The Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft has decided to support the Italian Red Cross (CRI) with a €100,000 donation for humanitarian aid to the victims of violent tempest Cleopatra. The funds are to benefit people in the flooded cities of Sardinia. The donation was handed over on Wednesday in Rome.
In November, the severe storm had resulted in massive flooding in Sardinia. Especially the North-East coast of the Italian island was affected. 16 people lost their lives and many were injured. A large number of houses and bridges were destroyed. Dr. Thomas Steg, Volkswagen Group General Representative for External Relations and Government Relations, commented: “In order to ensure essential supplies to the people who are affected and the rapid reconstruction of severely damaged infrastructure, Volkswagen is supporting the essential deployment of aid workers on site.”
The donation was handed over by Dr. Steg to Francesco Rocca, President of the Italian Red Cross, in Rome on Wednesday. Rocca: “We thank Volkswagen for its recognition of the activities of the Italian Red Cross in support of the population in Sardinia. As in any catastrophe, our voluntary aid workers have made tremendous efforts and demonstrated considerable dedication. In the aftermath of the catastrophe, the Italian Red Cross is continuing its efforts to help the people of Sardinia in their return to normality.”
Immediately after the severe storm had abated, the Italian Red Cross started to help the population and is now in the process of providing aid on site in cooperation with the communities affected and other organizations. On average, 100 voluntary aid workers are deployed every day. They distribute food, blankets and other essential supplies to people who have been rendered homeless and also provide medical assistance. The aid organization is coordinating the deployment of volunteers from Olbia and has established collection depots for textiles and other aid materials at bases in Bosa, Nuoro, Oristano und Sassari. The essential supplies are being issued in Olbia and Solarussa.
Volkswagen and Italy are linked by long-standing ties of friendship. The first Italian “guest workers” were recruited in 1962. Over the years, more than 35,000 Italians (or 60,000, including their families) came to Wolfsburg. Nowadays, about 6,500 Italian citizens live in the city where the Volkswagen Group has its headquarters.
In Germany, the Volkswagen Group and the German Red Cross agreed on a strategic partnership on the occasion of the humanitarian organization’s 150th anniversary. Together, the two partners are committed to generating enthusiasm for responsible action and to providing people with motivation for social commitment. The German Red Cross is assisting Volkswagen with the processing of its donation to the Italian Red Cross.