BENTONVILLE, Ark. – January 22, 2018 – Walmart and The Miami Foundation announced $4.9 million in grants to Mercy Corps to support Puerto Rico relief and recovery efforts in the continued aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The funding includes a $3 million dollar grant from Walmart and a $1.9 million dollar grant from the Walmart Puerto Rico Relief Fund administered by The Miami Foundation.* Walmart and the Walmart Foundation’s total charitable commitment in support of Puerto Rico hurricane relief and recovery totals approximately $7.1 million to date, exceeding a commitment of $5 million in support of relief and recovery efforts in Puerto Rico.
“It has been four months since Hurricanes Irma and Maria hit Puerto Rico; many of our friends and associates on the island are still in need of everyday essentials, and assistance rebuilding homes and businesses,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, president of the Walmart Foundation and chief sustainability officer for Walmart. “Mercy Corps has been on the island since the immediate aftermath of both storms. They have a proven ability to make a direct, positive impact in the areas that need it most.”
Along with the grant allocation announcement, Mercy Corps is announcing that the Walmart funding will be used to create at least 14 Mercy Corps resilience hubs in existing community centers on the island, which will support the following activities:
- Rebuilding the island’s energy and water supply, including installing low-maintenance solar energy systems and batteries that allow resilience hubs to function off-the-grid while providing reliable power and water to people in the community.
- Disaster preparedness programming in partnership with local municipalities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the island’s business community to ensure the efficient use of construction materials during the rebuilding process and to reduce vulnerability to future disasters.
- Support for small farms, such as clearing fields and providing seeds and fertilizer that will enable crops to be replanted during the dry season.
“This year’s hurricane season will be here before we know it,” said Karla Peña, Emergency Program Manager for Mercy Corps in Puerto Rico. “We don’t have time to do one thing at a time. The resilience hubs will help people today, while connecting them to the resources they need in case of future disasters.”
In addition to the Mercy Corps funding, Walmart has assembled a response team of experts from within the company that will be available to support Mercy Corps in Puerto Rico. They will bring expertise ranging from clean water technology to energy efficiency to disaster resiliency.
“We are heavily focused on community resilience both here at home and across the region. The resiliency hubs this grant creates will help the island rebound and better withstand future severe weather threats,” said Javier Alberto Soto, president and CEO of The Miami Foundation. “We are privileged to work with Walmart and Mercy Corps on continued recovery efforts in Puerto Rico, ensuring our region rebuilds after this devastating storm.”
*Editor’s Note: The $3 million grant from Walmart to Mercy Corps is part of the $5 million in cash and product Walmart and the Walmart Foundation committed to Puerto Rico Hurricane Maria relief and recovery efforts, which was announced on September 28, 2017. The $1.9 million grant from The Miami Foundation to Mercy Corps is made from the Walmart Puerto Rico Relief Fund. Dollars in the fund were sourced from an online customer donation campaign Walmart conducted in the aftermath of the storms ($900,000) along with $1 million in 2 to 1 matching funds from Walmart.
Overall, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation’s total charitable commitment in support of Puerto Rico hurricane relief and recovery is approximately $7.1 million in grants and product donations. This amount does not include customer contributions, totaling more than $900,000.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better - anytime and anywhere - in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. The company’s legal name will become Walmart Inc., effective on Feb. 1, 2018, to reflect its growing status as an omni-channel retailer. Each week, over 260 million customers and members visit our more than 11,600 stores under nearly 60 banners in 28 countries and eCommerce websites. With fiscal year 2017 revenue of $485.9 billion, Walmart employs approximately 2.3 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com, on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart.
About Philanthropy at Walmart
By using our strengths to help others, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation create opportunities for people to live better every day. Walmart has stores in 28 countries, employing more than 2.3 million associates and doing business with thousands of suppliers who, in turn, employ millions of people. Our philanthropy helps people live better by supporting upward job mobility and economic development for the retail workforce; addressing hunger and making healthier, more sustainably-grown food a reality; and building strong communities where Walmart operates and inspiring our associates to give back. Whether it is helping to lead the fight against hunger in the United States with $2 billion in cash and in-kind donations or supporting Women’s Economic Empowerment through a series of grants totaling $10 million to the Women in Factories training program in Bangladesh, China, India and Central America, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are not only working to tackle key social issues, we are also collaborating with others to inspire solutions for long-lasting systemic change. To learn more about Walmart’s giving, visit http://www.foundation.walmart.com.
About Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we think openly, work collaboratively and act courageously to help people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities – today, and for the future. In the aftermath of hurricanes Maria and Irma, Mercy Corps has delivered 5,000 solar lanterns, 2,500 water filters and cash assistance to thousands of families. Additionally, the organization partnered with World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit founded by celebrity chef José Andrés, to deliver hot meals around the island. Mercy Corps also established relationships with local nonprofits to identify and help those who are in the greatest need of assistance. Learn more about Mercy Corps’ work on the island here.
About The Miami Foundation
Since 1967, The Miami Foundation has used civic leadership, community investment and philanthropy to improve the quality of life for everyone who calls Greater Miami home. We have partnered with more than 1,000 individuals, families and corporations who have become champions for causes through personalized, philanthropic funds. Thanks to them, we have awarded more than $250 million in grants and currently manage more than $300 million in assets to create opportunities for residents, ensure Miami-Dade County’s resiliency and foster homegrown creativity. Learn more at www.miamifoundation.org.