ICMIF members around the world announce generous donations to help rescue efforts in Türkiye and Syria after the earthquake

16 February 2023

Turkey and Syria Earthquake 2023. A devastating magnitude 7.8 ea

Various ICMIF members around the world have confirmed their support through financial donations towards the disaster relief efforts in Türkiye and Syria following the devastating earthquakes which occurred on Monday 6 February 2023.

Beneva in Canada has announced that it has donated CAD 25,000 to the Canadian Red Cross to support people affected by the earthquakes. In the company’s announcement, Beneva said that caring is part of the company’s DNA and therefore it had joined with the Canadian Red Cross to respond to the needs arising from the devastating earthquakes in these countries.

Jean-François Chalifoux, President and Chief Executive Officer of Beneva said: “We are committed to supporting humanitarian efforts and showing our solidarity with the people whose lives have been shattered by the tragic events. All our thoughts are with those affected directly and indirectly by these natural catastrophes.”

Another Canadian member, Co-operators announced that it has donated CAD 50,000 to the Canadian Red Cross Earthquake in Türkiye and Syria Appeal to help support emergency relief efforts to those in need. At the time of this announcement, donations were being doubled through the Canadian Federal Government’s pledge to match all funds contributed to the Red Cross.

“We are devasted to see the immense human suffering and damage caused by the earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria,” says Rob Wesseling, President and CEO of Co-operators and Chair of ICMIF. “The powerful images reflect the urgent need for humanitarian aid. Our purpose and values compel us to act in support of the relief efforts on the ground and we encourage other Canadians to contribute if they are in a position to do so.”

Also in Canada, the Desjardins Group announced that it had teamed up with the Canadian Red Cross, donating CAD 60,000 to the Earthquake in Türkiye & Syria Appeal in response to the disaster.

Guy Cormier, President and CEO of Desjardins Group said: “We’re deeply saddened by the loss of life and the damage caused by this devastating event. We want to offer our full support to those who need it most. We hope that our CAD 60,000 donation to the Red Cross will help alleviate the suffering of those affected and play a part in recovery efforts.”

The Benefact Trust and Benefact Group are working together to do as much as they can to help charities working to tackle the devastation caused by the earthquakes. The Benefact Trust has announced that it is giving GBP 250,000 to charities on the front line and the Group is triple matching all employee giving and part of a reinsurance arrangement will eventually help with rebuilding. Together the contribution will be over half a million pounds (GBP). The Benefact Trust owns the Benefact Group, which is made up of specialist financial companies including ICMIF member Ecclesiastical. The available profits from Ecclesiastical and the other financial companies in the Group go towards funding the Trust’s charitable giving.

The most recent announcement from our members in Canada was received from Gore Mutual which has donated CAD 25,000 to the Canadian Red Cross in Türkiye and Syria Appeal. Andy Taylor, Chief Executive Officer said: “The impact of the earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria has been devastating. As a modern mutual, we know that supporting organisations on the ground, such as the Canadian Red Cross, will help to reach those most in need and support the recovery of impacted communities. Our thoughts are with the members of these communities, including those here in Canada.”

The LB Foreningen association (Denmark) which includes all 420,000 members of ICMIF member LB Forsikring, announced it had donated DKK 2 million to the Red Cross for their work for the victims of the massive earthquakes.

Lars Busk Hansen, Chair of the LB Foreningen association and Chair of the board of LB Forsikring said: “The earthquake hit an area with millions of people, many of whom already needed humanitarian aid. The death toll is still rising, and many are in a desperate situation. At LB Foreningen, we have a tradition of helping with donations for major humanitarian disasters, and right now we are in a situation where the victims must have all the support and help they can get. With this contribution to the Red Cross, we hope to be able to help make a small difference for the victims.”

Anders Ladekarl, Secretary General of the Danish Red Cross expressed his thanks to LB Foreningen saying: “Thanks to LB Foreningen and LB Forsikring for their support in yet another emergency situation. It is much appreciated. The disaster is very extensive and completely unfortunate for the many millions who are directly affected. We will immediately convert the money into emergency aid and assistance for the victims of the earthquake in Türkiye and Syria.”

Moved by the devastating images from Türkiye and Syria in the wake of the violent earthquakes on February 6, Canadian ICMIF member Promutuel Insurance, along with its 16 mutual insurance associations and the Promutuel Federation, announced a donation of CAD 25,000 to the Canadian Red Cross Relief Fund to support its immediate disaster relief efforts.

In a press release, Promutuel Insurance, in keeping with its mutualist values, it wants to show its solidarity and do its part to help the victims and their families overcome this terrible ordeal. Promutuel Insurance also encouraged its staff and the general public to show their generosity and give to the Canadian Red Cross Relief Fund.

Dr Norbert Rollinger, CEO of German ICMIF member R+V Versicherung announced his organisation’s contribution to the relief efforts saying: “Collapsed houses, thousands dead, tens of thousands injured and homeless – the catastrophe in the Türkiye-Syria border region has shocked us all deeply. We have colleagues working here in R+V Versicherung who have family members or friends in the earthquake area. Our thoughts are with them.”

To support humanitarian aid on the ground in the two countries, the R+V Management Board decided to provide EUR 50,000 as a donation to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies – IFRC.

In addition to the donation, additional employee fundraising under the auspices of the R+V Foundation was also announced by Dr Rollinger. He confirmed that, up to a total of EUR 50,000, R+V would double every euro donated by its employees. The money will go to the German Red Cross, CARE and other local aid organisations which are active in Türkiye and in Syria.

In support of relief efforts, Royal London (UK) has donated GBP 100,000 to the Disasters Emergency Committee disaster relief effort. The donation will go towards supporting communities in urgent need of shelter, food, and medical aid.

UK-based ICMIF member Simplyhealth announced its fundraising initiative to help relief work saying that the organisation is proud to put purpose at the heart of everything it does.

In its announcement, Simplyhealth said it was hoping to raise funds and donate up to GBP 150,000 to the UK Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Turkey-Syria Earthquake Appeal by matching donations made by its customers, colleagues, corporate clients, professionals, partners, friends and family up to GBP 75,000.

DEC charities and their local partners are working with people on the ground in Türkiye and Syria. They are working to meet the immediate needs of all people with food, water, shelter, medical assistance, protection and trauma care.

At the time of the Simplyhealth announcement, every pound donated by the UK public to the DEC appeal was being matched by the UK Government up to GBP 5 million. As of 15 February, the DEC announced that UK public donations had surpassed GBP 74 million.

The Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions, in partnership with ICMIF member the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU), has launched a Turkish Cooperative Earthquake Relief Fund to solicit donations in support of Türkiye’s cooperative movement.

World Council of Credit Unions President and CEO Elissa McCarter LaBorde reached out to the leaders of Tarimkredi and the heads of other organisations in Türkiye to assess the greatest needs and to determine how the Relief Fund can be put to the best and most immediate use possible.

“As someone who managed post-earthquake recovery programmes in Türkiye earlier in my career, my heart goes out to the many communities that have been hit by this tragedy. World Council and our Worldwide Foundation have assisted financial cooperatives in the wake of natural disasters for decades. We are proud to play a part in helping mobilise the generosity of the global credit union movement to support those in need,” said McCarter LaBorde.

For member-only strategic content on the cooperative/mutual insurance sector, ICMIF members have exclusive access to a range of online resources through the ICMIF Knowledge Hub.

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