CEOs Joe Kaeser from Siemens and Dr. Herbert Diess from Volkswagen commented. “We have all seen the shocking images from the Moria camp and the island of Lesbos. The circumstances for the refugees are desperate, the majority have lost what little they possessed. There is often a lack of bare necessities. In this situation, we believe it is our humanitarian responsibility to help the distraught refugees, the adults and all the children, swiftly and with as little red tape as possible. Given the situation, experienced aid organizations such as the Red Cross will ensure that our aid reaches those in need quickly and that appropriate care and support is given to the refugees. “
DRK General Secretary Christian Reuter said: “The donation from these two major German corporations is a wonderful example of willingness to help others, humanity and practical solidarity. I am grateful that in light of the situation on Lesbos, both companies have responded so swiftly and are providing sustained aid for the work of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement that has been endeavoring to improve the situation of the refugees in Greece for a long time.”
In April, the Volkswagen Group already donated one million euros for immediate aid and emergency relief for refugees in Syria, Turkey and Greece menaced by the corona pandemic. Volkswagen Group Refugee Support has been initiating and coordinating integration programs in Germany to prepare young refugees for vocational training and the labor market since 2015. Over 5,000 people have already been helped to date. Expanding refugee support on an international scale is an important element of the Volkswagen Group’s engagement in refugee aid.
Siemens regularly provides aid to refugees. Back in 2016, the company set up four special classes of 16 refugees each. As part of an intensive, six-month training program, these students were then prepared to receive technical training. In addition, the company made about 400 internships available for refugees and provided about two million euros in donations. Immediately after the corona pandemic broke out, Siemens set up a worldwide COVID-19 relief fund. Through the non profit organization Siemens Caring Hands e.V., this fund is providing long-term assistance by supplying financial and material resources to people who have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic. In this way, Siemens is providing corona relief totaling about 15 million euros, including donations made by Siemens employees from around 40 countries. Moreover, Siemens and Siemens Healthineers frequently support regions in difficult situations by making healthcare technology and infrastructure services available. This aid includes, for instance, custom-equipped Siemens Smart Clinics of the kind recently deployed in Jordan, Colombia, Egypt and Iraq.