More than 800 million people—over 11% of the world’s population—live in extreme poverty. In Germany, one in five children is currently at risk. An integral part of Deutsche Bank’s corporate citizenship is to care for those at the margins of society. We work at the grassroots level to improve the day-to-day well-being of those in need and to help communities find longer-term solutions to their challenges. Through our investments, grants, donations, and the hands-on commitment of our corporate volunteers, we help to alleviate poverty, or the consequences of forced migration, joblessness, and homelessness. Our initiatives make a tangible contribution to the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030.
Deutsche Bank and its foundations have a long tradition of delivering fast and efficient relief in case of natural disasters, as well as providing longer-term reconstruction support. Most recently, we joined emergency relief efforts in Japan and Sri Lanka.
The refugee influx to Europe, especially to Germany, has brought challenges of successful integration. At the beginning of 2016, Deutsche Bank teamed up with a host of other companies under the umbrella of “Wir Zusammen” (“We together”), and pledged to engage 1,000 colleagues to serve as integration coaches for new arrivals over the next three years. A number of Made for Good and Born to Be programs were also extended to accommodate refugees. Through the Wirkungsfonds (impact fund), we are strengthening social entrepreneurs that facilitate refugee integration. Beyond the initiatives in Germany, Deutsche Bank and its foundations are taking specific measures to assist the migrants also in other parts of the world.
We cooperate with recognized cultural and academic partners to enhance the life in local communities and support state-of-the-art research.
Selected regional highlights
- Germany: around 2,000 Deutsche Bank volunteers have invested more than 3,200 days to support refugees. Our commitment ranges from immediate aid (e.g. providing shelter, caring for newcomers) to longer-term provision. This includes offers to promote language learning, social integration and access to the labour market. Another 370 colleagues have made themselves available as integration coaches for new arrivals.
- UK and Germany: our partnerships with StreetSmart and HilfMahl! support local charities for the homeless.
- UK: in the UK—over the past eleven years—over £630,000 from the Deutsche Bank Small Grants fund has been invested in communities to improve social cohesion and the disadvantaged in London and Birmingham, benefiting more than 20,000 people.
- US: since 1990, committing nearly US $3 billion in capital for affordable housing, small business financing, health-care services, and education in low and moderate-income communities in New York and elsewhere in the US. Our initiatives have been rated “Outstanding” by the US Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The Working Capital and DB Share programs as well as coalitions with like-minded financial and philanthropic institutions such as the Change Capital Fund assist local US community development corporations by providing financing and technical assistance.
- China: our partnership with Orbis International gives communities in the region access to quality eye care, transforms lives and restores vision for those who are visually impaired.
The world’s cities often bear the greatest burden in terms of climate change, scarcity of resources, infrastructure development, social justice, and education. The non-profit Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft (AHG) creates platforms for discussion and analysis. AHG stimulates research and gets involved in debates on current issues. Working with partners from politics, economics, science, and civil society, AHG establishes discussion forums across the globe. One of the project areas is urbanization.
Through global research programs like Urban Age—a joint initiative by AHG and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)—we encourage new thinking on issues that will impact communities in years to come. Since 2005, Urban Age has developed an international network of expertise tasked with finding better solutions to the problems of urban living and megacities. Part of this research led to the special project "Report from cities: conflicts of an urban age," an exhibition of the 2016 International Architecture Biennial in Venice as part of the Urban Age program.
Going forward we have set ourselves the goals to
- continue to play an active role in local communities, for example by fostering integration of refugees/immigrants and the disadvantaged;
- work even more closely with our stakeholders to enable thriving neighborhoods;
- support multi-stakeholder engagement on key societal issues that inform our thinking and generate shared value; and
- foster the development of innovative concepts that improve living conditions in megacities.