Inditex is donating €2.3 million to support Médecins Sans Frontières's relief work in seven countries

  • Inditex has renewed its support for Médecins Sans Frontières’ (MSF) work with Syrian refugees in the Turkish province of Kilis, on Syrian border, for the fifth consecutive year
  • Inditex’s support also extends to the Al Salamah Hospital in Aleppo, northern Syria.
  • The contribution to the two projects in this region totals €900,000
  • In addition, Inditex is funding medical care and a project to supply clean drinking water to refugees from the Rohingya community in Bangladesh, reaching around 120,000 refugees. Funds have also been earmarked to support the fight against acute malnutrition in children in Jharkhand, north-east India
  • Inditex is also reiterating its long-standing support for MSF's Emergency Desk, financing its logistics and personnel in full through a €1 million contribution
  • Since 2008, Inditex has set aside over €21.5 million in support for MSF under the scope of their Framework Collaboration Agreement, which has directly benefitted more than 2.2 million people
  • Inditex is also reiterating its long-standing support for MSF's Emergency Desk, financing its logistics and personnel in full through a €1 million contribution
  • Since 2008, Inditex has set aside over €21.5 million in support for MSF under the scope of their Framework Collaboration Agreement, which has directly benefitted more than 2.2 million people

Inditex has renewed its commitment to the medical and humanitarian relief work carried out by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) with Syrian refugees in the Turkish province of Kilis. It has also reiterated its long-standing support for the Emergency Desk operated from MSF's headquarters in Spain.

Thanks to this agreement, and a total contribution of €2.3 million, Inditex's support will also extend to the Al Salamah Hospital in the Azzaz district of the Syrian province of Aleppo. In addition, the agreement covers care for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and a programme for combatting acute malnutrition in children in India.

The agreement was signed by the chairman and CEO of Inditex, Pablo Isla, and the managing director of MSF Spain, Joan Tubau, at Inditex's headquarters in Arteixo (La Coruña), at a ceremony also attended by the president of the medical-humanitarian organisation in Spain, David Noguera.

Projects in Turkey and Syria

Since it was set up in 2013, the Syrian refugee project in Kilis, Turkey, has become one of the leading initiatives in providing care to over 130,000 people who fled the war in their home country and are currently living in this province. In 2017, the MSF teams on the ground centred their efforts on providing mental health and psychosocial support to the refugee population affected by the scarcity of resources in the region.

Inditex has provided financial support to this project from the outset, along with aid for other initiatives designed to ease the consequences of the war in Syria. Under the new annual agreement, the Kilis refugee care programme will be given €500,000.

In addition, Inditex will provide €400,000 of financing to the Al Salamah Hospital in the Azzaz district in the province of Aleppo in northern Syria. The goal is to provide primary and secondary medical care - in the form of both emergency and regular outpatient care - to those suffering from chronic and severe illness among the 400,000 people living in the district.

MSF's Al Salamah project has lent support to three hospitals and five health centres in Aleppo since 2012. For the last five years, the organisation's efforts have focused on ensuring medical and surgical care; primary, paediatric and reproductive care; emergency relief; and assistance with food scarcity.  

Support for the Emergency Desk

With the new annual agreement, Inditex has also renewed its financial support for the medical-humanitarian organisation's Emergency Desk, earmarking €1 million this year. Part of this sum will be set aside to finance two of the Desk's regional missions, specifically those in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic.

MSF's Emergency Desk is responsible for monitoring and managing the emergency interventions carried out and overseen by the mission’s emergency response teams on the ground. This readiness capability has a team of experts both in the head office in Spain, largely funded by Inditex, and in different countries around the world, and specialises in humanitarian crises.

Support for this unit is therefore vital to enable emergency intervention by MSF around the world, so that it can carry out an essential component of its mission: saving lives.

Care for Rohingya refugees

The exodus of the Rohingya from Myanmar has emerged as a new challenge for the international community. Over 582,000 people have fled to Bangladesh since violence in the region intensified last August.

Given the current scale of this humanitarian crisis, Inditex's €300,000 contribution will help fund two key activities that MSF has been working on to help the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh: the provision of medical care to adults, children and pregnant women; and access to drinking water and sanitation in Jamtoli, Hakimpara, Unchiparang and Putibunia. According to MSF's calculations, the assistance provided to these refugee camps could reach around 120,000 people.

Combatting severe malnutrition in children in India

Over the last ten years, MSF has looked after over 17,000 children in India, in line with the international guidelines for community-based management of acute malnutrition (CMAM). MSF has recently set up a project to combat malnutrition in the West Singhbhum district of the state of Jharkhand.

The programme will run for three years - until the end of 2019 - and is intended for children aged six months to five years. The ultimate goal is to bring down the mortality rate and according to MSF's calculations, this initiative will directly benefit 411 patients.

The project will also encompass the provision of training for local nurses and education about healthy habits to members of the local community. Inditex is providing a total of €100,000 to fund this initiative.

Inditex's aid strategy for refugees and forced migrants

One of the cornerstones of Inditex's community investment strategy is the provision of care to refugees and migrants forced to start a new life away from home.

To tackle this situation from a range of perspectives, in addition to its collaboration with MSF, Inditex is working on a series of initiatives with other non-profit entities, particularly in four different areas:

  • Clothing donations: throughout 2017, Inditex has donated more than half a million garments to these causes through entities such as the Red Cross, Caritas, ACCEM, CEAR and World Vision.
  • The On the Colombian Borders Programme, with Entreculturas and the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS): this initiative is aimed at providing opportunities and support for the people displaced by the armed conflict in Colombia in countries such as Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela.
  • The EPGO Programme: the goal of this programme is to assist people in need of international protection. These include forced migrants in countries such as Mexico, and refugees who have had to abandon their home countries, including South Africa and Lebanon.
  • The Chair for Refugees and Forced Migrants with Comillas Pontifical University: the aim is to foster academic research into migration issues as well as a collaboration between the university and non-profit organisations.

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and Inditex

MSF is an international medical humanitarian organisation with a presence in over 70 countries and roughly 500 live projects underway. Its overriding mission is to assist populations in distress, victims of natural or man-made disasters and victims of armed conflict all around the world.

These annual collaboration agreements are part of the Framework Agreement signed by the two entities in 2008. This Framework Agreement has materialised in contributions of €21.5 million by Inditex to the work carried out by MSF in 35 countries, directly benefitting more than 2.2 million people.

Inditex’s partnership with MSF is part of the Group’s broader social investing strategy which encompasses a series of community initiatives carried out with a number of non-profit entities with expertise in the various projects’ respective spheres of geographic influence. Specifically, in 2016, Inditex invested €40 million in social initiatives, directly benefitting over 1.1 million people.

Detailed information about each project can be found here.