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.
Our Disaster Relief Process enables us to make timely decisions (within 72 hours after an event strikes) and deliver aid in a sustainable and transparent manner based on the needs of affected communities. Depending on the situation, our aid includes medicine donations, funds and/or matching gift programs.
We distinguish between three scenarios depending on the scale 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 three 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 six-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.
Supporting the ongoing global refugee crisis
In 2015, Novartis conducted a two-month global internal donation program and committed to match all contributions made by its associates to support people affected by the migration crisis. A total of USD 610 884 was donated to the Red Cross Federation to support refugees in the camps and along the transit routes across Europe.