Disaster relief Helping vulnerable communities become more resilient

At C&A we truly believe in strengthening communities. This is an integral part of our culture and legacy – it’s who we are as a brand. Many of our operations are in countries that suffer from a disproportionate number of natural disasters every year, so we partnered with C&A Foundation[1] and Save the Children to provide emergency and ongoing disaster relief to affected families, children, and communities.


[1] In January 2020, C&A Foundation became part of Laudes Foundation.

C&A’s global humanitarian partnership

In 2015, C&A and C&A Foundation developed our first global humanitarian partnership, collaborating with Save the Children to support millions of children and families across the world. Our joint initiatives are focused in two areas: disaster preparedness — including building resilience of communities — and immediate, lifesaving emergency response to humanitarian crises.

Save the Children is the world’s leading independent organisation for children’s rights. The organisation's emergency response work supports interventions that enable people affected by disasters to lead decent and dignified lives. It focuses on fast and flexible funding that is used to seed-fund operations of Save the Children and to attract other funds to the response.


Urban resilience and disaster risk reduction
The urban resilience and disaster risk reduction (DRR) work funded by our partnership focuses on urban communities and schools in four countries (China, India, Bangladesh, and Mexico). It aims to increase the resilience of schools and informal settlements in helping them to be prepared for natural disasters and everyday risks. As of the close of 2019, we have helped Save the Children to build the capacity of individuals and organisations in four states In Mexico, three cities in Bangladesh, two cities in India, and in one province in China.

Our 2019 performance

Helping children and families across the world

Over the past five years, C&A Foundation[1] has provided partnership funding of over €16 million, not including the additional funds donated through marketing and employee campaigns. This has contributed to assisting over 28 million people worldwide, including over 13 million children, since 2015. In 2019 alone, the partnership reached nearly 2 million people, of whom around more than 1.1 million are children. In addition, C&A Europe and C&A Mexico raised a total of almost €1.1million in 2019, through cause-related marketing, donation boxes, and other campaigns in stores and with customers and employees. In 2019, the partnership was renewed with an additional €3.36 million.

Since January 2018, Save the Children have responded to 20 disasters and established the Children’s Emergency Fund, thanks to which we responded to another 22 emergencies. In 2019, together with the responses started in previous years and with the Children's Emergency Fund responses, Save the Children was able to reach more than 20 million people with the support of C&A Foundation[2]. Responses in 2019 included:

  • Mozambique – Cyclones Idai and Kenneth in March 2019 - Tropical cyclone Idai made landfall, causing enormous damage and affecting over 2 million people. A month later, cyclone Kenneth devastated the southern part of the country. The Children’s Emergency Fund aimed to help about 220 families to recover from the impact of the cyclone and rebuild their homes by contributing funds towards the construction of semi-permanent safe shelters for the most vulnerable families. Other support included a Child Friendly Space and activities set up by Save the to help children recover from the trauma. In total, the emergency response by Save the Children reached almost 800,000 beneficiaries.
  • India - Cyclone Fani hit Puri, India, affecting 3 million families with children. The fund provided housing, food, education, and protection measures for children.
  • Democratic Republic of Congo – When the Ebola outbreak in this conflict zone affected more than 80,000 people, over half of whom were displaced, the fund provided comprehensive health support.


Sharing what works 

C&A Foundation[3] and Save the Children continued to lead and disseminate research on DRR, with a suite of 10 research projects under three themes:

  1. Policy and the enabling environment
  2. Hazard impacts on education
  3. Solutions for child-centred risk reduction and school safety

Convening and inspiring others

One partnership to improve the resilience of women and children can only go so far. We want to make an impact that is greater than the sum of our parts. We share lessons learned from the four country programmes within the Save the Children global network, with online communities of practice, and also with the global DRR and Resilience sector. Creating global and regional dialogue to strengthen the sector is an important focus of this programme.

Read more in the C&A Foundation 2019 Annual Report


Responding to the refugee crisis in Myanmar

Over a million Rohingya refugees have fled violence in Myanmar and since 2017, more than 740,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar across the border into Bangladesh, according to UNHCR. In this tragic crisis, over half of the refugees are children, according to UNICEF.

C&A is deeply concerned by the ongoing persecution against the Rohingya people in Myanmar and we strongly condemn the human rights violations that have been reported. Along with other Ethical Trade Initiative (ETI) brands, we sent an urgent appeal to the President of Myanmar over the humanitarian crisis in Rakhine State. We also communicated our deep concern through the Dutch Textile Covenant.

For several years, we have been purchasing products produced in Myanmar. We have created trustworthy and long-term relationships with several suppliers producing in Myanmar, and the jobs of thousands of employees working in our suppliers’ garment factories depend on these business relationships. By withdrawing from the country, we would harm those workers. After carrying out an in-depth due diligence process to assess all potential risks and their consequences, we have decided to continue to source from Myanmar for the time being. This decision, however, is subject to be revised in the future depending on how the situation in that country evolves and on our ability, as a responsible company, to continue carrying out due diligence and identify evolving risks. For these reasons, we will continue to closely monitor the developments in Myanmar and reserve the right to reassess our approach.


[1] In January 2020, C&A Foundation became part of Laudes Foundation.

[2] In January 2020, C&A Foundation became part of Laudes Foundation.

[3] In January 2020, C&A Foundation became part of Laudes Foundation.

Helping the most vulnerable children

Save the Children is one of the strongest and boldest advocates for children’s rights, providing relief and supports children in need around the world. Among Save the Children’s key interventions to protect children from harm and stress are Child Friendly Spaces. These protected environments, which will take on a central role for this partnership in the upcoming years, are mostly set up in communities affected by disaster and crisis and give children the chance to play, make friends, learn, and express themselves.

Between December 2017 and February 2020, C&A customers contributed to the donation of over €3 million to Save the Children.

In addition, C&A Brazil provided humanitarian assistance separate from Save the Children to 1,180 people following floods in the São Paulo, Sergipe, and Minas Gerais states.

Where next?

The partnership with Save the Children aims to provide over €3 million in 2020 to support children and families in dealing with disaster recovery and resilience. In addition, the Children’s Emergency Fund has set a goal to raise €2 million in 2020, towards an annual target of nearly €2.5 million by 2021. To drive greater awareness and engagement among customers and employees, C&A has designed a logo to use for external communication about our partnership, such as in stores.

Laudes Foundation will support Save the Children with an additional €4.5 million to support disaster risk reduction and urban resilience programs until 2023 in four countries: China, India, Bangladesh, and Mexico). An additional €1.5 million in funding will go directly to global humanitarian disasters.