Italian companies rush to provide funds for virus emergency
MILAN – Italy’s biggest insurer, Generali, on Friday joined a growing number of companies that have rushed to provide funds to hospitals and non-profit organizations to fight the coronavirus crisis.
Italy has been hardest hit by the outbreak in Europe, with 15,113 confirmed cases and more than 1,000 dead, and the emergency is straining the national health system.
Generali said it would create a fund of up to 100 million euros ($112 million) to help Italy and other countries where the insurer operates that are facing the coronavirus emergency.
Initially, up to 30 million euros will be available to help with the emergency in Italy, Generali said.
“Generali is strongly committed to support the communities around us, especially the hardest-hit,” Chief Executive Philippe Donnet said.
Italy’s biggest bank, UniCredit, which has already donated 2 million euros to the Civil Protection Agency, said it had set up an employee fundraising initiative to support three Italian hospitals.
The bank’s UniCredit Foundation will contribute 10 euros for each euro donated by employees up to a total of 1 million euros.
Italy’s top retail bank, Intesa Sanpaolo, has said it is ready to donate up to 100 million euros to Italy to tackle the outbreak and grant up to 5 billion euros in loans to companies affected by it.
Italian gas infrastructure group Snam earmarked 20 million euros for the Italian health system and non-profit organizations.
Designer Giorgio Armani has donated 1.25 million euros to four hospitals and the national Civil Protection Agency, while Edizione holding, which runs clothing retailer Benetton, has earmarked 3 million euros to help tackle the crisis in Italy.
Credito Fondiario, owned by U.S. fund Elliott, has donated part of the budget for events it was forced to cancel due the coronavirus outbreak to Milan’s Sacco hospital.
Italian gas operator Italgas said it would donate money to three hospitals in Turin, Milan and Padua.
Cariverona, Cariparo and CariFirenze are among Italian banking foundations which are financially supporting healthcare facilities and research projects of hospitals and universities.
(Reporting by Gianluca Semeraro; Additional reporting by Valentina Za; Editing by Giles Elgood)
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