Four of America’s Corporate Leaders Launch Lebanon Rebuilding Effort
Companies Create U.S.-Lebanon Partnership Fund to Assist in Reconstruction of Lebanon.
Washington, D.C., September 25, 2006 - Four executives of leading U.S. companies today announced the creation of the U.S.-Lebanon Partnership Fund to provide critically needed resources to assist in the reconstruction effort in Lebanon following the recent conflict. The four leaders directing the fund are: Craig Barrett, Chairman, Intel Corporation; John Chambers, President and CEO, Cisco Systems; Yousif Ghafari, Chairman, GHAFARI, Inc.; and Dr. Ray Irani, Chairman, President and CEO, Occidental Petroleum Corporation.
The goal of the U.S.-Lebanon Partnership Fund is to raise a significant amount of money to support the reconstruction effort in Lebanon. Through the fund, the four leaders will galvanize a nationwide effort to raise awareness and resources to help Lebanese communities rebuild following the war. The fund will complement the more than $230 million in aid to Lebanon already pledged by the U.S. government and has the support of President George W. Bush.
Members of the delegation recently returned from a trip to the region in which they had the opportunity to survey the relief and reconstruction efforts, meet with Lebanese officials and business leaders to address the devastation and assess where U.S. donor assistance is most needed. All four executives met today with President Bush at the White House to discuss their observations and plans to increase private sector resources to assist in the rebuilding effort.
“It’s important that the people and the business community of the United States support Lebanon through concrete actions, not empty promises,” said Craig Barrett, chairman of Intel Corporation. “This partnership will provide a means for the U.S. private-sector to help rebuild the social and economic infrastructure of Lebanon as its residents and businesses restore their lives and look towards the future. We hope the American people will join us in this worthy effort.”
“At Cisco, we believe we have the responsibility to give back to others who are less fortunate or are facing difficult challenges - regardless of race, religion, gender, ethnicity or political persuasion. It’s not about right or wrong; it’s about doing what is needed and making a difference,” said John Chambers, president and CEO, Cisco Systems. “Cisco’s philanthropy has spanned many areas - from establishing networking academies around the world to providing support in the wake of natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and the Southeast Asia tsunami. The situation in Lebanon is of great concern to us, and it is our goal to support the reconstruction effort in Lebanon and in turn help provide greater access to education and economic opportunity. By focusing on long-term solutions, we hope to contribute to a better future for this region.”
“This is a very personal mission for me; I was born in the region of Lebanon that was most dramatically impacted by the conflict between Israel and Hizballah,” said Yousif Ghafari, chairman, GHAFARI, Inc. “The village where I was born was bombed, my family had to evacuate - together with thousands of others. I want to help in the physical reconstruction of Lebanon, but I want to accomplish more than that. We need to help Lebanon rebuild its infrastructure, but more fundamentally we need to help re-establish an economically strong, democratic Lebanon that has hope for a bright future. The Lebanese people need to know that the American people are not indifferent to their plight, but that we have compassion for their situation and are willing to help them. Our mission is more than a government grant of funds, it is an outreach by the people and business community of America. This effort can be a strong component in our efforts to bring peace to the Middle East.”
“This initiative will allow the American people once again to demonstrate their generosity by helping those in need,” said Dr. Ray Irani, chairman, president and CEO of Occidental Petroleum Corporation. “I am honored the President has asked me to share a leadership role in this important humanitarian effort. Occidental has been very active in numerous countries in the Arab Middle East, and we have supported a wide range of educational, health care and charitable organizations throughout the region, including Lebanon. It is my hope that our efforts to help stimulate Lebanon’s rapid recovery from the ravages of war through this initiative ultimately will help promote lasting peace and stability in the region.”
The U.S.-Lebanon Partnership Fund will be administered by Global Impact, a not-for-profit organization that represents more than 50 of the most respected U.S.-based international charities. The Fund will be led by an advisory committee consisting of the four corporate leaders.
For more information about the fund and contributing to the effort, visit www.lebanonpartnership.org
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About Intel Corporation
Intel, the world’s largest chip maker, is also a leading manufacturer of computer, networking and communications products. Additional information about Intel is available at www.intel.com/pressroom.
About Cisco Systems
Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO), is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet. Information about Cisco can be found at http://www.cisco.com. For ongoing news, go to http://newsroom.cisco.com.
About GHAFARI, Inc.
Headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan, GHAFARI is an organization of architects, engineers, consultants, and staffing specialists providing services to a global client base that includes the aviation, manufacturing, government, and commercial sectors. Founded in 1982 by Lebanon native Yousif B. Ghafari, the organization built its reputation on responsive client service and the use of the latest technology to improve quality. GHAFARI’s consistent growth and success has been acknowledged on various national and local levels, including recognition in Engineering-News Record magazine as the #1 designer of automotive facilities and the #5 designer of manufacturing facilities in the United States. GHAFARI employs over 1,000 people from its Dearborn, Michigan headquarters and full-service offices in Chicago, Illinois and Indianapolis, Indiana. For more information please visit the GHAFARI website, www.ghafari.com.
About Occidental Petroleum Corporation
Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NYSE: OXY) is a world leader in oil and natural gas exploration and production and a major North American chemical manufacturer. For more information please visit http://www.oxy.com.
About Global Impact
Global Impact is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping the poorest people on earth. Global Impact represents more than 50 of the most respected U.S.-based international charities in workplace giving campaigns across the nation. Each year, Global Impact and its member charities touch hundreds of millions of lives in virtually every developing country through disaster relief, education, health training and economic programs that promote self-sufficiency. Additional information can be found at http://www.charity.org.
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