As part of numerous initiatives within the company to support COVID-19 relief efforts, ABB undertook a joint initiative with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). This initiative is aimed to directly assist the world’s most vulnerable people in the fight against COVID-19. The ICRC specializes in providing emergency response and has been at the forefront of fighting the pandemic in places of armed conflict and other situations of violence.
The joint ABB-ICRC initiative was launched in early April, with ABB making an initial contribution of CHF 1 million to the ICRC COVID-19 prevention and relief efforts. Additionally, ABB employees from 72 countries contributed to the initiative, which was matched by the company. Overall ABB is now donating CHF 2 million to the ICRC.
Regarding this tremendous outpouring of support from the ABB community, CEO Björn Rosengren shares, “I have been truly impressed by the generosity and solidarity shown by our employees during this time of crisis. Their support of those communities most at risk shows true ABB spirit and I am proud to be part of such a company.”
More than 90 percent of donations made to the ICRC are used directly for its work in the field. The money raised by ABB is already being used to provide infrastructure for healthcare centers, sanitation infrastructure, and crucial items such as soap and masks in areas such as Nigeria and South Sudan.
Examples of the direct use of the donations on a local level are readily apparent. “With these donations we can increase our stock of PPE and support the national society, the South Sudanese Red Cross, to disseminate the message of precautionary measures that the population needs to take,” explains Filippo Gatti, Deputy Health Coordinator, ICRC South Sudan. “For example, additional water tanks supplied are filled with clean water and are being used in the communities to encourage people to wash their hands to prevent the spread of the disease.”
In Nigeria the ICRC is using the donations to help farming communities who have been affected by conflict violence and disruptions caused by lockdowns due to the spread of COVID 19. The ICRC has been distributing seeds and financial support to help the families focus on farming to ensure they have enough food to eat.
As a founding member of the ICRC’s Corporate Support Group, ABB has a long-standing and trusted relationship with the ICRC. The partnership has covered a range of topics over the years, most recently focusing on knowledge exchange around the electrification value chain, security cooperation and leadership development.