ABB supports international humanitarian work

ABB supports efforts to improve the lives of people in a number of ways, including through partnerships with international organizations.

For the past ten years, ABB has been making an annual donation to the Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and engaging with its staff, as part of a corporate support group. The funds were initially earmarked for the training of delegates but in recent years have been used to provide access to clean and safe water supplies for victims of conflict in Iraq and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, ABB’s contribution is helping to rehabilitate urban and rural networks and other infrastructure in Katanga and Kivu provinces. In Iraq, the contribution has strengthened access to potable water and quality health services for internally displaced people and residents of conflict-affected areas following the upsurge in violence in the country.

The relationship with the ICRC has been expanding in other areas in recent years. ABB employees have been helping to train Red Cross engineers on motors and water pumps at workshops during an annual teaching program in Geneva. And there have been a number of exchanges of expertise on learning and development, humanitarian law, logistics, communications and supply chain issues.

In order to understand better the work and challenges facing the ICRC, executives from companies represented in the corporate support group visited Red Cross operations in camps for Syrian refugees in Jordan early in 2015.

ABB and the ICRC are currently looking at ways of developing other potential areas of cooperation, including how technology can support the ICRC’s activities to help victims of conflicts in remote locations. Discussions are ongoing on collaborating on concrete projects in the field during 2015.

The level of exchange and cooperation between members of the corporate support group and the ICRC in expanding. “All actors – governments, humanitarian organizations and the private sector – realize that they have only part of the response to humanitarian emergencies. None of us can go it alone. To be able to respond to the increasing needs in today's fast-changing world, we need a new kind of cooperation that brings us all together,” says Peter Maurer, ICRC President.

“The knowledge, skills and networks of the private sector can be hugely beneficial to humanitarian operations. This is why collaboration with Corporate Support Group members such as ABB is critical: ABB's financial support to the ICRC, along with its engineer workshops for ICRC staff, are much appreciated. We look forward to strengthening our relationship with ABB through more technical exchange and the development of joint solutions."