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The next round of recipients from Smart Axiata’s 1 Million USD COVID-19 Relief Fund were announced – with Save the Children, East Meets West Foundation, Bayon Education and Development, Young Entrepreneurs Association of Cambodia and Impact Hub Phnom Penh named as the latest beneficiaries from the Fund.

“While we connect millions of people daily with each other and the Internet, we recognize the immense responsibility we have to play in helping the Kingdom as well as various sectors and communities recover from the significant impact COVID-19 has caused,” said Thomas Hundt, Chief Executive Officer of Smart Axiata.

“This group of beneficiaries were primarily chosen after taking heed of various calls to support rural society who may not be able to fully leverage the online education initiatives by the Royal Government, and also the much-needed targeted support for the startup community as well as micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) which are greatly impacted from this crisis,” Thomas added.

In line with the strong governance structure of the Fund, the next batch of submissions were reviewed thoroughly by an internal committee before being tabled to a joint Evaluation Committee comprising Smart Axiata, Axiata Group and two independent Cambodian representatives. The initiatives that were approved by the multi-stakeholder Evaluation Committee are:

1. Guided virtual learning program targeting school children at 15 remote communities in Kampong Cham by Save the Children;

2. Personal hygiene awareness program including ‘mobile tap solutions’ at 5 provinces by East Meets West Foundation;

3. Online vocational training for vulnerable dropouts at Siem Reap by Bayon Education and Development;

4. Access to Finance Program for MSMEs by Young Entrepreneurs Association of Cambodia; and

5. Online Startup Resiliency awareness program by Impact Hub Phnom Penh

Smart’s dedicated Fund, which started to receive applications in April, is over and above Smart’s annual CSR commitment of more than 1% of its revenue. Applications are still open for Smart’s COVID-19 Relief Fund and proposals that are in line with the Fund’s priority areas – ICT for Education, Social Distancing, Crisis Management and Personal Hygiene – can be submitted online via:

“As of today, more than half of the Fund has been committed to 9 projects to help Cambodia cope with the impact of COVID-19. We hope being able to discover more high impact projects that address Cambodia’s urgent needs although we have observed a tapered trend in COVID-19 cases here. None of us knows when the crisis will end, but we can in solidarity help rebuild our economy and get through this together!” Thomas concluded.

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