The aid will come in the form of cash, ad credits and cloud services from the California-based internet colossus, according to chief executive Sundar Pichai. Image: AFP/Lionel Bonaventure via AFP Relaxnews

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Google on Friday pledged $800 million worth of support for health organizations, researchers and businesses impacted by the crisis.

The aid will come in the form of cash, ad credits, and cloud services from the California-based internet colossus, according to chief executive Sundar Pichai.

Google will provide $250 million in ad grants to the World Health Organization and more than 100 other public agencies around the world providing information to stem the spread of the coronavirus, according to Pichai.

Some $340 million worth of free advertising will be made available to small- or medium-sized businesses in Google’s network that are taking financial hits as people stay home due to virus risk.

“We hope it will help to alleviate some of the cost of staying in touch with their customers,” Pichai said in a blog post.

A pool of $20 million world of credits for services hosted in the Google “cloud” will be available to researchers and academic institutions exploring ways to combat the deadly pandemic or that are tracking critical data about its spread.

Google will also match as much as $10,000 in donations its employees make to organizations in their communities this year, increasing the amount from $7,500.

“Together, we’ll continue to help our communities—including our businesses, educators, researchers and nonprofits—to navigate the challenges ahead,” Pichai said.

Google has been working with partners to ramp up production of protective gear such as face masks for healthcare providers.

Employees from Alphabet divisions including Google, Verily and X are also working with equipment makers to increase the production of ventilators needed to keep some COVID-19 sufferers alive, according to Pichai. CL /ra

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