Funds supported emergency relief efforts in response to explosion in Beirut and communities in need impacted by Covid-19 pandemic
Beirut, Lebanon – Citi Foundation announced that it donated US $200,000 to the Lebanese Red Cross to support emergency relief efforts in response to the explosion that occurred in Beirut on August 4, 2020 and Covid-19 relief to communities impacted by the pandemic in Lebanon. Additionally, Citi employees across the EMEA region were invited to donate to the Lebanese Red Cross through an employee fundraising campaign.
As a result of the blast which killed more than 200 people, injured close to 6,000 and destroyed a significant part of the capital, the Citi Foundation funds went towards immediate emergency relief efforts supporting the Lebanon Beirut Explosion Disaster Response Initiative program to provide healthcare and medicine to those affected in and around the blast area. The Lebanese Red Cross provided primary healthcare, support with psychosocial services and ambulance services.
The funds will also continue to support the ongoing COVID-19 crisis to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to emergency medical services volunteers dealing with vulnerable populations affected by the pandemic in Lebanon.
‘’The explosions in Beirut extends a difficult period in Lebanon, characterized by civil disturbances, a challenged economy and Covid-19. The pandemic and the explosion has brought to the forefront the social and economic inequalities that exist in our communities’’, said Michel Sawaya, CEO, Citi Lebanon. ‘’Partnering with the Lebanese Red Cross to support families and communities impacted by the explosion and Covid-19 helps address the disparities that persist in the country.’’
Mr. Georges Kettaneh, Secretary General of the Lebanese Red Cross, emphasized the commitment of the organization to continue providing its free public services to the population across Lebanon despite the multiple crisis hitting Lebanon. “Since day 1 of the COVID19 pandemic, the Lebanese Red Cross has mobilized to help reduce the spread of this virus by safely transporting all confirmed or suspected cases, and has taken all necessary measures to continue providing ambulance services and blood transfusion services across the country to tens of thousands of patients. The prompt and generous support of Citi Foundation has been instrumental in helping protect our staff, volunteers and the public as we take on this new challenge”.
Citi and the Citi Foundation globally committed more than $100 million to date in support of COVID-19-related community relief and economic recovery efforts globally. This includes more than $35 million in new funding, adding to the previously announced $65 million in grants and charitable contributions to deliver ongoing relief and support for longer-term economic recovery in communities impacted by the global pandemic. These contributions include $2 million from Citi employees through a donation matching program.
Citi in Lebanon
Citigroup’s presence in Lebanon dates back to the 1950s when Beirut was the bank’s hub for the region. Since re-establishing its fully licensed Lebanon branch in 1996, the bank has been offering a full range of corporate and investment banking services, including traditional trade, lending and hedging products to major corporations and financial institutions operating in the country, as well as public sector entities. Citibank N.A Lebanon has evolved into an active corporate citizen with a particular interest in supporting financial education, inclusive finance and capacity building through various grants to Injaz Al-Arab and the International Rescue Committee (IRC). Additional information may be found here.
The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant communities. The Citi Foundation’s “More than Philanthropy” approach deploys the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation
The Lebanese Red Cross is the largest volunteer-based organization in Lebanon, providing the country’s free ambulance services, blood transfusion services as well as preparing for and responding to disasters. In 2019, LRC served more than 700,000 persons across Lebanon, without distinction of race, color or creed.