Any US Corporate Response to Japan Disaster?

Atsugi base residents donate supplies for earthquake relief in Japan.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Wal-Mart responded with $20 million in cash donations, 1,500 truckloads of free merchandise, food for 100,000 meals and the promise of a job for every one of its displaced workers (Barbaro & Gillis 2005).  As the Japanese government struggles to recover from the recent earthquake, care for its citizens and avoid a nuclear disaster, I was wondering what, if anything, corporations were doing to help in the effort.

A recent report by Reuters outlined the “Japan quake’s impact on U.S. companies.”  With so many US companies affected and operating in Japan I hoped that the same were responding with aid to the devastated region.  I was concerned when a simple google search resulted in only two pertinent stories about aid coming from Sun Life Financial and Microsoft.

Then I stumbled upon a site by the US Chamber of Commerce’s Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC) entitled, “Corporate Aid Tracker – Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami, March 2011.”  Here I learned that global corporate assistance for this crisis has reached approximately $45 million by over 40 companies, many responded with size-able donations to the American Red Cross.

Hopefully with continued assistance from governments, corporations and individuals, Japan can recover more quickly from this recent disaster.  We all have a responsibility when a natural disaster of this magnitude occurs.

Image Credit:  Official US Navy Imagery via Flickr under CC license.

Written by Emily DeMasi

Emily McKinin DeMasi is a 2011 MBA/ MA Public Policy candidate and Peace Corps Fellow at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. Her thesis work concerns Corporate Social Responsibility in the United States. She also works as a Research Fellow at Bridgeway Capital, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) in downtown Pittsburgh. Emily has worked as an Associate in a Private Equity Placement Firm in NY and as a Water and Sanitation Volunteer in Ivory Coast, West Africa. She hopes to combine her business background with her passion for development and inspire others in the fields of Sustainability and CSR.


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