The world is going through a crisis that will stand in collective memory. In an unstable environment, AXA has been fully mobilized since the outbreak of the pandemic to respond to two challenges: the health emergency, by protecting its employees and clients, and the economic and social emergency, by ensuring the continuity of a business that is essential to society. In line with our mission, and consistent with the actions taken by public authorities around the world, we are announcing today new commitments to reinforce the impact of initiatives already underway.
Our main priority during the last weeks has been to ensure the safety of all our employees everywhere, while adapting the way we work so that we can continue to serve our clients and networks in these difficult times.
I am extremely thankful to all our employees and partners who, in an unprecedented situation, through their actions and commitment have enabled AXA to fulfill its role of responsible actor in society, providing invaluable support to those on the front lines of this effort to fight the virus. This crisis confirms more than ever the importance of our role, which is to protect what really matters to society.
Supporting healthcare workers
In several markets we have provided additional support to healthcare workers, be it in Hong Kong, where we provided a 24-hour customer service hotline and a simplified service for AXA Medical Insurance, or in Belgium where our telemedicine services where extended to address our customer’s needs and to provide additional support to medical workers.
To go even further, we made significant donations to support the frontliners in hospitals. In Italy, we funded the purchase of additional equipment for the intensive care unit of the Luigi Sacco Hospital in Milan. In France we will be donating two million surgical masks, including 350,000 FFP2 masks to the French hospitals APHP. On top of it we will deliver 20 000 free meals to Paris hospital workers which will be delivered to their homes or directly to the hospitals by our partner in full compliance with hygiene and contact-less protocols.
At a time when intensive care units around the world are under increasing pressure, we have decided to partner with Fund 101, an organization that federates more than 1,200 intensive care units across 60 countries, to share and accelerate improvements in therapeutic protocols. This project will collect data from every intensive care patient for analysis by researchers and data scientists, in order to improve treatment protocols in real time and reduce mortality rates.
Bolstering scientific research
At the early stage of the crisis, our scientific philanthropy initiative, the AXA Research Fund was the first to support the COVID-19 Task Force launched by the Institut Pasteur. This world class research center, with 33 institutes in 25 countries, has been at the forefront of the fight against COVID19. The Task Force will help understand how the virus works and spreads and develop new diagnostic tools and treatments.
The AXA Research Fund will earmark a further 5 million euros of project funding to develop responses to infectious diseases and notably COVID-19, including post-crisis solutions building.
We have also decided to support a ground-breaking open research initiative the Open COVID-19 Initiative. Through a digital platform, it brings together engineers, practitioners, and researchers collaborating to design, test and provide efficient, low-cost emergency solutions in response to the pandemic such as medical equipment - masks and ventilators - for example.
Fostering economic rebound
In many countries, we have been supporting small companies and independent workers by maintaining coverage and guarantees even when the policyholder cannot make immediate premium payments.
We have extended guarantees for specific needs, such as the coverage of cyberattacks for companies, since most of their workers are working remotely, like we are.
AXA France has launched an AGIPI Solidarity Fund COVID-19 with 10 million euros to provide solidarity aid to its members in difficulty due to the pandemic. It will enable members to benefit from exceptional and immediate coverage, beyond the application of the general conditions of the policy, giving priority support to front-line healthcare personnel fighting the epidemic.
In France, AXA is also the biggest contributor to the government's small business emergency support fund (200m euros).
I would like to thank all of our employees and partners who, thanks to their actions and commitments, enable AXA to fulfill all of its operations in an unprecedented context and to provide valuable assistance to those who are fighting the virus on the frontline. More than ever, this crisis confirms what the Group has always worked for: protecting what matters most to society.