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Photo: Google

Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced Friday that his company is donating more than $800 million in cash and advertising to help stem the spread of the novel coronavirus and ease the impact on small businesses.

Why it matters: It would appear to be the largest donation yet from a tech giant. The ad credits also could help keep business flowing through Google's ad system amid what is expected to be a sharp downturn in advertising.

Details: The donation consists of:

  • $250 million in ad grants to help the World Health Organization (WHO) and more than 100 government agencies around the world provide information about the virus. That's up from $25 million announced last month. Google is also providing $20 million in ad grants to community organizations so they can provide information about relief funds and other resources for small businesses.
  • A $200 million investment fund that will help non-profits and financial institutions provide small businesses with access to capital. That's in addition to $15 million in cash grants already being provided by Google.org. the company's philanthropic arm.
  • $340 million in Google Ads credits available to all small and midsize businesses with active Google accounts over the past year. The credits can be used any time this year.
  • $20 million in Google Cloud credits for academic institutions and researchers to use Google's computing resources on COVID-19 related projects.
  • Financial support and know-how to help ramp up production of personal protective equipment and lifesaving medical devices. Google said it is working with longtime supplier and partner Magid Glove & Safety to produce 2-3 million face masks in the coming weeks that will be donated to the CDC Foundation.

Meanwhile: Apple on Friday announced a new website and app designed to help people easily find accurate information about the virus and determine if they should seek testing.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

Report: LGBTQ+ Afghans' lives "dramatically worsened" under Taliban rule

Taliban fighters in Kabul, Afghanistan, earlier this month. Photo: Mohd Rasfan/AFP via Getty Images

LGBTQ+ Afghans have been threatened, attacked and "faced an increasingly desperate situation and grave threats to their safety" since the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan last August, per a report published Wednesday.

What they're saying: "We spoke with LGBT Afghans who have survived gang rape, mob attacks, or have been hunted by their own family members who joined the Taliban, and they have no hope that state institutions will protect them," per a statement from study co-author J. Lester Feder.

4 hours ago - World

Canadian Indigenous group finds 93 suspected unmarked graves

A makeshift memorial honoring the 215 children whose remains were found in a mass grave in Brantford, Ontario, Canada, last May. Photo: Cole Burston/AFP via Getty Images

Indigenous leaders in Canada's western province of British Columbia said Tuesday they believe they've found 93 unmarked graves near a former boarding school.

The big picture: Hundreds of mass graves have been found at the grounds of former residential schools for Indigenous children since last May, when the remains of 215 children were uncovered at one such site in B.C.

6 hours ago - World

Coast Guard searches for 39 people after boat capsizes off Florida coast

A U.S. Coast Guard ship leaving its base in Miami Beach, Florida, in July. Photo: AP/Marta Lavandier

U.S. Coast Guard crews were searching into the night for 39 people whose boat sank off Florida's coast over the weekend after traveling from the Bahamas.

The big picture: A "good Samaritan" contacted the Coast Guard about 8 a.m. Tuesday to say they "rescued a man clinging to a capsized vessel" 45 miles east of Fort Pierce, per a tweet from the agency, which noted it was dealing with "a suspected human smuggling venture."

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