Smart Axiata finds first batch of grant recipients out of Smart’s 1 Million USD COVID-19 Relief Fund

In the light of the Covid-19 pandemic, citizens, NGOs and companies are coming up with different initiatives, searching for solutions to fight against the virus and to help their communities during its aftermath.

Smart Axiata announced today that it has begun disbursing funds from its 1 Million USD COVID-19 Relief Fund – with Institut Pasteur du Cambodge, Open Institute, Friends International and Southeastern Globe Communications being the first beneficiaries.

The first round of initiatives that were approved by the multi-stakeholder Evaluation Committee are:

1. Up to two months’ supply of test kits and Personal Protective Equipment for COVID-19 screening and diagnosis by molecular testing for thousands of patients (Institut Pasteur du Cambodge);

2. ChildSafe Agent program targeting marginalized individuals and communities across 7 provinces (Friends International);

3. COVID-19 Information and Engagement Platform hosting topical, career and educational content (Southeastern Globe Communications);

4. Online content development for the National eLearning Platform, with emphasis on Grade 12 students (Open Institute).

“The first four initiatives selected for funding are based on our focus areas for support: ICT for Education, Social Distancing, Crisis Management and Personal Hygiene. The applicants who we have pledged to fund share Smart’s commitment to assist Cambodia using technology, creativity and social empowerment to get through this pandemic together and hopefully return to a more normal life soon,” said Thomas Hundt, Chief Executive Officer of Smart Axiata.

Smart’s dedicated Fund, which was opened to receive applications last month, is over and above Smart’s annual CSR commitment of more than 1% of its revenue and aims to provide monetary assistance for high impact solutions to address Cambodia’s most urgent needs during and after the crisis.

Applications are still open for Smart’s COVID-19 Relief Fund and proposals can be submitted online based on a clear set of criteria here.

Submissions are reviewed thoroughly by an internal committee before being tabled to a joint Evaluation Committee comprising of Smart Axiata, Axiata Group and two independent Cambodian representatives. All approved projects are subject to strong internal governance which includes progress updates, measured impact commitments and clear expense tracking reports, as part of the necessary reporting requirements.

“We continue to seek for more applications from private sector companies, NGOs, startups as well as academic and government institutions in Cambodia on projects (both existing and new) that address the impact of COVID-19. Today’s announcement is the start of many more interesting initiatives that will be funded to support Cambodia during this unprecedented situation,” Thomas concluded.

For more information on the Smart Axiata COVID-19 Relief Fund, follow the ‘Smart for Cambodia’ Facebook page at www.facebook.com/smartforcambodia or visit www.smart.com.kh.