Corporate Donations Bolster Mercy Corps’ Dual Emergency Response Efforts

– Support facilitates quick, on-the-ground aid delivery that helps save lives
– Matching employee contributions leverages grants

Portland, OR, May 19, 2008 – Mercy Corps’ humanitarian aid efforts for both the China earthquake and Myanmar cyclone have received the generous support from several corporations: Western Union Foundation, Goldman Sachs, DHL, Wells Fargo Bank and Chevron Corp. Mercy Corps emergency response experts stress the value of early and generous contributions such as these, which help the agency mount quick, responsive relief efforts.

“Corporate giving provides a level of flexibility and immediacy that is extremely helpful in the early days of emergency response efforts – especially for the scale we’re seeing with both China and Myanmar,” notes Mercy Corps VP of Resource Development Paul Dudley Hart. “We can find creative and effective solutions right away and that helps save lives.”

Mercy Corps’ work in China has received a $250,000 donation from the Western Union Foundation, which they matched dollar for dollar by individual donations to the Mercy Corps website up to a total of $250,000. In less than 24 hours, the total funds raised were $500,000 – doubling the impact of giving. Western Union Foundation is also matching employee contributions two to one.

Other gifts to support China relief efforts include:
– A Goldman Sachs $500,000 contribution – plus the company will also match gifts from their employees.

– Wells Fargo has donated $60,000 and opened a donations account for anyone who wants to support the survivors. It is also temporarily providing free transfer service to U.S. customers who want to wire money to China for relief.

Relief efforts for Myanmar received $150,000 support from Chevron Corp. DHL is donating the use of an airplane to airlift emergency supplies to Myanmar (and possibly China) via Bangkok, in addition to providing warehouse space and logistical expertise for emergency relief supplies.

Mercy Corps was already working in Sichuan Province when the earthquake hit and has established an office near the epicenter in Chongqing. The agency is maximizing its effectiveness by working with long-time local partner organization the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation and the broad-based All China Youth Federation. In addition to providing lifesaving emergency relief supplies, Mercy Corps staff on the ground are laying plans for recovery projects such as rebuilding livelihoods, constructing temporary schools and a psychosocial program called “comfort for kids” that help youth cope with trauma and loss.

Mercy Corps’ work in Myanmar is led by the Executive Director of Mercy Corps Europe, who is joined by three top emergency response experts who are all members of the agency’s Global Emergency Response team, or GEO. Mercy Corps officials remain hopeful that the Myanmar government will allow more humanitarian assistance and access in the coming days and are well positioned to help as many people as possible. Top concerns of Mercy Corps staff include clean water, food and sanitation.

Mercy Corps is currently accepting donations for humanitarian assistance to both cyclone and earthquake survivors. Distribution of donations will be monitored by Mercy Corps and reputable local partner organizations.

How to help:
Mercy Corps
Myanmar Cyclone Fund – or – China Earthquake Fund
Dept NR
PO Box 2669
Portland, OR 97208

Mercy Corps works amid disasters, conflicts, chronic poverty and instability to unleash the potential of people who can win against nearly impossible odds. Since 1979, Mercy Corps has provided more than $1.5 billion in assistance to people in 106 nations. Supported by headquarters in North America and Europe, the agency's global programs employ 3,500 staff worldwide and reach more than 16.4 million people in more than 35 countries. Over the past five years, more than 89 percent of the agency's resources have been allocated directly to programs that help people in need. For more information, visit

Susan Laarman 503-341-3799