Walmart Foundation and Walmart Chile Announce USD $1 Million Social Investment Plan for the Valparaiso Region in Response to Deadly Wildfires

After devastating fires hit four municipalities in the Valparaiso region in early February, damaging more than 7,000 houses and affecting more than 4,000 people, the Walmart Foundation and Walmart Chile announced a USD $1 million social investment plan to help the victims.

This plan includes donations and volunteer time to nonprofit organizations that are rehabilitating public spaces, restoring facilities for children, reforesting green areas and supporting entrepreneurs – especially women – in the region who have been economically impacted by the fires.

Walmart Chile – the parent company of Lider, Express de Lider, SuperBodega aCuenta and Central Mayorista – has broad coverage in the Valparaiso region, with 51 stores and over 4,860 associates, and has actively worked to identify and help meet the needs of the affected families of its employees. Among the main actions taken, Walmart Chile has provided financial support through a solidarity fund and an emergency credit. Internally, the company launched a 1+1 campaign aimed at collecting funds among its workers, with a company match. Among other measures, the company is offering free telemedicine and mental health services, in addition to recreational days for employees’ children.

Image shows Walmart Chile truck being unloaded by a group of people.

“The Valparaiso region is very important to Walmart Chile and a place where we have a significant part of our operation and associates. We have been following these regrettable events and their consequences very closely to provide timely support as each stage of the emergency has required. This donation is the product of a great effort by the Walmart Foundation, Walmart Chile and our entire team to bring hope to affected families,” Walmart Chile CEO Cristián Barrientos said.

The announcement was made at an event in one of the company’s supermarkets in Viña del Mar, which was attended by the Minister of Finance Mario Marcel, the city’s mayor, Macarena Ripamonti, as well as associates and customers.

“It will be necessary to rebuild thousands of homes. The last account given by the Ministry of Housing talked about 7,000 homes, which is more than double what was originally estimated and the review is not yet concluded. That figure is more than all the homes that were destroyed in last year’s events in the South-Central regions of the country, therefore, the effort we have to make is even more substantial than what we did on that occasion,” Marcel said. “I want to thank Walmart Chile and the Walmart Foundation for this commitment of $1 million dollars that has just been announced, because it reflects the effort to support the neighbors who were affected by these fires.”

Over 60,000 products donated 

To date, Walmart Chile has delivered food, diapers, clothing and underwear through different government agencies, such as the Ministry of Social Development and Family, the National Disaster Prevention and Response Service (Senapred), the Ministry of Women, the municipalities of Viña del Mar, Valparaiso, Quilpué, Villa Alemana and Galvarino, and the Chilean Association of Municipalities. In addition, it made an early donation of water and food to the National Fire Department Board and local companies, as well as supporting social organizations in Vina del Mar with 180 food hampers and over 200 tents for residents with nowhere to sleep. It also contributed 1 ton of pet food to the Association of Veterinarians, an organization attending to animals left homeless.

Opening of collection centers

Walmart Chile made 14 collection centers in seven regions around the country available to facilitate customers’ ability to contribute to this cause. The company makes its stores available to receive products in coordination with municipalities and civil society organizations. Read more about how Walmart Chile is helping the Valparaíso community.

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