Supporting disaster preparedness, relief and long-term recovery.

Syrian Refugee Crisis

As of April 2015, the Syrian Civil War has displaced an estimated 12 million Syrians from their homes, 4 million of whom have fled the country. Turkey alone hosts nearly 2 million of these refugees. The Foundation has been funding relief efforts for the Syrian Refugee Crisis since August 2012, and as of March 2015, has made a total of $1.8 million in grants. Luftfahrt ohne Grenzen (LOG) /Wings of Help received $575,000 for air transport of relief supplies to the refugee camps in Turkey. The Foundation has also given International Medical Corps (IMC) to provide primary health care services to individuals living in refugee camps in southern Turkey.

In February 2015, Foundation Chairman, President & CEO Steve Hilton visited Gaziantep near the Turkish border to observe first-hand the situation on the ground. After returning, Mr. Hilton penned an op-ed to draw greater attention to the magnitude of this humanitarian disaster on its victims, and the need for increased assistance to relieve the suffering of Syrian refugees. Read this Seattle Times op-ed here.

Ebola Virus Epidemic in West Africa

Originally starting in December 2013, the most widespread epidemic of Ebola virus disease is currently ongoing in three West African countries. As of April 29, 2015, the World Health Organization reported a total of 26,333 suspected cases and 10,907 deaths. The Foundation has thus far granted a total of $1 million in requests in response to this epidemic, including a $400,000 grant to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and a $100,000 grant to the International Medical Corps in order to support the immediate response and recovery of the affected areas.

As a consequence of the epidemic, an estimated 4,000 children have been orphaned or abandoned as a result of the stigma around the victims and their families. To help address this ongoing situation, the Foundation provided $500,000 to SOS Children’s Villages in December 2014 to support the population of orphans impacted by the Ebola epidemic in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

Typhoon Haiyan

Typhoon Haiyan was one of the strongest tropical cyclones in recorded history. In early November 2013, the cyclone devastated portions of Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines, where the typhoon was responsible for more than 6,300 deaths alone. The Foundation made a total of $950,000 in grants in support of the relief efforts in the Philippines, including a $250,000 grant to Lutheran World Relief’s disaster recovery program focused on provision of safe water and sanitation in the wake of this disaster, and a $200,000 grant to the Conrad N. Hilton Fund for Sisters, which was regranted to a number of local convents of Catholic Sisters working to address the immediate and short-term recovery efforts. An additional grant of $500,000 was made to HelpAge USA to support longer-term recovery efforts for senior populations.

Ongoing Projects

The Foundation continues to fund the following disaster projects:

  • $1 million to develop a smart chlorine generator for making safe water available in emergency response and relief settings in partnership with PATH, World Vision and Cascade Designs, Inc.
  • $250,000 to Catholic Relief Services in response to Hurricane Odile which hit the Gulf of Mexico near the state of Baja California Sur to support recovery efforts in the Cabo San Lucas area. Local Preparedness

Los Angeles County, where the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation headquarters is located, has been determined a high risk earthquake zone by the US Geological Survey. To support local disaster preparedness efforts, the Foundation has partnered with the Red Cross Los Angeles Chapter through a $1 million grant to support the PrepareLA campaign to create more resilient communities that are better equipped to help each other prevent, prepare for, and respond to life-threatening emergencies and catastrophic disasters.

Strengthening the Sector

In 2012, the Foundation provided start-up capital to help fund the creation of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, the central repository for information and learning in the disaster funding sector. The Center’s focus is to improve disaster grantmaking by providing timely information and thoughtful strategies to increase donors’ impact.

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