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30 experts to share CSR success at summit

Dubai, May 9, 2013

More than 30 international and regional corporate social responsibility experts will share their latest developments, challenges, and success stories at the upcoming 10th CSR Summit, set to take place at the Address Hotel, Dubai Marina.

Ashraf Hamouda, head of partnerships and business development at the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) stressed the importance of partnerships to an organisation’s CSR initiatives, highlighting its recent regional collaborations as examples of best practice.

He said that partnerships bring greater value and visibility to a company’s social responsibility cause, emphasising that they are not a philanthropic model, but a business model.  

“Partnerships with aid organisations offer corporations both credibility and a sense of belonging to communities where they are involved,” said Hamouda, a speaker at the summit, set to take place from May 20 to 23.

“Being the world’s largest humanitarian agency, we believe that hunger is the world’s greatest solvable problem, and only through creating meaningful partnerships can this be possible.”

“For example, our partnership with PepsiCo supports our school meals programme in Egypt, while our campaign with Harley Davidson for the past two years in 15 Middle Eastern countries helped reach 50,000 beneficiaries. We’ve even had Skydive Dubai donate 80 dives through Groupon to support our operations in Yemen.”

Through partnerships with private and government entities, WFP collects between $3.5 to 4 billion annually. In times of emergencies, $0.50 is enough to feed a person for a day, Hamouda said.

“With 25 cents per day, we can provide a meal to a child as part of our school feeding programmes, which benefit more than 22 million kids every year in more than 40 countries.”

“Our school meals programme is a great success story. In countries where it is implemented, school enrolment rates have increased by 25 per cent on average, while contributing to freeing girls from household commitments and discouraging early marriage.

“WFP’s daily school meals combined with take-home family rations provide families with the means to send their sons and daughters to school and allow kids to focus in class. Even ex-child soldiers in some countries are benefiting from our programmes to re-enter society.”

First established in 1961, WFP delivers food globally to where it is needed most, saving the lives of victims of war and natural disasters. Dubai is home to the world’s main emergency response hub, which is managed by WFP.

The CSR Summit celebrates ten years of promoting development and innovation in the Middle East.

Eman Al Madani, corporate social responsibility executive, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and a panelist at one of the sessions at the four-day summit, said: “Dubai Chamber has been actively participating in the CSR Summit in the past years as it provides us an important platform to share our experiences of applying responsible business practices in our organisation with Dubai’s business community.”

“The meeting also allows us to communicate our CSR strategy with businesses and to encourage them to act in a responsible and sustainable manner by balancing their economic, ecological and social goals.”

Among the many highlights of the summit in its 10th anniversary include the results of a Middle East CSR and Sustainability survey, presented exclusively by consultancy firm Mercer; and an exclusive case study on CSR in Sport from the Asian Football Confederation.

Ten university students from across the UAE will also present the results of five special group projects as part of the CSR in Action campaign, an initiative led by 10th CSR Summit and Al Ahli Holdings.

Other organisations with a big involvement in the summit this year include strategic partner, Etisalat; platinum sponsor, Henkel; and silver sponsor, PepsiCo.

Saad Abdul Latif, CEO of Pepsico Asia Middle East and Africa, said: “At PepsiCo we leverage diversity & inclusion (D&I) as a competitive business advantage. It fuels innovation, strengthens our reputation and fosters engagement within internal and external communities worldwide.”

“Just take a look at some of our 2012 achievements - we improved our executive female representation to more than 27 per cent; we broadened our ‘diversity’ focus to include local representation targets in Saudi, UAE and China; we created inclusive possibilities for the hearing impaired in Saudi and Egypt; we strengthened the fortitude of our female associates in India through customized D&I workshops; and in the UAE we are partnering with local universities to provide work placement programmes for citizens.” – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: UAE | Dubai | World Food Programme |

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