The Christian humanitarian organization labeled the Haiti quake in January as a "game changer" for corporate philanthropy. "Haiti was a catalyst for American companies to look at broader and deeper ways they could partner with aid groups that are on the front lines. Now, with companies like P&G and Verizon contributing to the Pakistan flood response, were continuing to see this trend," said David Owens, vice president of corporate development for World Vision, in a statement Tuesday.
The Jan. 12 earthquake that struck the Caribbean country killed a quarter of a million people and left at least 1.3 million homeless. World Vision says given Haiti's high rate of poverty and the massive loss of infrastructure and human capital, the quake has proven to be one of the most difficult disaster responses in recent memory.
In the first six months, World Vision collected $192 million dollars in donations, with generous responses made by corporations. "While we had indisputably one of the most generous set of corporate partners before the Haiti quake, weve been humbled by the overwhelming corporate response in the past nearly eight months," Owens commented.
Verizon provided grants from its foundation and launched a program to match employee contributions dollar-for-dollar. JPMorgan Chase, Symantec and Johnson & Johnson partnered with World Vision by providing staff with the opportunity to assemble relief kits for delivery to Haiti.
The generosity continued as other disasters, including the Chile quake in February, left millions in need.
Stephen Jordan, executive director, of the U.S. Chamber of Commerces Business Civil Leadership Center also noticed the increase in business involvement in disaster response.
"We have seen that Haiti rebuilding is a catalyst for corporations to offer both financial support as well as sector expertise," he said, according to World Vision.
The humanitarian group expects to see continued support from businesses as the emergency in Haiti is ongoing and as disasters continue to plague the world.
Most recently, floods in Pakistan have affected more than 17 million people. Around 1,600 people were killed but the death toll is rising as disease and hunger now plague the nation.
Floodwaters are beginning to recede but the nightmare for millions continues.
"People are in urgent need of almost everything: shelter, health clinics, clean water, sanitation, and livelihood support," said Mike Bailey, World Vision's regional manager for advocacy, in a statement last week. "And that's just what we gleaned from the areas we can reach. Flooding and the damage it has left behind mean there are areas we want to help that we still can't reach." Keith Kall, World Visions executive director for global partnerships, expects corporate partnerships to continue at a significant level.
"Im grateful to all our corporate partners who have given so generously in this extraordinary year of disasters, he said. "But Im also confident that in future global emergencies, the corporate sector will continue to leverage their influence and stakeholders in ways that make a bigger overall difference." Christian Post