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At Amazon, we are focused on leveraging our scale and assets for good to strengthen communities where our employees and customers live and work. We work side by side with community partners to find solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges and build long-term, innovative programmes that have a lasting, positive impact.

Community

Housing Equity
Amazon believes that all people should have access to housing they can afford.
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In January 2021, Amazon launched the Housing Equity Fund, a commitment of more than 2 billion USD to preserve and create more than 20,000 affordable homes in three communities where we have a high concentration of employees: Washington’s Puget Sound region; Washington, D.C., and Arlington, Virginia, metropolitan areas; and Nashville, Tennessee. Our first commitment included more than 380 million USD in below-market loans and grants to the Washington Housing Conservancy to preserve and create up to 1,300 affordable homes in Arlington, Virginia. Amazon has also committed more than 185 million USD in below-market loans and grants to King County Housing Authority to preserve up to 1,000 affordable homes in the Puget Sound area.
Amazon made additional donations in support of affordable housing in 2020. We donated $3 million USD to four legal service providers to help support families in need of pro-bono legal housing support in the Washington, D.C. and Arlington, Virginia, metropolitan areas. We also helped preserve home ownership for hundreds of residents in Nashville, Tennessee, with a $2.25 million USD donation to The Housing Fund. With this donation, The Housing Fund will make financial grants available to help ensure that families can keep their homes and maintain critical, long-term financial stability.
Amazon has also committed more than 130 million USD to our non-profit partners who are working to fight homelessness. In 2020, we opened the doors to a permanent eight-floor shelter inside an Amazon office building at our Puget Sound headquarters in partnership with Mary’s Place, a Seattle-based provider serving families experiencing homelessness. The shelter is the largest family shelter in the state of Washington, with space for 200 guests each night. The facility features an on-site health clinic, an industrial kitchen with the capacity to produce approximately 600,000 meals annually, recreation areas for children of all ages to play, and dedicated space for in-person and virtual pro bono legal support, resume reviews and online learning.
The Housing Equity Fund helps create inclusive housing developments and preserve existing housing through below-market loans and grants to non-traditional and traditional housing partners, public agencies and minority-led organisations.
"Amazon’s donation will help us keep more families in their homes, which is always our ultimate goal, because home ownership is the key to long-term wealth building. Across Middle Tennessee, there is a growing divide between wages and housing costs, forcing moderate-income families to make decisions about the future of their living conditions. For these families, these grants will be game-changing. We hope it spurs additional local partners to step up and donate because everyone benefits when more people can pay their bills."
Marshall Crawford
CEO, The Housing Fund
Amazon believes that no family should go without a way to address their basic needs. In 2020, Amazon made in-kind and cash donations equivalent to more than 20 million meals and 13 million essential items to non-profits, food banks and strategic partners. We also committed a total of 6.2 million USD through our Right Now Needs Fund, a flexible fund designed to meet the basic needs of schoolchildren and help eliminate barriers to learning. These funds have already provided support to more than 28,000 students with food, shelter, clothing, school supplies and hygiene items in the states of Washington and Virginia.
Operations Teams Deliver Basic Needs
In 2020, more than 26,000 Amazon operations employees and delivery partners identified needs in communities where they live and work, and Amazon donated 7.9 million USD to meet these community needs, benefiting 260 non-profit organisations and 1.6 million community members globally in Central Eastern Europe, Italy, France and the UK. Employees of our operations centres and delivery stations also delivered meals and essential supplies; hosted food, clothing and school-supply drives; and organised more than 1,000 events to support local community needs.
COVID-19 Community Response Efforts
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Amazon has helped customers, provided community relief and invested in cutting-edge research.

We distributed critical supplies to communities across the world, including 4.5 million masks, 1.03 million litres of hand sanitiser, 140,000 medical gowns, 124,000 face shields, 40,000 hygiene kits and thousands of contactless thermometers. To support food banks and community organisations, we donated delivery services of groceries and pre-packaged meals using our network of Amazon Flex Delivery and Delivery Service Partners. We delivered more than 12 million meals to seniors, underserved families and school children in communities across the US, the UK, Australia, Singapore and Spain. Amazon also delivered thousands of laptops and wireless devices on behalf of school districts to low-income students in order to support distance learning.

Amazon is leveraging our scale to get vaccines to people in need. We lent our support to the Biden administration in its effort to vaccinate 100 million people in the first 100 days of Biden’s presidency, vaccinating thousands of people through pop-up clinics at Amazon facilities in Washington, Virginia and Florida. We also developed a Pop-Up Vaccine Clinic Playbook to help other companies and organisations execute similar vaccination clinics.

In 2020, Amazon launched the Neighbourhood Small Business Relief Fund to provide cash grants and free rent to Seattle small businesses that needed assistance. Through this fund, Amazon disbursed 11 million USD in relief to more than 900 small businesses, supporting local jobs and helping small businesses confront the economic challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2020, we launched the AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative to accelerate COVID-19 research. The initiative supports AWS customers working on diagnostic solutions and improving collaboration across organisations solving similar problems. As part of this, Amazon committed an initial investment of 20 million USD to accelerate diagnostic research, innovation and development to speed our collective understanding and detection of COVID-19.

A new project led by Imperial College London and enabled by AWS is responding to the COVID-19 ‘infodemic’ with the creation of a global knowledge platform. The platform, known as Realtime Data Analysis and Synthesis (REDASA), pools global data on COVID-19 from over half a million sources and combines human curation with AWS machine learning services to perform deep data analysis. This helps the healthcare community find important insights in real time, make sense of the vast amounts of information pouring in, and develop plans to accelerate research and development.

