Effective immediately, the Managing Board of global tech giant Siemens AG has decided to set up a worldwide aid fund to help relieve and combat the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
|Joe Kaeser, president and CEO Siemens AG |
Under the auspices of the community-serving nonprofit organisation Siemens Caring Hands e.V. (Caring Hands), this aid fund is to provide support, without red tape, to relief organisations and medical facilities as well as to individuals impacted by the COVID-19 crisis worldwide.
All Siemens AG employees worldwide can now make monetary donations to Caring Hands by specifying “COVID-19” as the purpose of the gift. Siemens AG will match every euro donated, meaning the company will donate the same amount to Caring Hands. In accordance with its articles of association, the charity itself will then channel the funds to those who need them most.
|Siemens is fundamentally committed to making a significant effort to serve society. |
Joe Kaeser, president and CEO of Siemens AG, said: “Both medically and socially, COVID-19 is a challenge of a kind that the world as a whole has never seen before in peacetime. Now, acting responsibly is more important than ever – for our company’s future, for the health and economic security of our workforce and business partners, but also for the cohesion of societies around the world.”
“Many people have helped make us the strong, successful company we are today. And now we want to help those who are doing excellent work, day in and day out, in serving the sick and needy during this time of crisis. That’s why I’m calling on our management and employees worldwide to donate generously."
“Every euro counts. I want to start things off by personally contributing €1 million ($1.1 million),” Kaeser noted.
As an alternative or as a supplement, the Managing Board and senior management will also have the option of voluntarily waiving vacation time. Siemens will then donate a corresponding amount to Caring Hands by reversing accruals for this purpose.
As a nonprofit organisation, Caring Hands will use the donations to support co-ordinated projects and aid programmes and to buy urgently needed products. The goal is to deliver aid rapidly to people affected by the coronavirus pandemic worldwide. The Board of Caring Hands will manage the distribution of the aid fund.
Siemens Caring Hands e.V. was founded at the initiative of Siemens AG in 2001. At the time, Siemens AG management and employees wanted to provide direct, uncomplicated assistance to victims of the September 11 attacks. Caring Hands also reacted in 2004 to the large-scale tsunami in Asia and in 2013 to the historic flood of the Elbe River in Germany.
The charity has also provided assistance in response to several other natural disasters. Siemens is fundamentally committed to making a significant effort to serve society. The company spends some €80 million ($87.5 million) for donations and charitable sponsoring each year.