Inditex is taking additional steps to improve lives worldwide.
The Spain-based clothing retailer, with Zara as its flagship brand, announced Monday that it had renewed its agreements with non-governmental organizations Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and Caritas and allocated $10.7 million to their global humanitarian projects.
Inditex granted $2.5 million to MSF for its medical work with Syrian refugees in Turkey and other emergency response teams in Africa, while Caritas will receive $8.2 million over the next two years for its international outreach programs in Bangladesh, Cambodia and Spain.
Specifically, Inditex will grant $1.1 million to MSF’s humanitarian and health assistance initiatives to provide psychological and pastoral support to Syrian refugees in the Turkish province of Kilis. With the funding, MSF will be able to provide treatment and health education to more than 130,000 Syrian refugees in the vicinity.
The apparel company also renewed its support to MSF’s Emergency Desk and contributed $1.4 million to the mission’s emergency response teams. Funding will be divided between the Emergency Desk at MSF’s Spanish headquarters and two mission emergency response teams in the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Inditex’s donation will enable MSF’s Emergency Desk divisions to provided extra training and support should both nations undergo financial or social hardships.
In Spain, Inditex will give $5.5 million to Caritas’ employment programs over the next three years. This grant will enable Caritas to establish workforce integration projects, on-the-job training plans, rural community development projects and self-employment initiatives. Since 2011, Inditex and Caritas have worked together to improve job prospects and workplace diversity. More than 4,600 people have benefited from this program and found their way back to the job market in the process.
The two parties also signed three-year agreements that will involve Inditex donating $2.6 million to Caritas’ community development programs in Bangladesh and Cambodia. For Bangladesh’s programs, Inditex will allocate $1.7 million for natural disaster preparation, including risk management and flood shelter development. Caritas’ Cambodia project will be funded $992,925 to extend the organization’s community health program in the country’s rural areas.
Monday’s news followed an announcement last week that Inditex would support international education growth in China.
Chief executive Pablo Isla and Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management (SEM) dean Professor Yingyi Qian signed a three-year agreement Thursday that will enable students to pursue academic and business exchanges in Spain. With the agreement, Tsinghua’s SEM students will have the opportunity to visit Inditex’s headquarters in Spain to learn about fashion retail management. Additionally, the company will sponsor staff training programs and cultural activities on campus.
In his speech to Tsinghua SEM students, Isla highlighted the importance of work diversity and a circular economy. He also said China’s market is crucial to the company’s mission and how, on an international level, it is important for people to come together globally to reform the fashion industry.
“China is a priority for Inditex, and we are convinced of its growth potential,” Isla said in a statement. “Chinese people love fashion, and we will continue listening to them and learning from them in order to go on meeting the demands of the market through our integrated online and store model.”