The Visa Foundation announced last week its approval of $8.8 million of its $10 million in COVID-19 relief grants to organizations supporting the frontline response to the global pandemic and providing critical services for vulnerable households such as public health and food relief. In Pakistan, $200,000 has been granted to Akhuwat to support their COVID-19 Relief Programme and provide meals and rations bags to the most affected families. In Pakistan, the ongoing COVID-19 related pandemic and the resulting economic activity lockdown has placed an immense strain on local communities causing food insecurity and increasing poverty. The grant to Akhuwat aims to extend their efforts in providing much needed support to food relief programs in the country. This grant is part of the Visa Foundation’s previously announced $210 million global commitment, with $10 million in COVID-19 relief focused on the emergency needs announced last week for organizations worldwide and another $200 million to address longer-term needs of the small and micro businesses over the next five years.“The COVID-19 pandemic is creating unprecedented challenges on the communities in Pakistan,” said Kamil Khan, Visa’s Country Manager for Pakistan. “We’re grateful for the mission-critical services Akhuwat is delivering.” “We’re grateful for the amazing work humanitarian assistance organizations are providing to communities around the world affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, “said Graham MacMillan, president of the Visa Foundation. “The Visa Foundation is proud to offer these grants to support these organizations’ mission-critical work during these perilous times.”The forthcoming 5-year $200 million programme will support small and micro businesses, with a focus on fostering women’s economic advancement, both of which will be critical to long-term economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. This commitment expands the Visa Foundation’s long-standing support for small and micro businesses globally. Additional information on the Foundation’s grant and investment strategy will be shared in the coming months.