Darmstadt, Germany, December 14, 2015 – Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, announced today that it is making € 50,000 available at short notice to support health projects for refugees in Lebanon. The donation to the German Red Cross (DRK) is to go towards the operation of emergency medical aid stations. With this step, the company is underlining social responsibility as part of its entrepreneurial approach.
"We have deliberately chosen to support the effort in Lebanon because the majority of refugees is staying in the region and rely on humanitarian aid there. Of course we are also working to assist refugees in Germany. At the same time, however, we want to try to fight the reasons for fleeing," explained Kai Beckmann, Member of the Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, Executive Board. For instance, through various initiatives in low- and middle-income countries, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is helping to improve access to medicines and medical care. Examples include fighting the tropical worm disease schistosomiasis through tablet donations to the World Health Organization as well as providing support during the Ebola crisis.
"We are delighted by this donation. Four years after the conflict erupted, the humanitarian situation in Syria and neighboring countries remains catastrophic. Around 7.6 million people have fled within Syria, more than four million are seeking protection in neighboring countries. The German Red Cross is working closely with its sister organizations in the affected countries and is helping to provide medical care," said Rudolf Seiters, President of the German Red Cross.
For example, the German Red Cross is supporting medical emergency posts of the Lebanese Red Cross. The company’s donation will go towards the operation of such a medical station in Ras Baalbek in the Beqaa Valley, just a few kilometers from the Syrian border. Lebanon has taken in more than one million people since the conflict began in Syria. The number of refugees is thus equivalent to nearly 25% of the total population of Lebanon. Many live in temporary simple housing, tents and huts. Others are staying with family, friends or host families.
In the vicinity of its global headquarters in Darmstadt, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is undertaking various measures to help support refugees in addition to its general humanitarian aid efforts. For instance, in November, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, apprentices renovated a building that will be used to house future refugees. Additionally, the company has offered the use of its sports hall for the activities of clubs and schools that have made their sports halls available to accommodate refugees. The company is also in regular contact with the city of Darmstadt to provide future assistance at short notice as well.