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Haiti Relief Effort

January 15, 2010 by USA Post 

Haiti Relief Effort:As Haitians continue to reel from the massive earthquake that reduced much of its capital to rubble and killed an estimated tens of thousands of people, Wall Street firms are among those pledging millions of dollars to relief efforts.

Banks including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America have each pledged $1 million to various charities and humanitarian organizations, according to news reports and press releases.

One of these banks, Citigroup, has suffered perhaps even more than others: its Haitian headquarters collapsed, and several of its employees have died, according to an internal memorandum obtained by DealBook. Citi is giving $2 million to relief efforts, Vikram S. Pandit, its chief executive, wrote in the memo. (Read it after the jump.)

Mr. Pandit wrote that he could not yet disclose the identities of employees killed in the earthquake. “Our thoughts and prayers are with their families and friends,” he wrote.
This is a loss that touches each of us.”

Mr. Pandit also wrote that, in addition to the $2 million in contributions, the firm has also directed the shipment of prepackaged supplies through the Pan American Development Foundation.

Goldman is donating $1 million to the American Red Cross for the Haitian Relief and Development Fund, CARE, Doctors Without Borders, the International Rescue Committee, Save the Children and the United Nations World Food Programme, the firm told media outlets.

Morgan Stanley said in a release that it is giving $1 million to the American Red Cross Haiti Relief and Development Fund.

“Morgan Stanley extends its deepest condolences to those in Haiti affected by this tragedy and to those family members residing abroad, many of whom are here in the U.S.,” James P. Gorman, the firm’s chief executive, said in a statement. “Our culture and history dictate that we, as a Firm, respond and we hope that today’s donation will help provide a measure of comfort in the wake of such a catastrophic event.”

JPMorgan said in a statement that it is donating $1 million to relief efforts, including $250,000 for the American Red Cross and Care and $500,000 for later recovery and reconstruction efforts. The firm said it will also match employee contributions up to a total of $250,000 made via a special Web site.

“JPMorgan Chase is offering our support today because a quick response following a disaster like this is critical to saving lives,” Jamie Dimon, the firm’s chief executive, said in a statement. “The American Red Cross, CARE and World Vision are trusted organizations that are on the ground now and will be there to support Haiti as they work through the aftermath.”

Bank of America is donating $1 million as well, with half earmarked for the American Red Cross, according to Reuters.

Wells Fargo said in a statement that it has pledged $100,000 to the American Red Cross.

Credit Agricole, the French bank, is contributing 1 million euros ($1.45 million) and working with nongovernmental organizations, according to Bloomberg News. Jefferies is donating $1 million, along with volunteered salaries and net commissions for Jan. 5 to relief efforts, its chief executive told Bloomberg in an interview.

“The combination of extreme poverty on the island and a horrific natural disaster — it just cried out for help,” Richard B. Handler, the chief executive, said.

And William A. Ackman of Pershing Square Capital Management is donating $1 million to Partners in Care through his Pershing Square Foundation.

Here’s the full Citi memo:

To: All Colleagues
From: Vikram Pandit
Re: Citi’s Actions in Response to the Haiti Earthquake

I am deeply saddened to inform you that a few of our colleagues were among those who lost their lives in Tuesday’s devastating earthquake in Haiti. While we cannot disclose their identities at this point, our thoughts and prayers are with their families and friends. This is a loss that touches each of us. I can also tell you that many of our colleagues were able to safely evacuate our building in Port-au-Prince.

As we all know from the images and stories being broadcast around the world, the people of Haiti are enduring an unthinkable loss. In response, we have directed $2 million to assist in the relief effort. Additionally, through a disaster response partnership with the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF), Citi Foundation has approved the shipment of pre-packaged relief supplies. We continue to look for other opportunities to assist the people of Haiti.

A team from Citi Security & Investigative Services and Citi Realty Services has arrived in Port-au-Prince and is assisting our people. Despite the challenging conditions, this team has made its way to our damaged facility to participate in rescue efforts. In addition, it is assisting the local authorities in their efforts. Our Continuity of Business and Crisis Management teams have worked tirelessly to ensure the safety of our colleagues in Haiti and maintain critical business processes.

I have been heartened by the offers of assistance and support many of you have expressed. The Red Cross has established a Web site where you can contribute to the relief efforts, and we have established accounts for you to donate specifically to the relief of your colleagues in Haiti (Details on how to contribute can be found at www.citigroup.net and other regional and country intranets). Many of you have also volunteered to travel to Haiti to assist emergency workers. Your offers of assistance are greatly appreciated.

Thank you for all of the help you have provided and offered. This is a very difficult time for the people of Haiti and our colleagues and their families on the ground. I know all of our thoughts and prayers are with them.

Report to Team

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