Swiss Re Announces Aid Measures for SE Asia

January 10, 2005

Swiss Re announced that both the company and its employees “are actively supporting the relief initiatives to help the victims of the seaquake tragedy in the Indian Ocean and to aid the rebuilding of the worst hit areas.”

The company said it has “made donations to two organisations, namely Caritas and AID India, as an initial contribution to the emergency efforts.” It will also make additional donations amounting to around $1 million “to other organisations, focusing on relief initiatives in the areas of education and reconstruction.”

Swiss Re also noted that its employees around the globe have initiated a number of aid programs for victims of the tsunamis. The company said it would match the amounts raised.

The announcement also described a number of initiatives local Swiss Re employees have taken to help. In Bangalore, India each Swiss Re employee is contributing one day’s salary towards the relief effort. The money collected will be donated to the “Prime Minister’s Relief Fund”. Additionally, a core team will be formed to support reconstruction programs. The local employees also plan to support “a local sustainable reconstruction initiative in South India. They will devote part of their spare time to overseeing the project.”

Swiss Re said, “The aim of the initiative is to rebuild the infrastructure, i.e. roads, schools and other buildings, in a coastal village which was among the hardest hit. Volunteer teams from Bangalore staff will help to set up and monitor the project in their spare time, with support from local Red Cross representatives.

“We have chosen to support this effort for a number of reasons,” the bulletin continued. “Many of the employees behind the initiative hail originally from the affected region. The project will also promote the sustainable development of the affected area’s infrastructure, and the money which we raise together will go directly to helping those most in need.”

In the worst affected country, Indonesia, Swiss Re’s Singapore affiliate “is making a donation to an industry fundraising effort led by local insurer, PT Tugu Pratama Indonesia, to provide both immediate and longer-term relief for those affected in Aceh.”

Swiss Re Malaysia has made a contribution to the Malaysian Tsunami Disaster Fund that has been initiated by the General Insurance Association of Malaysia (GIA). The GIA is coordinating other industry-related Associations (Life, Takaful, Loss-Adjusters, Brokers) and, through them, rallying all of the respective members for fundraising.

Employees of Swiss Re Singapore have personally donated funds, which the company has matched with an equal donation to the Singapore Red Cross.

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