Fast Retailing Co., Ltd. announced that it is donating US $1,000,000 to support the over 2 million Syrian refugees - more than half of them under 17 years of age - who have fled their homes since the outbreak of civil war in March 2011.
The donation is being made through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which Fast Retailing has supported since 2006, and it will be used to address critical needs such as shelter, water, food and sanitation, healthcare and legal support for those seeking sanctuary.
In addition, working with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), Fast Retailing has committed to donate a total of 100,000 items of HEATTECH and Ultra Light Down cold weather clothing (approximately US $1,000,000 in value) to refugee children between the ages of three and eighteen, as well as adult and children's clothing from its All Product Recycling Initiative - with priority placed on cold weather and children's items.
More than 97% of Syria's refugees are in the surrounding countries of Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey, which lack the economic and infrastructural resources to support them. With winter rapidly approaching and cold weather expected in many areas, help is desperately needed.
"UNIQLO's contribution shows that there is an imperative to respond to the deteriorating humanitarian situation in and around Syria -not just by governments and aid agencies, but also by the corporate world," said Daniel Endres, UNHCR's Director of External Relations. "UNHCR appeals to other leading corporations to follow UNIQLO's lead. Their help could make a life-saving difference to displaced families and others in great need
"As the crisis in the Syrian Arab Republic is into its third year, children face tremendous danger on a daily basis. UNICEF has been working to help children in Syria and neighboring countries with supplying water, clothing, critical immunizations, and giving counseling.
"Thanks to UNIQLO, we will be able to supply winter clothes to children, before severe winter coldness hits Syria and neighboring countries this year by its additional help to the support for education in several countries in Asia and Serbia started last year. We would like to express our sincere gratitude for your generous support." said Ken Hayami, Executive Director, Japan Committee for UNICEF
To date, Fast Retailing has donated approximately 7,200,000 items of clothing through its All Product Recycling Initiative to refugees and victims of natural disasters across thirty countries worldwide, including Bangladesh, Kenya, and Liberia.
As a responsible corporate citizen, Fast Retailing is committed to addressing environmental and social challenges worldwide. Last year, Fast Retailing provided 220,000 items of clothing to Syrian refugees in Jordan, and this year Fast Retailing employees travelled to Jordan to directly support distribution of the items to those in need.