Disaster Relief & Recovery

Paying Tribute to Humanitarians Who Risk Their Lives in Service

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On World Humanitarian Day each August 19, we pay tribute to those who have put themselves in harm’s way in service to others, and rally support for those who endure and survive humanitarian crises around the world. When natural disasters and other humanitarian crises occur, a wide variety of governmental and nonprofit organizations provide aid – such as food, shelter, education, healthcare, and protection – to those affected. IBM’s long history of collaborating with these organizations is an expression of our values, and a testament to the culture of service of our company and employees.

Since 2001, IBM has responded to more than 70 disasters and humanitarian crises around the globe. We reach out to communities in times of need, contributing our expertise and technologies to help affected areas and individuals regroup, rebuild, and recover.

The goal of our support is to address the most challenging societal problems so that communities can work better, be healthier and cultivate strength. 

  • Following Hurricane Harvey, we worked with the OneStar Foundation and Texas A&M University to deliver an IBM Blockchain prototype to investigate how the technology can be used to store and process data and damage claims – helping manage allocation and disbursement of recovery payments efficiently, transparently and securely.
  • After Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, we delivered two grants to the Puerto Rico Department of Education – the first to assess damage to the IT and communications equipment at 1,130 schools across the island; and the second to evaluate the education department’s resiliency in the face of future storms, and provide improvement recommendations.
  • With more than 65 million people displaced across the world, IBM is collaborating through a grant with the Danish Refugee Council to determine how machine learning and data science can help predict future migration flows, using cutting-edge technology developed by IBM Research in Ireland.
  • Through IBM Volunteers, we are forming a Disaster Volunteer Corps, enabling IBMers who are passionate about helping their communities prepare for and respond to disaster band together to foster community resilience around the world.

We share a responsibility to this world and to our fellow citizens. Service always has been integral to IBM’s core business strategy, and compels us to address social challenges where our expertise and innovation can help improve communities and lives.

“Resiliency is the ability to resist, absorb, accommodate, adapt to, transform and recover from hazards in a timely and efficient manner.”
The United Nations Sendai Framework

As IBM commemorates World Humanitarian Day, we applaud the accomplishments of aid workers and volunteers across the world who passionately and selflessly serve others every day. And we challenge the world to ensure their continued safety and security.

Rebecca Curzon is Senior Program Manager, IBM Corporate Citizenship. Read IBM’s 2017 Corporate Responsibility Report to learn more about our global humanitarian initiatives.

Global Humanitarian Response Manager and Senior Program Manager, IBM Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs

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