Responding to natural disasters sustainably
We support sustainable community rebuilding and humanitarian projects in areas that have experienced a major natural disaster, primarily in developing countries.
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 Bosnia, Haiti, Japan, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nepal, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines and Zimbabwe.
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 are supporting 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.
In Nigeria, eight years of conflict created a major humanitarian crisis affecting millions of people across the Lake Chad region. Roche was a major donor for the 2017 food crisis appeal of the International Committee of the Red Cross, which provided food rations to over 400,000 people and clean water to 335,000 displaced persons in north-east Nigeria and Middle Belt regions.
In central Italy after a 6.2 magnitude earthquake in August 2016, Roche funded a radiology medical unit at the Norcia hospital in Umbria.
After heavy floods in mid-August 2017 in southern Nepal, Roche partnered again with the the World Wide Fund for Nature to build two Disaster Rescue Centres which were finalised in 2018, benefitting 2’000 vulnerable people. Roche also partnered with Habitat for Humanity on a two-year project to build community resilience through working with local people and providing support to flood affected families to build new houses and restore damaged houses.
In Nepal, which experienced earthquakes that affected 8 million people in 2015, our local management centre responded by donating 180,000 vials of antibiotics in a phased approach. Since then, we have partnered with the World Wildlife Fund for Nature, the Nepalese government and local organisations to support rebuilding communities and ecosystems in Langtang National Park. We are also working on a two-year “Build Nepal Project” with Habitat for Humanity International. Together, we are supporting the rebuilding of the Salme municipality in the Nuwakot district, which saw 88% of houses destroyed in the earthquakes. The project will help to cover the most urgent needs of 500 families and provide access to safer, disaster-resistant housing solutions.
In Pakistan, we partnered with The Citizens Foundation on an eight-year project to establish and extend a primary school in rural Jacobabad, which was built following extensive flooding in the area in 2010.