Germany’s Allianz joined a growing list of insurance companies that are contributing to relief efforts in Southeast Asia. The company announced that it would donate 1 million euros ($1.36 million) and would reveal further details of its plans in the next few days for helping those stricken by the disasters.
“This catastrophe is above all a human tragedy. We are doing all we can to help victims as much as possible,” stated Werner Zedelius, Allianz board member responsible for the Asia-Pacific region. The comment appeared on the company’s Web site – www.allianz.com.
In Germany, the Allianz Direct Help Foundation has opened a special account to accept donations from Allianz employees. “Allianz, together with its companies in India, Indonesia and Thailand, as well as the German government’s development assistance organization GTZ (Gesellschaft für technische Zusammenarbeit), will decide on donation recipients in the next days,” said the bulletin.
It also indicated that “several emergency help initiatives in the regions have begun: In Indonesia, Allianz companies and their employees have teamed up with a local organization to fly medical supplies and relief assistance to the impassable region of Aceh.
“In Thailand, Ayudhya Allianz C.P. Life is supporting local help organizations in their efforts to supply emergency shelter, medication and clean water. In the affected Thai resort areas, Allianz representatives are on the ground to assist and give advice to affected policyholders.
“In Singapore, Allianz employees are preparing to send a container of first aid, food and clothing to victims in Sri Lanka. Allianz Global Risks staff have organized a charity marathon aiming to raise funds for victims of the tsunami.”
Allianz also noted that even before the disasters struck it had launched a program to initiate a “microinsurance” project for the region’s poorer countries. The project is a “joint effort with development aid agencies of the United Nations (UNDP) and the German government (GTZ) to develop solutions which facilitate insurance protection for the very poor in India and Indonesia. The project aims to help those who need, but cannot afford insurance.”
In addition Allianz affiliate Mondial Assistance, the assistance subsidiary of the Allianz Group, has already sent a thirteen-strong team of physicians to Phuket, Thailand. “The team of Munich doctors consists of orthopedic surgeons, pediatric surgeons and travel medicine specialists,” said the announcement. They have taken along medical equipment and medication including antibiotics and IV fluids.”
The total of foreign tourists reported dead or missing after the disaster is estimated to be close to 4000. Many Europeans were on Christmas holidays in Thailand when the tsunamis struck. The toll was particularly high in the Scandinavian countries, but also included a number of people from Germany, France and the U.K.
Allianz said one of the main tasks for the medical team in Thailand would be to “prepare patients for medical transfer.” It added that “Mondial is currently working on 90 cases, of which 76 are in Thailand. Until now, Mondial Germany has organized 24 medical transfers from Thailand and one from Sri Lanka. A strong increase in transfers is expected over the next days.”
Allianz has over 12,000 employees in the Asia-Pacific region, and actively operates in 15 Asia-Pacific markets in the areas of property & casualty, life & health insurance, asset management and banking.
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