US Business Roundtable Secure Katrina Relief
29 September 2005 at 1:09 pm
A newly formed US Business Roundtable has secured more than $135 million in funding, services, supplies and equipment to support the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.
Members of the Roundtable, an association of 160 CEOs of leading U.S. companies, made a wide range of non-cash donations including replacement medicines, information technology and communications equipment, cars and trucks, mortgage relief and deferred vehicle financing, temporary housing, pre-cooked food, back-packs filled with school supplies for children affected by the disaster, and more.
The Roundtable members’ efforts marked the first test of the organisation’s new disaster relief initiative, Partnership for Disaster Relief, which aims to fully integrate the capabilities of a variety of sectors – such as health, technology, financial services, construction, transportation and communications – into a coordinated private sector response.
The program, launched earlier this year, aims to facilitate the resources and expertise of U.S. businesses to enhance and accelerate on-the-ground relief and recovery activities in response to major natural disasters.
Shortly after Hurricane Katrina touched down in the Gulf Coast, Chairman of Business Roundtable and Chairman and CEO of Pfizer Inc, Hank McKinnell, asked Roundtable member companies to provide assistance to relief organisations.
As relief needs evolved with the worsening crisis, the Roundtable facilitated communications about requests from relief organisations, such as the American Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to Roundtable members.
To date, cash donations from Roundtable members include more than $90 million in direct support and employee-matching funds.
Nearly $45 million in non-cash donations include:
– Transportation and vehicles
– Medicine and health products
– Information technology and equipment
– Personnel expertise
– Miscellaneous products, food and equipment
Chairman, Hank McKinnell says the U.S. business community’s overwhelming response to this unimaginable disaster follows the lessons learned after last December’s devastating tsunami in Southeast Asia.
He says during the aftermath of the tsunami, round table members and humanitarian partners experienced first hand the essential role private sector support plays in disaster relief.
But he says they also learned that business support must be a coordinated effort to be most effective.
Business Roundtable member companies donated more than $200 million in funding, services and materials to tsunami relief, part of over $450 million donated by U.S. companies.
To find out more about the Business Roundtable go to: http://www.businessroundtable.org.