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British Red Cross and Freshfields launch partnership

5 February 2014

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International law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and the British Red Cross have launched a three-year partnership to help more than 60,000 people affected by climate change in Bangladesh, one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world.

Freshfields will donate £300,000 to the Red Cross “Vulnerability to Resilience” project as well as providing additional support through global employee fundraising activities, and pro bono services. The project will focus on 27 communities in Barguna and Patuakhal districts, situated on the coast of the Bay of Bengal, which are frequently exposed to cyclones and storm surges. It will work to reach the most vulnerable people, such as women, who are often most at risk when disaster strikes, as well as helping the wider community to develop life-saving disaster preparedness plans.

Simon Hall, Freshfields CR partner said “The Red Cross is one of the most highly respected international charities with impressive reach worldwide, and with the ability to get right to the heart of the issues. They offered us a tremendous project that we can help with in a very direct fashion, as well as the opportunity to cooperate during the period of our support on a number of related activities across the network.”

Bangladesh ranks fifth in the UN’s World Risk Index 2012 with cyclones, storm surges, floods and earthquakes striking every year. It is one of the world’s most densely populated countries and also one of the poorest, which means when a natural disaster strikes, the effects can be all the more devastating. The majority of the people living in rural districts are dependent on agriculture and fishing to feed themselves and their families. Not only are these livelihoods seasonal but they are at significant risk from natural hazards, and extreme weather. Freshfields’ support will help prepare the worst affected rural communities for these challenges.

British Red Cross Director of Fundraising, Mark Astarita, said: "We are thrilled to be selected as Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s new charity partner. Everyone at the British Red Cross is looking forward to combining our expertise and resources to have a long term impact on the lives of thousands of vulnerable people. These vital funds will offer a lifeline; helping people adapt to climate change and anticipate the issues they face today, before they become greater problems tomorrow."

Notes to editors

Freshfields is an international law firm based in 28 countries, with over 5,000 employees. The firm is a leader in its approach to social and environmental responsibility and has a long history of community engagement and pro bono work.

For more info about Freshfields visit: 

The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies.
We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on with their lives
For more information about the Red Cross visit:

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