The firm previously sent relief packages to Nepal and South India in response to disasters in 2015 and 2019 respectively
Farnek has said that 4.6 metric tonnes of basic food stuff and other essentials have been dispatched to the families of 131 Sri Lankan employees. The humanitarian project was said to be initiated by the company’s staff welfare committee in light of Sri Lanka’s ongoing economic crisis.
The island nation is currently suffering from what’s said to be the worst political and economic crisis in recent memory, which has left many families in the country struggling to survive. Sri Lanka relies on imports and with the country’s foreign currency reserves plummeting 99% to just $50mn since 2019, buying imported goods is extremely challenging, pushing up the price of domestic goods, Farnek noted.
According to the BBC, people have been struggling with daily power cuts and shortages of basics such as fuel, food and medicines. Inflation is said to be running at more than 50%.
“This humanitarian drive was initiated by our staff welfare team, to the delight of our Sri Lankan employees. The situation over there is heartbreaking and we wanted to do something practical to help ordinary families that are struggling on a daily basis,” commented Markus Oberlin, CEO, Farnek.
In December 2021, the Saudi Fund for Development inaugurated two vital projects in Sri Lanka.
The company said its Sri Lankan employees were invited to a meeting where staff welfare officers explained the project in detail, from initiation to dispatch. After the meeting, collection boxes were placed throughout Farnek’s offices and Farnek Village, its staff accommodation centre, for staff members to make donations.
Farnek then doubled the amount collected, and said it used its procurement department to purchase a range of everyday necessities, which included rice, flour, salt, milk powder, biscuits, daal and chickpeas, as well as washing powder, tooth paste and soap.
The company highlighted that management and employees gave up free time to pack the boxes before they were shipped to Sri Lanka. In total 131 boxes weighing a combined 4.6 tonnes were assembled. Farnek’s Sri Lankan employees added their home addresses and were also given the opportunity to place a personal message to their families inside the box. When they arrive in Colombo, couriers will deliver the boxes direct to the homes of these needy families, the firm pointed out.
Oberlin added, “People have to wait in queues for hours if not days just to get everyday household basics. Petrol is being rationed, there is a food shortage, inflation is running at 60% and food prices have almost doubled, hitting the poorest in society the hardest.”
Farnek pointed out that it has a track record of supporting the families of its employees, especially when they have been faced with hardship. It previously sent relief packages to Nepal after the destructive earthquake in 2015 and to South India in 2019, after the devastating floods.
In January 2022, Farnek showcased its roadmap to achieve Net Zero emissions by 2050 and, in August, said it was awarded $11.54mn in security contracts over the last 12 months.