government of The Bahamas via Urban Renewal centres. Individuals in need will be able to receive packages from the centers. 

In the coming months, we will provide free shipping to Mercy Ships of medical equipment for the Ministries of Health in Benin, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Madagascar, the Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, Senegal and Togo.

Our efforts to help nations and communities combat COVID-19 and its effects will continue for as long as the pandemic is a threat.