Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Preparedness
As part of our humanitarian aid and disaster preparedness strategy, Visa works with agencies that are equipped to provide immediate relief and longer-term recovery.
Our primary partnership for humanitarian aid is with Oxfam America, an international relief and development organization that creates lasting solutions to poverty, hunger and injustice around the world. Visa’s support focuses on helping alleviate distress and laying the foundation for recovery and growth when disaster strikes. In 2008, Visa made an initial three-year funding commitment to Oxfam America focused on both humanitarian aid and programs devoted to poverty alleviation. We are proud to fund Oxfam’s “Saving Lives 24/7” program. This initiative invests in healthcare and long-term plans to help disaster-affected people restore livelihoods and disaster-preparedness planning and training.
When natural disasters occur, Visa responds. In 2008, Visa made an additional donation to Oxfam America to support its response efforts after the earthquake in China and the cyclone in Myanmar. We responded similarly when a tsunami struck countries on the Indian Ocean in 2004, and again when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast in 2005. Our immediate cash donations — including corporate matching funds and employee contributions — provided more than $2.2 million to the Red Cross and other relief agencies.
Visa also addresses ongoing humanitarian crises. Funding Oxfam’s “Humanitarian Response: Darfur,” we are working to improve living conditions in the refugee camps of East Africa.
Our support provides funding for public health programs and an innovative fuel-efficient stove program that contributes to personal safety in the camps and creates income-generating employment programs. Outside the camps, program funds are directed to host communities to support additional services and infrastructure improvements, helping to prevent additional migration into the camps that would exacerbate the crisis.