BMO Donates $500k to Support Humanitarian Efforts in Afghanistan

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Afghan security forces transfer injured security personnel into an ambulance after a suicide car bomb attack in Kabul, Afghanistan April 19, 2016. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani
Afghan security forces transfer injured security personnel into an ambulance after a suicide car bomb attack in Kabul, Afghanistan April 19, 2016. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

TORONTO – BUSINESS – The BMO Financial Group today announced it is donating $500,000 to support organizations responding to the needs of those affected by the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.

BMO’s donation will be distributed among organizations that are supporting refugee resettlement in North America for Afghans that have fled the country, and local on-the-ground humanitarian relief for the vulnerable people who remain in Afghanistan, with a critical focus on at-risk women and girls and LGBTQ+ Afghans. In addition, the donation will support U.S. service members and military bases and Canadian military members and veterans.

American Red Cross: One of BMO’s long-standing partners in responding to humanitarian crises, the donation to the American Red Cross will be used to help Afghan evacuees and members of the U.S. military and veterans. The Red Cross is helping to care for evacuees from Afghanistan who are being sheltered at several military bases around the country. This includes providing shelter, health and mental wellness services, and relief supplies. It will also help evacuees reconnect with family members through the Restoring Family Links program.

True Patriot Love Foundation: In Canada, True Patriot Love has established an Afghan Resettlement Fund, which will be distributed nationally to assist with legal costs, housing, language training, mental health support, employment training and education of Afghan interpreters, cultural advisors, locally employed people and their families who were essential to Canada’s mission in Afghanistan. The fund will also be used to provide support for the many Canadian veterans who served alongside these brave people and are struggling with the deteriorating conditions in Afghanistan.

UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) Canada: UNHCR, as part of the broader UN country team, will stay and deliver life-saving assistance for the Afghan people. The donation will assist UNHCR and its partners to support newly displaced Afghans with emergency shelter, food, health, water and sanitation support and cash assistance.

United Service Organizations (USO): The USO strengthens America’s military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country, throughout their service to the nation. The USO is playing a significant role in supporting service members in global operations. USO’s work remains critical as they support our service members by providing food, water, hygiene kits, entertainment items, and other services. The USO continues to adapt and deliver support to help address the emotional, mental, and physical tolls that operations can take on service members and their families.

“We at BMO recognize the heavy toll the situation in Afghanistan is taking on Afghan citizens, refugees and diasporas around the world. We also know this is a particularly difficult moment for U.S. and Canadian military members and veterans,” said Erminia (Ernie) Johannson, Group Head, North American Personal & Business Banking, BMO Financial Group. “We support our partners – the American Red Cross, True Patriot Love, UNHCR Canada and the United Service Organizations – as they work tirelessly to provide humanitarian relief and support programs to those affected. We will continue at BMO to do our part in promoting an inclusive society and advocating for human rights for all.”

Supporting the Defence Community
For more than a decade, BMO has served as the Official Bank of the Canadian Defence Community. BMO is driven to act by this relationship and it, along with consultations with BMO’s Veterans Advisory Committee Council Enterprise Resource Group Chairs in Canada and the U.S. and other outside experts, has informed a multi-pronged donation approach to ensure support for those leaving Afghanistan and those still within country.

BMO is proud to work with Canadian Defence Community, the American Red Cross, True Patriot Love, UNHCR Canada, the USO and its many other partners to act on its Purpose-driven commitment to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life.