Volkswagen Group to provide humanitarian aid to people of Japan
24 March 2011
Following the severe earthquake and the devastating tsunami in Japan, Volkswagen is to make significant donations to support the people of Japan. This was stated by Dr. Horst Neumann, Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft for Human Resources, in Wolfsburg today. Group brands Volkswagen and Audi are each to donate a million euros for humanitarian aid via organisations such as the German Red Cross. Neumann underlined: ‘There is tremendous willingness within the Volkswagen Group to help the population of Japan, which has been affected so dramatically, especially in the North-East of the country. Every day, we receive emails from employees expressing great sympathy and a determination to assist people in Japan.’
Porsche AG will also be providing financial support for humanitarian aid to the people in Japan who have been affected. Today, Porsche announced that the company would be donating half a million euros to mitigate the consequences of the catastrophe for residents of the areas concerned.
In addition, the President of the Volkswagen Group Works Council, Bernd Osterloh, announced: ‘This week, we will be calling on the workforce to contribute to a major donation campaign. Preparations are already well underway. The strong feeling of solidarity demonstrated by our colleagues is overwhelming. We are standing shoulder to shoulder with the people of Japan who have experienced such indescribable suffering.’ Osterloh was convinced that the workforce of Volkswagen and Audi would participate with considerable commitment. He added that employees would receive further information on the campaign this week. Colleagues suggested that we should cooperate with the German Red Cross to provide support in Japan. The German Red Cross has close links with the Japanese Red Cross, which is organising aid through a well-developed infrastructure. We took up this proposal and established contact with the local Red Cross in Wolfsburg and the German Red Cross headquarters in Berlin. It was agreed that donations from the Volkswagen workforce should support humanitarian aid in Japan and the work of the Red Cross,’ Osterloh explained.
According to the German Red Cross, the Japanese Red Cross has been taking care of desperate and highly insecure people in emergency accommodation established in schools, gymnasia and other public buildings since the earthquake and the tsunami. As well as blankets, food and water, the survivors also receive psycho-social support as well as assistance in the search for their friends and families. In the devastated port city of Sendai alone, there are 200 emergency accommodation centres, where people affected benefit from accommodation, food, care and psycho-social support. The Japanese Red Cross also has a medical team on standby in Nagasaki to provide treatment for radiation victims.
The German Red Cross reports that the Japanese Red Cross is one of the largest Red Cross organisations worldwide, with more than two million active volunteers, 488 emergency teams and 7,000 medical staff. Currently, 134 teams with 800 people have been deployed. They are regularly relieved by fresh teams.