Global Commitments ICRC & Humanitarian Aid
For many years, Credit Suisse has been working closely with the Red Cross and Red Crescent societies worldwide, and is a member of the ICRC's Corporate Support Group.
In 2008, Credit Suisse was the first global bank to become a member of the Corporate Support Group of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). This long-term partnership complements our relationships with national Red Cross societies, for example in Switzerland, Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
Alongside the financial contributions, a major element of the partnership with the ICRC is the support given through expertise. Specialists from all areas of the bank provide their knowledge and skills to the ICRC in order to drive strategic projects forward, for example in the areas of human resources or IT. Such skills-based involvement enables employees to make targeted contributions.
The personal involvement of our employees also plays an important role in the partnerships with the national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies, be it through participating in blood donation campaigns as in Hong Kong and Singapore or through fund-raising for disaster victims. In Switzerland, the collaboration with the Red Cross is particularly close and wide-ranging; Credit Suisse is active in initiatives for socially deprived families (2x Christmas), as blood donors, as members of the driver pool, with Redog (the Swiss Disaster Dog Association), or for "Mitten unter uns" ("In Our Midst"), a project aimed to help integrate children with a migrant background.
The Disaster Relief Fund is part of the Credit Suisse Foundation and supports the victims of natural disasters on a global level. By providing assistance quickly, we try to reduce the suffering of victims and help with reconstruction. Support can be provided in different ways: as an immediate contribution to relief efforts, through launching a fund-raising campaign among employees, and, depending on the extent of the disaster, by matching the funds that have been raised.
In recent years, the fund has provided support by donating to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and its National Red Cross Societies for the victims of the following disasters, among others:
- the earthquake in Nepal, April 2015
- the earthquake in central Italy, August 2016
- Hurricane Matthew in Haiti, Bahamas and North Carolina, October 2016
Earthquake in Nepal
In April 2015, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal, causing buildings to collapse in the capital, Kathmandu, and widespread devastation. The shock of the quake was felt nationwide and as far as Pakistan, Tibet and Bangladesh. A third of the population was affected, with almost 9,000 people killed, more than 22,000 injured and nearly 900,000 houses destroyed or damaged.
In response to this disaster, Credit Suisse ran a fundraising campaign with all funds donated to Habitat for Humanity. The bank matched employees' donations on a 1:1 basis. Thanks to generous contributions from employees globally and a corporate donation Credit Suisse was able to help the victims of the Nepal Earthquake. Habitat used the funds to distribute emergency shelter kits, carry out house damage assessments, construct transitional shelters and start the process of building new homes.
Earthquake in central Italy
In August 2016, a 6.2 magnitude earthquake hit the Apennines Mountains in central Italy, devastating the small towns of Amatrice, Accumoli and Pescara del Tronto. At the time of writing, 293 lives were lost. This is the latest in a series of heavy earthquakes to hit Italy in recent years. The country is particularly exposed to earthquake risk as it is located where continental plates collide and building stock is vulnerable.
In response to the earthquake and to support the victims, the Credit Suisse Foundation's Disaster Relief Fund pledged an immediate donation to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies which supports the Italian Red cross as needed. Italy-based employees were also encouraged and able to make a donation directly to the Italian Red Cross.
Hurricane Matthew became the strongest storm of the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane season. Among many affected areas, in Haiti, it turned into the strongest storm in decades, Bahamas experienced a direct hit from the eyewall of Matthews and significant flooding and deaths were reported in North Carolina.
Following the disaster, the Credit Suisse Foundation made corporate donations to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Cross Societies (IFRC) who are able to pass on what is donated to National Red Cross Societies in order to effectively support the relief activities in Haiti, Bahamas and North Carolina.