Monsanto pledges multi-stage support to aid Philippines, farmers devastated by typhoon
Agricultural company teams up with international non-governmental organizations to aid those in need.
(November 25, 2013) - Monsanto Company has pledged its support to help the people of the Philippines, including local farmers, who are now working to recover and rebuild from the devastation caused by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Typhoon Haiyan). The company, which has more than 100 employees in the region and has partnered with Filipino farmers for more than 45 years, announced a series of commitments including: improving the lives of those in need by providing short term relief of food and water, helping to rebuild and repair farmers’ homes, donating corn seed and offering employee donation matches to further enhance support of relief efforts. Monsanto’s support of the relief effort is expected to total more than $400,000 (US).
“Our thoughts and support go out to the people directly impacted by the typhoon as well as our entire Filipino community at Monsanto,” said Mike Frank, Monsanto’s Vice President, International Row Crops and Vegetables. “Now is the time for us to help them rebuild, reestablish their homes and regain their livelihood. We realize this is just the beginning of a long journey but by partnering together with others we hope we can help contribute to the rebuilding efforts in the region.”
“This tragedy hits really close to home for us,” said Fred Perlak, vice president of research and business operations for Monsanto in Hawaii. “Not only do many of our employees have personal ties to the Philippines, including friends and family in the devastated areas, but as farmers ourselves, we feel the pain and suffering of our fellow farmers whose homes and fields were destroyed. I’m very grateful for the company’s support.”
Those struggling with the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda include more than 20,000 farm families in the Visayan Islands of the Philippines. In order to help support farm families impacted in this region, the company will work alongside established non-governmental organizations that have a strong history and knowledge of the Visayas area. Those groups include the Philippines Red Cross, the Gawad Kalinga foundation, the International Red Cross, the UN World Food Programme and the Red Crescent Society.
To support near-term relief efforts, Monsanto is partnering with the Philippines Red Cross to provide food, water and temporary shelter through a donation of $100,000. In addition to contributions to the Philippines Red Cross to aid short term relief, the company is also partnering with Gawad Kalinga, a Philippine based foundation dedicated to ending poverty and homelessness. Through a donation of $250,000, Monsanto, together with Gawad Kalinga, will build 50 new homes and repair an additional 230 homes for farmers in the Visayas region.
To further support farm families in the region, Monsanto will also provide DEKALB® Genuity corn hybrid seeds free of charge to corn farmers with extensive crop damage so they may replant flooded or damaged fields as soon as possible.
Monsanto will also match dollar for dollar all relief effort donations made by Monsanto employees to the International Red Cross, the UN World Food Programme and the Red Crescent Society. This employee match program includes all individual employee donations up to $1,000.
“My family members in the Philippines lost homes and are among the many who have immediate needs for food, shelter and supplies,” said Joan Ferguson, a Monsanto employee in Hawaii who is originally from Biliran Island in the Philippines. “While we try to reach them and pray for their well-being, I am thankful to see my company and colleagues working to help farmers and victims in the devastated areas.”
“Our relationships with partners and stakeholders are based on trust and the spirit of caring and sharing,” said Gawad Kalinga’s Executive Director Luis Oquinena “We have previously worked with Monsanto and we saw how this partnership has made a difference.”
Others who want to join Monsanto in helping those in the Philippines rebuild following Typhoon Yolanda can contact The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) at www.ifrc.org or the UN World Food Programme at www.wfp.org.