Google has launched an Arabic-language coronavirus (COVID-19) microsite, as part of its efforts to help individuals, educators, businesses and relief efforts across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
The site, launched on Sunday is divided into four main parts, covering Health Information, safety & protection tips, Google resources, and additional content.
This follows on from other products and initiatives designed to help people access reliable information, such as the SOS alerts on Search. It also includes the Do the Five campaign with the World Health Organization (WHO), to raise awareness about prevention measures. The site includes ongoing Doodles which thank medical staff, grocery workers, and emergency responders as they continue working throughout the pandemic.
Enabling educational productivity
Google has also launched the Arabic-language “Teach From Home” site, which contains tips, training and tools from Google for Education. The site is designed to help educators teach remotely. YouTube launched an all-Arabic educational hub, called YouTube Dorosi, for students. It acts as a library of hundreds of classes based on official government curricula from across the MENA region
Google has also moved its face-to-face training for digital skills, Maharat min Google, to virtual sessions accessible via YouTube and Google Meet, a video conferencing app available on G Suite. To developers who want to continue learning about machine learning, quantum computing and other related topics, Google is running Digital Days, a series of live sessions moderated by MENA’s Google Developer Groups (GDG).
Small and medium businesses
Last week, Google announced $340m in Google Ads credits would be made available to all small- and medium-sized businesses globally, including the MENA region. They would be able to access a portion of the funds subject to their having active accounts with Google over the past year. Credit notifications will appear in their Google Ads accounts and can be used at any point until the end of 2020 across the tech giant’s advertising platforms.
A section on the microsite is also dedicated to helping businesses stay connected and informed. This includes local resources for remote working & distance learning, and tips to help businesses manage through uncertainty.
Supporting public health efforts
Earlier this month, Google launched its Community Mobility Reports which shows movement trends over time. The information is based on anonymised aggregated data to provide insights into what has changed in response to policies aimed at combating the coronavirus.
The report includes several countries across the MENA region, such as the UAE, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait
Google also pledged a sum of $250m in Google Ad Grants to help over 100 government agencies worldwide run public service announcements. Health and safety awareness campaigns have also fallen under this umbrella. As part of this activity, Google Ad Grants are being rolled out in MENA.