UNICEF and GRAB protecting frontline health workers and children against COVID-19 in East Asia

10 June 2020
Thailand Grab
UNICEF Thailand/Thomas

BANGKOK, Wednesday, 10 June 2020: Grab, Southeast’s Asia’s leading super app, and UNICEF have joined forces today in East Asia to provide much needed personal protective equipment and health supplies for frontline health workers battling the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as providing handwashing supplies to keep children safe in schools. 

Covering four countries in the region, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand, Grab users can make in-app donations that will help UNICEF purchase lifesaving supplies such as masks, gloves, soap, tents and gowns for healthcare heroes and children returning to schools, which lack basic sanitation.

“COVID-19 is a threat to people everywhere. The virus has not impacted everyone equally. The oldest, the poorest, and the youngest have been the hardest hit by the pandemic. Without additional investment in children and the support of partners like Grab, we risk losing achievements that have seen ever more children survive and thrive. Schools need to reopen safely as the longer children stay out of school, the less likely they are to return,” said UNICEF’s Regional Director for East Asia and Pacific, Karin Hulshof.

“Together, we can make sure children and families recover, rebound and reimagine a stronger future. We must stop COVID-19 from becoming a lasting crisis for children”

Grab users can donate money via the GrabPay e-wallet or donate their Grab Rewards points to support UNICEF’s efforts to deliver essential supplies where they are needed most. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic poses a test for our generation like none we have seen. Our users, driver and delivery-partners, and merchant-partners have all been impacted,” Huey Tyng Ooi, Head of GrabPay.

“But we are also seeing increasing e-wallet usage due to safety and hygiene concerns around the use of cash. More and more people are going digital, and we are confident that many Grab users will be encouraged to support our vulnerable communities in ways that they can, either via e-wallet donations or their Rewards points.”

Since early January 2020, UNICEF in the region has been working closely with governments and its partners to stop the spread of COVID-19, keep children at the heart of its response and to mitigate the long-term impact of the pandemic on children. UNICEF has provided public health information to people on how to protect themselves, particularly focusing on children, pregnant and breastfeeding women. UNICEF has provided critical medical supplies, including masks and other personal protective equipment to health workers. UNICEF is also making sure that children and their families have access to safe water and sanitation services, and hygiene supplies.

Partnering with companies like Grab helps UNICEF raise awareness about COVID-19 and its impact on children to the millions of Grab users in the region, and to generate much needed funding. Globally, UNICEF is appealing for US$1.6 billion to support its humanitarian response for children impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In East Asia and Pacific, UNICEF requires over US$137.2 million to fund its response.

This initiative is part of UNICEF’s #Reimagine global campaign to task the global community to #Reimagine a better world for children post COVID-19.


Notes to editors:

About Grab

Grab is the leading super app in Southeast Asia, providing everyday services that matter most to consumers. Today, the Grab app has been downloaded onto over 188 million mobile devices, giving users access to over 9 million drivers, merchants and agents. Grab offers the widest range of on-demand transport services in the region, in addition to food and package delivery services, digital payments and financial services across 339 cities in eight countries. For more information, check http://www.grab.com


UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children visit www.unicef.org/eap

For further information, please contact:

Vineet Recriwal, Omnicom Public Relations Group, vineet.recriwal@omnicomprgroup.com

Shima Islam, UNICEF East Asia and Pacific, Tel: Office: +66 (0) 2 356 9407, ssislam@unicef.org  

Media contacts

Shima Islam
Regional Communication Specialist
UNICEF East Asia and the Pacific
Tel: +66 (0)23569407


UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF East Asia & Pacific and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/eap

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