Walmart and Walmart Foundation commit to formalize its support to communities before, during, and after tragedies specifically to continue Walmarts ability to leverage its local presence in communities around the world to respond during times of disaster, and to invest in communities to become more prepared and resilient. Walmarts commitment has four components. First, Walmart will continue to provide cash and in-kind relief in the wake of disasters affecting communities; supplementing Walmart/Foundation donations by supporting tools to crowd-source funds. Second, Walmart will convene the global and U.S. disaster relief sector to share sector best practices; holding additional periodic convenings and strengthening partners in the sector through capacity-building grants. Third, Walmart will increase engagement of Walmart associates in relief and resiliency efforts, making it easier for those with an interest to take part and build their skills. Fourth, Walmart will strengthen the preparedness and response capacity of local communities through local grants, engaging Walmart customers, and funding resilience initiatives in select cities.
This commitment builds on Walmart and the Walmart Foundations response immediately following Hurricane Katrina, when they offered assistance in the form of donations of cash, free merchandise, and food as well as the promise of a job for every one of its displaced associates. Since then, the size and scope of disasters seem to have only increased, disrupting life for Walmart customers, associates, and suppliers in communities around the world. Over the past 10 years, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have contributed more than $50 million in global relief and resilience, investing in relief capacity and responding to typhoons in Mexico and the Philippines, tsunamis in Asia, floods in the United Kingdom and Canada, tornadoes in the U.S., Africas Ebola epidemic, and many other tragedies.
Walmart is committing to invest $25 million over five years towards disaster relief and resiliency efforts around the world. Each year, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation will make investments in at least ten organizations focused on direct response (life-saving and life sustaining activities) during natural disasters and preparedness activities to increase disaster resilience, using innovative approaches to address critical issues that impact individuals, small business and local communities.
Over the next six months (September 2015- February 2016), Walmart and the Walmart Foundation will further narrow the scope of grants and in-kind contributions. Additionally, in its efforts to enhance disaster preparedness of individuals, small businesses, and communities, Walmart and Walmart Foundation seek to leverage core assets of Walmart, such as its local presence in nearly 11,000 communities around the world and expertise in technology, logistics, and transportation.
The fall of 2015 marks 10 years since Hurricane Katrina ravaged the U.S. Gulf Coast destroying communities, neighborhoods, and lives. Beyond that, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) estimates that disasters currently have a yearly price tag of $315 billion. This figure is expected to grow as the number of disasters increase in size and frequency. As a growing number of people are being affected by natural disasters around the world, building resilient communities and reducing disaster risk is imperative.
Further, The Harvard School of Public Health Study (Human Initiative) found that in dealing with humanitarian responses, every dollar spent in disaster preparedness yields a savings of $4-$11 in disaster response, relief, and recovery.
Walmart is seeking implementation partners, specifically focused on the following areas: innovation, technology and individual and community preparedness activities.
Where possible, Walmart is prepared to offer best practices, financial assistance, human capital, and skills based volunteerism.