For Immediate Release
December 13, 2005
NEW "CORPORATIONS FOR HUMANITY" INITIATIVE MOBILIZED AND EXPANDS CORPORATE SUPPORT FOR GLOBAL HUMANITARIAN RELIEF
Fritz Institute Leverages Corporate Expertise and Resources for Long-Term Improvement in the Delivery of Aid
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - Fritz Institute announced today the launch of Corporations for Humanity, its unique alliance between private enterprise and the humanitarian relief sector. The new initiative was created to mobilize corporate resources, technology and expertise for long-term improvement in the delivery of humanitarian relief.
Many of the world's most successful and innovative companies and their senior executives have joined forces with Fritz Institute to bring private sector expertise and resources to the Corporations for Humanity initiative. Corporate members include: Applied Materials, BearingPoint, General Motors, Harcourt Education, Harris Interactive®, Heidrick & Struggles International, Intel Corporation, KPMG International, KPMG LLP (U.S.), Levi Strauss & Co., Microsoft Corporation and Philips Semiconductors.
The number of people impacted by disasters and conflicts has tripled since the 1970s, with over 2 billion people affected in the last 10 years alone. Humanitarian aid organizations are the first line of defense for affected populations. Yet today, despite best efforts to keep up with increased demand, the operational and technological capacity of most of these organizations remains inadequate and poorly resourced.
While the private sector often responds quickly and generously with donations of cash or surplus goods when disaster strikes at home or abroad, short-term aid typically doesn't leverage corporate resources or expertise for improvements in the relief operation process. "As we've seen with the 2004 tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, aid agencies often lack the ability to evaluate or accept abundant corporate donations of surplus goods during the emergency phase of a disaster," said Lynn Fritz, director general of Fritz Institute. "With Corporations for Humanity, Fritz Institute makes it possible for companies to direct their philanthropy to long-term problems in disaster relief by sharing best practices in operations, technology, and supply chain management with the humanitarian sector. Not only does this generate greater social returns, but most importantly the end result is more of the right aid delivered to the right people at the right time when the next disaster strikes."
According to Theresa Fay-Bustillos, vice president worldwide community affairs, Levi Strauss & Co., "Fritz Institute is changing the way the corporate community deploys its volunteers and resources. Levi Strauss & Co. became involved with Fritz Institute because we believe they have the expertise to bridge gaps between corporations and humanitarian agencies. They help focus a company's resources on projects where they can have the greatest impact during times of crisis and confusion."
For instance, in the aftermath of the Indian Ocean tsunami in December 2004, Fritz Institute received urgent requests from leading international aid organizations to rapidly develop and deploy a "next generation" supply chain management software to enable them to effectively coordinate the myriad of supplies entering and being disbursed across the communities affected by the tsunami. As a result, Corporations for Humanity members Applied Materials and Levi Strauss made substantial donations to the development of a new "Humanitarian Supply Chain Solutions" software platform now underway. An ASP web-based system built on the Institute's successful Humanitarian Logistics Software, the new software will be provided to as many humanitarian organizations as possible across the tsunami affected region to improve visibility into the pipeline of goods, information and financing from donation to delivery.
Similarly, Corporations for Humanity members KPMG LLP and and Harris Interactive have contributed their experience to the development and execution of research surveys designed to extract lessons learned from donor organizations and aid beneficiaries in the response to the tsunami and Hurricane Katrina. These surveys will play a valuable role in improving future relief efforts.
About Fritz Institute
Fritz Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to addressing complex operational challenges in the delivery of humanitarian aid to people and communities in need worldwide. The organization works to strengthen the efficiency and effectiveness of the humanitarian sector by collaborating with the corporate sector and academic community to leverage best practices, technology, and resources that can be used by all humanitarian organizations. For additional information about Corporations for Humanity, visit www.fritzinstitute.org.