The Volkswagen Group is donating one million euros for immediate aid and emergency relief for refugees in Syria, Turkey and Greece menaced by the corona pandemic. The funds will be given to the German Red Cross (DRK), which is organizing and implementing support locally together with the national Red Cross and Red Crescent organizations.
A sense of responsibility
Volkswagen Board Member for Human Resources, Gunnar Kilian, underscored: “Volkswagen has a responsibility for refugees and the humanitarian consequences of global migration. Our Group has engaged in refugee aid since 2015. Given the present emergency situation in the Mediterranean area, we are expanding our engagement for refugees beyond Germany: Because corona knows no national borders. With this donation, we want to help provide swift and effective local support. “
DRK General Secretary, Christian Reuter, said: “We are very grateful for the Volkswagen Group’s support. The humanitarian situation of those affected – be it in Syria, in Turkey or in Greece – is dramatic as a result of the continuing tense conflict situation and is made even worse by the corona pandemic. Refugees and displaced persons everywhere do not even have the bare necessities. With the support of the Volkswagen Group, the international Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement can now provide essential aid to the displaced persons in Syria and the refugees in Turkey and Greece.”
According to the United Nations, almost 3 million people in north-west Syria urgently need aid. There are a further 3.8 million refugees in Turkey. At the same time, tens of thousands of people and their families are having to endure unbearable social and hygienic conditions on the Greek-Turkish border and on the Greek islands. And now there is also the threat of the corona pandemic.
The funds made available by the Volkswagen Group are to be used to procure, transport and distribute humanitarian assistance and food as well as medical and psychosocial emergency relief. In addition, the funds will also finance equipment, training and supplies for the volunteers from the local sister societies of DRK as well as local aid organizations.
In the course of the corona crisis, Volkswagen has already donated several hundred thousand medical face masks for the public health system. A further donation totaling some €40 million is being used to air-lift additional medical supplies such as face masks and protective clothing for medical centers and hospitals from China. The Group has begun producing face shield components using 3D printing for delivery to Spain. Furthermore, Volkswagen is using its international supply and logistics network to provide support to the public health system to procure medical products and aid materials.
Volkswagen Group Refugee Support has been initiating and coordinating integration programs in Germany to prepare young refugees for occupational training and the labor market since 2015. Over 5,000 people have already been helped to date. Expanding refugee support on an international scale is an important element of the Volkswagen Group’s engagement in these activities.