SAP Activities Highlight the Importance of Private Sector Engagement in Humanitarian Crises

DUBAI, United Arab EmiratesHighlighting the pivotal and proactive role the private sector can play in emergency response, SAP Middle East and North Africa (SAP MENA), an enterprise software company, has carried out a variety of activities with the aim of responding to the worst displacement crisis since World War II.

SAP spearheaded a joint initiative, the One4 Project with iTunes and Imagine Dragons by mobilizing the power of music to raise awareness. The One4 Project allocates proceeds from iTunes downloads of Imagine Dragons’ song “I Was Me”, to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ (UNHCR), the leading international organisation coordinating response to displacement crises in Europe and globally.

The project is expected to raise USD 5.5 million to support thousands of refugees in Europe. The project is also an extension of SAP MENA’s support for UNHCR education activities for refugee children, directly and through its partner initiatives such as Educate a Child and the Big Heart Foundation.

Moreover, SAP employees have helped raise nearly USD 1 million for refugee aid, activities, and projects in countries surrounding Syria and Iraq, refugee transit countries, and in Germany, through the participation of five SAP MENA employees in UNHCR’s Gala dinner that took place recently.

“With fall turning to winter, there is an increased urgency to support refugees in the MENA region. We are continuing to support the UNHCR and our local partners, and are mobilizing our staff to donate time and efforts to help refugees, whether on-the-ground or using technology innovations to improve refugees’ lives,” said George Riding, Chief Financial Officer, SAP MENA.

Moreover, in Germany, SAP and the German Welfare Association are developing a free, online openSAP course for volunteers to help refugees to learn basic German. The SAP Solidarity Fund is supporting the “Working Committee – Asylum” that aims to set up a permanent meeting place for refugees and residents in Walldorf. This is in addition to funds that were raised by SAP staff to support vital integration activities for refugees who have resettled in Germany, including German language courses and housing for refugees.

“From donating money and time, to developing innovative mobile apps, our support for refugees and migrants in MENA and Germany reflects our corporate social responsibility strategy for enacting positive social change. Refugees and migrants are ready to work, and we want to provide them with the skills and training to succeed in challenging times and new environments,” said Hannes Liebe, Chief Operating Officer, SAP MENA.

“SAP MENA has embodied the values of corporate social responsibility by responding to the most pressing needs of some of the world’s most vulnerable populations. We truly value their partnership, which highlights how the private sector can play a critical role in responding to humanitarian crises by capitalizing on their passion and skills for the benefit of displaced persons” said Toby Harward, Head of Office, UNHCR Abu Dhabi.

Under the theme of “Building Back Better”, SAP has also donated nearly USD 300,000 to support relief efforts in Nepal, including training courses, rebuilding houses and schools, and adding a technology center.

At the UNHCR Gala Dinner in Dubai, SAP was recognized for its support for UNHCR programs aiding refugees. Among the dignitaries were Barbara Hendricks, Goodwill Ambassador, UNHCR (second from left) and Vincent Cochetel, Europe Bureau Director, UNHCR (third from right).

Jonathan Becher, Chief Digital Officer, SAP (center-left) and Oliver Bierhoff, General Manager, German National Football Team (center-right) support SAP’s One4 initiative for refugees.

About SAP
As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP (NYSE: SAP) helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device – SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable more than 251,000 customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit

Follow SAP on Twitter:

About UNHCR:
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was established on December 14, 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly. The agency is mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. It strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, with the option to return home voluntarily, integrate locally or to resettle in a third country. It also has a mandate to help stateless people.

Since 1950, the agency has helped tens of millions of people restart their lives. Today, a staff of more than 9,300 people in 123 countries continues to help and protect millions of refugees, returnees, internally displaced and stateless people.

Follow UNHCR on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram:


Twitter: @refugees @voices4refugees
Facebook: /UNHCR /voices4refugees
Instagram: @unrefugees  @voices4refugees

Twitter: @unhcr_arabic
Facebook: /UNHCR.Arabic
Instagram: @unhcr_arabic

Twitter: @voices4refugees
Facebook: /voices4refugees
Instagram: @voices4refugees

Media contacts
Husain Al Tamimi, SAP +971 56 6811641,
Claire McPeak, SAP, +971 4 330 1777,
Steve Baron, Wallis Marketing Consultants, +971 4390 1950,