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Tesco becomes founding member of Disaster Relief Alliance

30 December 2014

Ten years after it made a significant donation to the British Red Cross following the Boxing Day Tsunami in 2004, the UK’s biggest retailer has become the founding member of an innovative new group.

The Disaster Relief Alliance, our brand new initiative, aims to unite the charity with the private sector to provide financial support before crises occur. The alliance will fund preparation work before disasters strike. This should increase the number of lives saved and reduce emergency response costs.

Tesco has supported the Red Cross for the past decade. In that time it has made corporate donations, emergency bucket collections and mobilised colleagues and customers alike to support the charity. In 2014 donations from Tesco passed the £10 million mark.

Helping to save lives

Rebecca Shelley, corporate affairs director for Tesco said: “First and foremost, we are a community retailer. We’re proud to serve communities all over the world, so it’s our privilege to be a founding partner for the Disaster Relief Alliance.

“This partnership will help to save lives by helping communities at risk to prepare themselves before a disaster strikes. We hope more organisations will sign up to support the Disaster Relief Alliance, too.”

The Red Cross responds to hundreds of emergencies every year, most of which do not make headlines or receive public support through emergency appeals. Red Cross teams often work in vulnerable areas before natural disasters strike to make sure damage is minimised.

The Disaster Relief Alliance will ensure more funds are available to continue this work. It will also support the long-term recovery programmes which go on long after an emergency (often for several years).

Skills for communities

Mark Astarita, British Red Cross director of fundraising, said: “We know that by giving at-risk communities the tools, resources and knowledge to respond to crises, many lives can be saved.

“Simple things like teaching basic first aid skills mean that individuals in communities affected can save a life themselves.

“Research shows that every £1 spent on disaster preparedness saves £4 on emergency response. For donors like Tesco, this means their funding will have a much greater impact.”

The alliance is comprised of both corporate partners and private donors, who have the vision to support this ground-breaking emergency response strategy.