(Cross-posted from The Official Google Blog)
At the opening ceremony of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) this morning, President Clinton discussed the urgent need to help the people of Pakistan recover from widespread floods which have affected more people than the 2004 South Asia tsunami, the 2005 South Asia earthquake, and the Haiti earthquake combined. The floods have put one-fifth of the land underwater, impacting more than 20 million people, damaging or destroying 1.9 million homes, putting 3.5 million children at risk of waterborne diseases, and wiping out livestock and crops.
Unfortunately the global response has been anemic. While U.S. corporations, foundations and individuals responded admirably to the earthquake in Haiti by donating $900 million in the first five weeks after the disaster, that same group donated $25 million to Pakistan in the first five week weeks after the floods hit. In an interview with citizens hosted by YouTube, President Clinton called for a dramatically increased global response.
As part of our CGI commitment this year, Google is providing $1 million in charitable grants, as well as technology support to help the people of Pakistan recover from these floods. Roughly one-third of our grants support organizations providing clean water, shelter, medical care and other immediate needs, while two-thirds will be focused on longer-term rebuilding efforts. Partners for the first round of support include: A.S. Edhi International Foundation, Architecture for Humanity, CARE, The Citizens Foundation, Naya Jeevan for Kids, Real Medicine Foundation, SIUT North America, Sungi Development Foundation and UM Healthcare Trust.
Amazing work is already being done by these organizations. SIUT, for example, has already established seven medical relief camps and three field hospitals in different parts of the country. Their doctors and paramedics have treated more than 100,000 people, many of whom are suffering from gastroenteritis, malaria and skin diseases.
In remarks during the opening plenary today, Eric Schmidt noted the importance of bringing 21st century technology solutions to disaster relief work. In collaboration with numerous NGOs, for example, Google developed Person Finder, an application that allows individuals to check on the status of friends and loved ones affected by a disaster, a few days after the Haiti earthquake. We developed Resource Finder, an experimental tool that aggregates information on health facilities to help first responders, and shared our MapMaker data with the U.N. We’ve published sites linked from our homepage to provide updated maps and imagery, videos, news and ways to donate in the wake of recent natural disasters in Haiti, Chile, China, Pakistan and the Gulf oil spill.
We’re excited to be at CGI this week to learn about innovative ways to use technology to assist with health, development and disaster response. We encourage non-profits to visit our newly updated Google for NonProfits site to learn how Google’s free tools can help expand the impact of each organization.