CHENGDU, China, July 1, 2008 - Cisco today announced a US $45 million (RMB 300M) three-year commitment to support reconstruction efforts in China's Sichuan Province, which was hit on May 12th by one of the most devastating earthquakes in China's history. Cisco made this commitment today during the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) overseen by Sichuan Governor Jiang Jufeng and Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers.
In addition to employee engagement in relief efforts during the earthquake's immediate aftermath, a Cisco team has been in China for several weeks meeting with national, provincial and local officials to better understand the situation and learn how Cisco can best offer long-term rebuilding assistance. This week, Chambers and other U.S. private and public sector leaders are in China as members of a U.S. Business Roundtable fact-finding delegation under the auspices of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Chinese Government.
Resulting from these discussions, Cisco and Chinese business, government and NGO leaders have identified areas where Cisco will commit its collaborative networking solutions, human expertise and resources towards reconstruction and redevelopment in Sichuan. The initiatives outlined in today's MOU focus on working with public-private partnerships to help develop 21st century education and healthcare models, enabled by collaborative networked information technology and communications. These initiatives have been developed to help bridge the gap between urban and rural areas, using 21st century connectivity to help more broadly share the best possible education and healthcare resources. These 21st century healthcare and education models will be designed with the potential for replication and scaling in countries around the world.
"As we witnessed firsthand the unimaginable destruction and spoke with those who have lost so much, it was impossible not to feel an urgency to help in the rebuilding and sustainability efforts," said John Chambers. "Even in the face of such terrible devastation, this clearly is a resilient citizenry and a country that is committed to both rapidly rebuilding as well as looking to the future. It would be an honor to play even a small supporting role in these efforts."
"We have been deeply moved by the unwavering courage and resilience of the Sichuan people, as well as the leadership demonstrated by national, provincial and local government in the face of this tragic natural disaster," continued Chambers. "Cisco has always had a strong culture of social responsibility; and we believe it is our duty to assist in the redevelopment efforts. Since our initial resource and financial donations in the days immediately following the earthquake, we have been working closely with China's citizens, businesses, national, provincial and local leaders to assess how Cisco can best contribute to the rebuilding and sustainability efforts now underway. Cisco's commitment is to make a long-term and lasting public-private partnership contribution to a 21st century education and health care system."
Healthcare efforts outlined in today's MOU will build on the foundation of Sichuan's Health 2020 initiative. Cisco will work in collaboration with healthcare officials to develop a network of connected hospitals and healthcare solutions. Healthcare providers will be able to collaborate across the province, with access to online patient health records and other key innovative solutions that will help deliver higher quality care.
Cisco's education initiatives will be designed to support students and teachers to increase their competitiveness in a global marketplace, with a focus on the collaborative development of 21st century schools and education models. In addition to academic skills, this education model will focus on teacher training and the development of 21st century skills - including collaboration, problem solving, teamwork and communication - and will be enabled by leading-edge collaborative technologies.
The company previously announced it has donated in excess of US $2.5 million raised from Cisco, the Cisco Foundation, and Cisco employees. Today's commitment builds on Cisco's past corporate social responsibility responses to humanitarian disasters, including Hurricane Katrina in the United States in 2005 and the Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004.
Cisco first established operations in China in 1994 and now employs more than 3,000 staff in sales, customer support and service, research and development, business process outsourcing, IT outsourcing, Cisco CapitalTM programs, and manufacturing. The company has 12 offices in China, a major R&D facility in Shanghai, Scientific Atlanta R&D and manufacturing facilities, and several WebEx development centers. In April 2008, Cisco announced the next phase of its corporate strategy for China, marked by new public-private collaborative programs within the country that deliver upon its US $16 billion multi-year innovation and sustainability initiative announced in late 2007.