The Volkswagen Group donates one million euros for immediate and emergency aid to refugees in Syria, Turkey and Greece who are threatened by the corona pandemic. The funds are given to the German Red Cross (DRK), which organizes and carries out local aid with the national organizations of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent.
Volkswagen Human Resources Director Gunnar Kilian emphasizes: “Volkswagen feels responsible for refugees and the humanitarian consequences of global migration. Our group has been involved in refugee aid since 2015. In the current emergency in the Mediterranean, we are expanding our commitment to refugees beyond Germany. Because Corona knows no limits. With our donation we want to contribute to quick and effective help on site. ”
DRK General Secretary Christian Reuter says: “We are very grateful for the support from the Volkswagen Group. Because the humanitarian situation of the people affected – whether in Syria, Turkey or Greece – is dramatic due to the continuing tense conflict and is exacerbated by the development of the corona pandemic. Refugees and displaced people are lacking the bare essentials everywhere. With the support of the Volkswagen Group, the international Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement can now provide survival aid to the displaced in Syria and the refugees in Turkey and Greece. ”
The United Nations currently estimates that there are almost 3 million people in dire need of help in northwest Syria. There are around 3.8 million refugees in Turkey. At the same time, tens of thousands of people and their families are exposed to intolerable social and hygienic conditions on the Greek-Turkish border and on the Greek islands. Now there is the threat of the corona pandemic.
The funds made available by the Volkswagen Group are to be used for the procurement, transport and distribution of relief goods and food, as well as for medical and psychosocial emergency aid. In addition, equipment, training and care for the volunteers of the local sister companies of the DRK as well as local emergency aid are financed.
In the wake of the Corona crisis, Volkswagen has donated several hundred thousand medical protective masks for public health. As part of a donation of around 40 million euros, additional medical material such as protective masks, protective clothing for medical practices and clinics from China for medical facilities will be flown in. For use in Spain, the group has started to manufacture facial shields using the 3D printing process. In addition, Volkswagen uses its international delivery and logistics network to support the public health sector in the procurement of medical goods and auxiliary materials.
The Volkswagen Group Refugee Aid has been initiating and coordinating integration programs in Germany since 2015 that prepare young refugees for the training and job market. So over 5,000 people have already been reached. The international expansion of aid for refugees is an important element of the Volkswagen Group’s commitment to refugee aid activities.