Corporate responsibility includes helping when natural disasters strike. Novartis aims to deliver the right aid to meet specific needs on the ground. This often includes both direct financial donations to relief agencies and donations of essential medicines.
Donation programs for disaster relief
In the case of a disaster, we work with the international community and our local country organizations on the ground. Our aim is to deliver our support as quickly as possible in order to achieve the greatest possible impact for those directly affected.
In 2011, we revised our Disaster Relief Process to enable Novartis to make decisions more timely and efficiently (within 72 hours after an event strikes) and deliver aid in a sustainable and transparent manner based on the needs of affected communities.
The process uses a tailored approach to respond to the scale of the disaster and comprises measures including medicines donations, funds and/or matching gift program donations. We distinguish between three scenarios depending on the nature of the disaster: global, regional or local.
- Scenario 1: In the case of a global disaster, Novartis gets involved on its own initiative within the context of international aid.
- Scenario 2: In the case of a regional disaster, Novartis is involved within the framework of the regionally coordinated aid program.
- Scenario 3: In the case of a local disaster, the local Novartis country organizations are involved in the disaster relief.
As a first priority, two categories of Novartis drugs are made available: antibiotics and analgesics. All our drug donations comply with the WHO’s checklist for Drug Donations. Beyond drugs, Novartis is guided by the Emergency Health Kit list provided by the IDA Foundation.
In 2013, Novartis signed a partnership agreement with the Swiss Red Cross for 3 years (until 2015). Under the terms of the agreement, we support a training program on “violence prevention of young people in public schools” and make available a standing fund for disaster relief, mainly in the form of medical donations.
We also have a 6-year partnership (2013-2018) with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) whereby we provide the organization with CHF 500 000 each year to buy medicines to support people in war and crisis regions.
Disaster relief in action
In 2013, following Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, Novartis committed to match all contributions made by its associates in order to provide vital relief to the people on the ground. A total of USD 772 470 was donated to the disaster relief fund, through our partnership with the Red Cross Federation.