Responding to natural disasters sustainably

We support sustainable community rebuilding and humanitarian projects in areas that have experienced major disasters.

When a major disaster strikes a community where we live and work, we respond by helping to rebuild in a sustainable way. It's part of our commitment to society

After the initial emergency phase, we partner with local authorities and relief organisations to help affected communities rebuild and prepare for the future. Our contributions range from product donations and logistical support to transfer of knowledge and expertise. Decisions about whether or not to support relief efforts are made locally by Roche affiliate offices in consultation with the Corporate Donations and Philanthropy (CDP) group.

While our local offices may be able to offer an immediate response during the emergency phase of a disaster, if needs surpass the capacity of our local offices, they can be escalated to the CDP group to determine whether further assistance can be coordinated from the headquarters level. Extended disaster response efforts reflect our global focus on providing long-term and sustainable assistance as communities strive to get back on their feet. Long-term initiatives are often coordinated and funded through the CDP group or Roche Employee Action and Charity Trust (Re&Act), an independent trust that supports selected humanitarian programmes and community rebuilding projects around the world.

Roche has supported disaster relief efforts in a number of countries including Australia, Bosnia, Haiti, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Lebanon, Malawi, Mozambique, Nepal, Pakistan, Peru, Syria, The Philippines, Turkey and Zimbabwe.

Recent/ongoing projects

Following the devastating earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria on February 6, efforts have been focused on securing polyclinic services in six cities in Turkey, in collaboration with the Turkish Red Crescent Health Unit. The go-live date for this initiative has been set for September 2023. Additionally, a fully equipped family health center is being constructed in Adiyaman, with the goal of providing treatment to the first patients by May 2024. To ensure continuity of clinical trials, a dedicated prefabricated clinical trials unit is being sponsored and is expected to be operational by September 2023. Various other disaster relief responses have also been implemented, including donations and supplies of medicines and instruments for testing in the affected areas.

In 2022, we started to support the World Wide Fund for Nature’s (WWF) “One Billion Tree Programme” to restore and protect the ecosystem integrity and biodiversity richness of the last heavily burned peat land in U Minh Thuong National Park in Vietnam through community engagement.

In 2021, we supported UNICEF in building “Safe Parks” designed from shipping containers helping communities and families in earthquake affected departments of Haiti. Also in this year, we supported the WWF in establishing Community Disaster Rescue and Preparedness Centres (CDRPC) in Kenya in order to strengthen early warning systems, disaster preparedness and response activity, directly benefiting 800 households.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we made significant philanthropic contributions to support communities in need. The contributions include health and hygiene services in Brazil, Malawi, and Kenya, as well as support for orphanages and children in Ethiopia and Congo. We have also provided funding for scholarships, as well as food and other essential supplies to help students continue their education during the pandemic in India, South Africa, Latin America, and Namibia. These contributions helped vulnerable populations around the world access essential resources during the pandemic.

In 2020, Australia experienced widespread bushfires that caused damage to both natural and man-made environments. In response, we provided donations for essential resources and support to those affected by the fires, including shelter, psychological first aid, information, emergency grants, and practical assistance. The funds also supported Australian Red Cross volunteers with training, equipment, and transport, as well as coordination efforts to ensure that emergency teams were where they needed to be.

In August 2020, the huge explosion in the Port of Beirut, Lebanon caused widespread destruction and injury across the city, overwhelming an already-struggling health system. In response, we supported the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to meet the urgent needs of the people affected by the explosion, in particular to support the health facilities receiving injured patients. To help ensure people wounded in the blast can receive appropriate and timely treatment, we supported the ICRC scaling up its support for emergency medical service facilities and hospitals.

In 2019, cyclone Idai hit Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi as one of the worst tropical storms to affect Africa. In response, we were able to help via three of our NGO partners. We donated 20,000 mosquito nets, a vital and much-needed piece of equipment to prevent the transmission of malaria, to each country through our long-term partner UNICEF. In conjunction with the WWF, we supported the construction of two community disaster relief centres in Zimbabwe. We also provided funding to the NGO ActionAid through the Roger Federer Foundation to help rebuild 13 preschools in Malawi. In addition, Roche Portugal granted funding to the Portuguese branch of the Red Cross, in support of people affected by the disaster in Mozambique. We also donated over 3,000 units of Bactrim, a Roche antibiotic, as part of the emergency disaster relief efforts there.

In Kenya after the floods in 2018, we partnered with World Wide Fund for Nature to protect communities from flooding by building two Community Disaster Rescue and Preparedness Centres and by providing disaster preparedness equipment and training.

In Cuba after Hurricane Irma in September 2017 caused extensive floods and damages, Roche supported development of the ambulatory oncology clinic infrastructure at the Hermanos Ameijeiras Hospital in Havana.

Discover more

World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF)Habitat for Humanity InternationalSwiss Agency for Development and CooperationThe Citizens FoundationUNICEF

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