When floodwaters floods tore through parts of Belgium in July 2021, many people, organisations, and businesses rushed to respond. But Belgium wasn’t the only victim of this summer’s extreme weather, and many were also keen to contribute to relief efforts in other countries, too.
With assistance from the expertise and connections of the King Baudouin Foundation, projects have been identified and grants extended to communities across the border in Germany as well as to victims of severe floods half a world away, in the central Chinese province of Henan.
Solvay Solidarity Fund
Launched in 2020 by Belgian-based chemicals multinational Solvay, the fund supports employees, their families and communities suffering hardship due to the Covid-19 pandemic. From the outset, the fund has relied on KBF’s U.S. affiliate KBFUS and its network of European partners in Transnational Giving Europe (TGE) to help it collect donations from operations and staff based abroad. In summer 2021, it extended its remit to allocate two million euros to flood victims. By autumn, nearly a million euros had been spent in Belgium, Germany, and China.
When hundreds of people were killed in the floods in China’s Henan province in July, staff at a Solvay site in Shanghai asked how the company’s fund could help there. The answer was not straightforward. A 260,000-euro grant was earmarked. But how to get the money to its destination?
Every donation from abroad needs Chinese government approval and to be channeled through an organisation registered locally. Give2Asia, which has a China Representative Office, created a fund to carry out this transit. Its team in Beijing carried out the due diligence process and ensured the grant was properly processed and managed.
The speed with which donor funds were able to cross national frontiers to reach recipients at the moment of greatest need highlighted Myriad’s advantages in disaster relief.