AWS is supplying the International Organization for Migration (IOM) with advanced cloud technologies and technical expertise to accelerate its efforts to help migrants around the world stay safe during the COVID-19 crisis. We are developing a machine learning tool to help the IOM collect and analyse high volumes of COVID-19-related content from around the globe and to provide up-to-date information on border and travel restrictions. We are also helping the IOM proactively respond to the increasing volume of requests from migrants for information and help, enhancing a new website by integrating it with a multi-lingual cloud call centre and chatbot.

The AWS InCommunities team develops innovative, long-term initiatives to foster lasting impact around the world, specifically in communities where we build and operate our global infrastructure. In 2020, AWS InCommunities leveraged its global reach to better serve local communities tackling the spread of COVID-19, including in Umatilla, Oregon, where we worked to ensure that residents had access to basic needs. We collaborated with the Umatilla Electric Cooperative (UEC) and Hermiston Energy Services (HES) to support electricity relief for local residents who had applied to a payment assistance programme. We donated over half a million dollars to the communities that UEC and HES serve and helped pay utility bills for more than 1,000 families. ‘The effectiveness and reach of the payment assistance programme will be amplified by our collaboration with AWS,’ said Lisa McMeen, UEC’s VP of Administration. ‘With such uncertainty and hardship caused by the pandemic, it is great to work with trusted partners like AWS to keep our community operating at this time.’ We also worked with our partners in the region to provide meals, distance learning kits, laptops and Wi-Fi connectivity for school children and senior citizens.

Computer Science Education
At Amazon, we believe in the power of computer science to unleash creativity and unlock human potential. We also know that while talent and passion are spread across all young people, opportunity is not. We are dedicated to inspiring future builders, especially those from underrepresented and underserved communities. As part of our community focus, we work to increase access to high-quality computer science education.
  • Amazon Future Engineer
    Amazon Future Engineer is Amazon’s signature computer science education programme designed to inspire and educate millions of students from underserved communities across the globe, including hundreds of thousands of students in the US each year. Students explore computer science through school curriculum and project-based learning using code to make music, program robots and solve problems. Amazon Future Engineer also awards 100 students each year with four-year, 40,000 USD scholarships and paid internships at Amazon, and celebrates teachers with professional development and 25,000 USD Teacher of the Year Awards. Amazon Future Engineer is part of Amazon’s 50 million USD commitment to STEM and computer science education. In 2020, Amazon Future Engineer reached more than 5,000 schools and 600,000 students in the US. We also launched Amazon Future Engineer programming in the UK, France and Canada, reaching an additional 297,000 students with virtual online learning.
  • AWS Educate
    AWS Educate provides students and educators with online, self-paced cloud learning resources at no cost. Learners can complete any of our 12 cloud career pathways, explore hundreds of hours of content and earn credentials. AWS Educate is used in more than 200 countries and territories, and the programme engages more than 3,500 institutions, 10,000 educators and hundreds of thousands of students globally.
  • AWS Academy
    AWS Academy provides higher education institutions with a free, ready-to-teach cloud computing curriculum that prepares students to pursue industry-recognised certifications and in-demand cloud jobs. With free training and support from AWS, educators earn AWS Certification and teach the learning materials directly to students. To date, 1,500 AWS Academy Accredited Educators have delivered AWS Academy courses to more than 86,000 students worldwide.
  • Think Big Experience
    The AWS Think Big Experience encourages students to innovate and Think Big to solve real-world problems. To bring this to life, we have built physical Think Big Spaces and content for students around the globe. In 2020, the AWS Think Big Experience continued to provide access to science, technology, engineering, arts and maths (STEAM) education around the world when students had to move to virtual learning due to the pandemic.

    For example, in Mumbai, India, more than 1,600 students participated in the Think Big programme to continue STEAM learning with smartphones and traditional telephones we provided. Students completed 59 STEAM projects, competing in and winning online science competitions. We helped participating students learn virtually, providing data packages for more than 300 students’ phones and donating 430 tablets to students who had no access to devices. The region’s mobile Think Big Space on wheels regularly visits communities in order for small groups of students to continue their experiments safely.

    In the US, AWS Think Big Spaces in Ohio and Virginia provided online sessions with interactive distance-learning projects in technology, coding, artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide opportunities and resources for students interested in technology. Think Big Spaces also supported local teachers and staff participating with their classes, girls’ tech groups and clubs.
  • Girls' Tech Day
    Girls’ Tech Day is a workshop emphasising STEAM for school-age girls and young women – designed to inspire future builders, showcase tech careers and women in the technology workforce, and introduce girls in underserved areas to STEAM. In 2020, AWS Girls’ Tech Day went virtual, and 10,000 girls and young women interested in technology registered for programmes in machine learning, artificial intelligence, coding, virtual reality and robotics.
  • Cloud Computing Training
    In December 2020, Amazon announced a pledge to help 29 million people around the world grow their tech skills with free cloud computing skills training by 2025. To get to 29 million, we are expanding existing AWS-designed programmes and piloting new ones to meet emerging training needs. These programmes emphasise cloud computing training as the need for people with the right skills to take on cloud computing and other technical roles continues to grow. That need has become more apparent over the last year as schools, businesses and governments have relied on the cloud to keep their organisations running.
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Disaster Relief
Amazon’s disaster relief and response teams leverage our vast operational excellence, cloud computing technologies and worldwide logistics network to provide fast and effective support to worldwide operations addressing large-scale natural disasters. In 2020, we supported the response to 16 natural disasters in 12 countries and partnered with 53 non-profit service providers to enable critical support for front-line responders and survivors. Together with Amazon customers, we donated more than 22 million USD in products and cash to support people impacted by natural disasters around the world and first responders fighting those disasters. Donations included more than 12 million relief items, such as masks, bottled water, hygiene products, baby supplies, food and other essential items.
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