CSR funds from state-owned firms as well as private companies would help (the fight against coronavirus).
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (Indef) has appealed to national companies, particularly state-owned firms, to contribute their corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds to the fight against COVID-19.

"CSR funds from state-owned firms as well as private companies will help (the fight against coronavirus)," Indef researcher Rusli Abdullah said in Jakarta on Tuesday.

CSR funds may be used to provide free medical tests in regions, as part of efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19, he said.

"Companies can work with RT/RW (neighborhood associations/community units), in coordination with local administrations. The activity (free tests) may serve as an early precautionary measure against the spread of COVID-19," he said.

In addition, the funds can also be used to procure medical supplies, such as masks, which can also help check the spread of COVID-19 in Indonesia, he said.

"n the present scenrio, state-owned companies must stay at the forefront of efforts to help combat the spread of COVID-19," he said.

He added that CSR funds can also be used to augment food supplies, if the government resorts to lock down cities or the state. However, he expressed the hope that such an option would not be exercised.

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"We must take preventive measures against COVID-19 as quickly as possible so that it does not spread further. Companies must also play a role in containing the spread of COVID-19," he said.

The current COVID-19 outbreak will undoubtedly affect micro, small, and medium businesses (UMKM), he noted.

He suggested that banks, on their part, offer interest reductions to coronavirus-affected UMKMs, including business agents engaged in the tourism sector.(*

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Translator: Zubi Mahrofi/Suharto
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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