Walmart has committed $1 million to Magen David Adom, Israel’s first responders, in a new pledge from its philanthropic arm, the Walmart foundation.
The retailer announced the move in a note that went out to Walmart associates and partners in Israel on Friday. (It was written by Ofer Saban, a Walmart software engineering team leader in Israel.) The note condemned the “horrific and inhuman attacks by Hamas” on Oct. 7 that led to more than 1,400 deaths and the kidnapping of more than 200 people.
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“As you all know, throughout these horrific and inhuman attacks by Hamas, Magen David Adom (MDA) has played a critical role in providing medical aid to victims,” the note, which was shared with FN, read. “To show support for all persons affected by these tragedies in the region, the Walmart Foundation is committing $1 million in funding to MDA for emergency services to save lives.”
Following the attacks on Israel, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared war with Hamas and launched a wave of counterattacks on Gaza, which is still ongoing.
The donation from Walmart comes after the retailer’s prior pledge of a $1 million grant to the U.S. Holocaust Museum. Walmart also said it would match employee donations of up to $3 million in the U.S. to any 501(c)(3) organization during the retailer’s “Season of Giving” campaign.
Walmart employs 171 employees in Israel across its Global Tech branch based in Tel Aviv as well as its Walmart U.S. and Flipkart business. Walmart is also invested in Team8, an Israeli cybersecurity startup. Walmart said its employees in Israel have been provided with access to counseling, work from home accommodations and meal allowances.
“These attacks have directly and tragically impacted us, our friends and our families,” Walmart wrote in the note. “But Walmart Global Tech Israel is not alone. We are part of a resilient Israeli tech ecosystem that stands strong and proud during these tough times, and we are part of a global Walmart family who share the same values and commitment to our customers, members and one another. It is these characteristics that strengthen us, even at times of great difficulty.”
Other footwear and retail brands with ties to Israel, such as Naot and Aetrex, have released statements about their employees’ status and how they’re grappling with the effects of the situation.
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