Drinks giant Diageo has launched a $100m fund to help pubs and bars across the globe recover from the coronavirus crisis.

“Raising the Bar,” will be a two-year program, available from July, intended to provide targeted support for operators struggling to build back their businesses.

The initiative includes a $20m community fund – previously announced in the US earlier this month – as well as fiscal support for physical equipment and ‘hygiene kits,’ and to establish partnerships with online reservations and cashless systems.

It will also offer members regular updates on best practice training and resources.

In order to participate, applicants must demonstrate at least one way they are or plan to ‘raise the bar’ in their community through inclusion and diversity, positive drinking promotions, providing skills training or similar initiatives.

“Pubs and bars sit at the heart of every community,” said Ivan Menezes, Diageo CEO. “We have launched “Raising the Bar” as so many outlets have been impacted by this crisis and badly need help to open their doors again.”

“We are calling on governments around the world to provide long-term recovery packages to help the hospitality sector. These businesses play an essential role in bringing people together to socialise and celebrate, something that we have all missed so much during this terrible crisis, and sustain hundreds of millions of jobs, which provide a first foot on the employment ladder for young people.”