SAP Activities Highlight the Importance of Private Sector Engagement in Humanitarian Crises

Sunday 03 January 2016

Dubai - MENA Herald:  Highlighting the pivotal and proactive role the private sector can play in emergency response, SAP Middle East and North Africa (SAP MENA), an enterprise software company, has carried out a variety of activities with the aim of responding to the worst displacement crisis since World War II.

SAP spearheaded a joint initiative, the One4 Project with iTunes and Imagine Dragons by mobilizing the power of music to raise awareness. The One4 Project allocates proceeds from iTunes downloads of Imagine Dragons’ song “I Was Me”, to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ (UNHCR), the leading international organisation coordinating response to displacement crises in Europe and globally.

The project is expected to raise USD 5.5 million to support thousands of refugees in Europe. The project is also an extension of SAP MENA’s support for UNHCR education activities for refugee children, directly and through its partner initiatives such as Educate a Child and the Big Heart Foundation.

Moreover, SAP employees have helped raise nearly USD 1 million for refugee aid, activities, and projects in countries surrounding Syria and Iraq, refugee transit countries, and in Germany, through the participation of five SAP MENA employees in UNHCR’s Gala dinner that took place recently.

“With fall turning to winter, there is an increased urgency to support refugees in the MENA region. We are continuing to support the UNHCR and our local partners, and are mobilizing our staff to donate time and efforts to help refugees, whether on-the-ground or using technology innovations to improve refugees’ lives,” said George Riding, Chief Financial Officer, SAP MENA.

Moreover, in Germany, SAP and the German Welfare Association are developing a free, online openSAP course for volunteers to help refugees to learn basic German. The SAP Solidarity Fund is supporting the “Working Committee – Asylum” that aims to set up a permanent meeting place for refugees and residents in Walldorf. This is in addition to funds that were raised by SAP staff to support vital integration activities for refugees who have resettled in Germany, including German language courses and housing for refugees.

“From donating money and time, to developing innovative mobile apps, our support for refugees and migrants in MENA and Germany reflects our corporate social responsibility strategy for enacting positive social change. Refugees and migrants are ready to work, and we want to provide them with the skills and training to succeed in challenging times and new environments,” said Hannes Liebe, Chief Operating Officer, SAP MENA.

“SAP MENA has embodied the values of corporate social responsibility by responding to the most pressing needs of some of the world’s most vulnerable populations. We truly value their partnership, which highlights how the private sector can play a critical role in responding to humanitarian crises by capitalizing on their passion and skills for the benefit of displaced persons” said Toby Harward, Head of Office, UNHCR Abu Dhabi.

Under the theme of “Building Back Better”, SAP has also donated nearly USD 300,000 to support relief efforts in Nepal, including training courses, rebuilding houses and schools, and adding a technology center.

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