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31.03.2020

In view of the Corona crisis, UniCredit Bank Austria donates 100,000 euros to Caritas and SOS-Kinderdorf, a total of 200,000 euros for social projects

  • Over the next two months, UniCredit Bank Austria will make a donation of 50,000 euros to support the homeless at the Caritas institution “Gruft” in Vienna in Mariahilf and Währing
  • A further 50,000 euros goes to SOS-Kinderdorf to ensure psychological counselling for children and young people through “Rat auf Draht”
  • In addition, UniCredit Bank Austria is donating 20,000 euros to three Italian hospitals
  • In 2020, UniCredit Bank Austria will continue to support local social initiatives with a total of 81,000 euros as part of the Bank Austria Social Prize

“Especially in times of crisis, the strength of a community shows in dealing with socially disadvantaged people and in supporting measures in order to relieve need”, says Robert Zadrazil, CEO of UniCredit Bank Austria. “It was therefore a matter of course for us to actively support two important initiatives of our long-standing partners Caritas and SOS-Kinderdorf in this situation with our donations, namely the care of the homeless and psychological counselling for children and young people.”

50,000 euros for assistance to the homeless by Caritas
With a support amount of 50,000 euros UniCredit Bank Austria is guaranteeing the assistance to the homeless for the next two months within the Caritas Homeless Relief Fund: at the “Viennese Gruft” in Mariahilfer Strasse and at the “Second Gruft” in the 18th district of Vienna. 

“This support is particularly important right now”, explains Klaus Schwertner, Secretary General of Caritas of the Archdiocese of Vienna. “Numerous cooking groups that cook for the homeless in our facilities every day are currently cancelled. Therefore we are urgently dependent on donations. The pandemic hits us all, but on the poor and homeless people it is now hitting double and triple with full force. Now we must not forget the weakest members of our society in particular. Even in times of Corona we want to be close to the people who need help and support. Stick together and stay apart. Together we can do it.” 

For homeless people the pandemic represents an extreme situation. Because: Where can homeless people go to stay “at home”? Caritas continues to maintain its assistance to homeless people and is constantly expanding its emergency aid. The emergency quarters are still open and some of them have been expanded to include daytime services, enabling homeless people to stay in the quarters even during the day. Social workers continue to do outreach work and distribute sleeping bags and weatherproof clothing, the “Cold Telephone” service is still in operation and the soup buses are on the road every day.

50,000 euros for psychological counselling for children and young people
The only hotline in Austria for the concerns of children and adolescents, operated by experts in various fields, is “Rat auf Draht” of SOS-Kinderdorf, which is experiencing a considerable increase in calls due to the corona crisis. Currently, about 30 percent more calls than usual are received daily. With the support of UniCredit Bank Austria, “Rat auf Draht” can significantly expand its existing offering and provide up to 1,250 hours of additional telephone advice.

“In crises there are uncertainties and fears. In exceptional situations such as the corona pandemic, contact points that offer support and psychological assistance are particularly important. This is especially important for children and young people who suffer from limited freedom of movement. Currently, the situation caused by the corona virus is an issue in every call, and we help children and young people to articulate and dispel their fears around this issue and together we find a way to deal with them", says Nora Deinhammer, Managing Director of “Rat auf Draht” and SOS-Kinderdorf.

Community cohesion also at European level
UniCredit has launched an appeal to support three Italian hospitals that are particularly involved in the fight against the coronavirus, not only in terms of patient care but also in scientific research. Therefore, UniCredit Bank Austria is supporting the National Institute for Infectious Diseases “Lazzaro Spallanzani” in Rome, the “Luigi Sacco” Hospital in Milan and the “IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo di Pavia” Foundation with a total of 20,000 euros.

Bank Austria Social Prize 2020
UniCredit Bank Austria will continue to support charitable initiatives throughout Austria with a total of 81,000 euros in 2020 as part of the Bank Austria Social Prize. “Every year, the Bank Austria Social Prize gives us the opportunity to support many organisations and initiatives in all Austrian provinces and to help people on the ground directly,” said Robert Zadrazil. “Especially now, when the spread of COVID-19 from one day to the next presents us with major challenges, it is important to show continuity. Therefore, it was quite clear to us to award the Social Prize again in 2020”.

UniCredit Bank Austria will continue to actively monitor the situation, always act in everyone's best interests and do the right thing vis a vis all its stakeholders!

Enquiries
UniCredit Bank Austria Media Relations
Volker Moser, Tel.: +43 (0)5 05 05-52854;
Email: volker.moser@unicreditgroup.at