Tsunami Aid From Private Sector Is Growing

Updated from Dec. 30

The list of U.S. and Canadian companies donating money, medicine and services to the victims of the Asian earthquake and tsunami continues to grow.

The corporate relief effort is badly needed, with the death toll from the killer waves recently surpassing 116,000, according to the Associated Press. In coming weeks, health officials fear, tens of thousands more people are at critical risk from disease borne by unsanitary conditions.

Beyond the threat of deadly illness, the monster 9.0 earthquake and ensuing tsunami left millions of people homeless in several countries, including Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand. The devastation has created a crying need for everything from clean water to heavy equipment to clear debris and bury the dead.

If you're interested in making your own donation, a superb online starting point is the Network for Good site that was set up in 2001 by America Online, Cisco Systems ( CSCO) and Yahoo! ( YHOO).

To date, one of the biggest corporate donations is a $35 million pledge from Pfizer ( PFE). The world's biggest drugmaker is contributing both cash and medications to the relief effort.

The Pfizer donation matched the $35 million initial contribution the U.S. government is sending to the affected nations. On Friday, it appeared that the U.S. was moving to substantially increase its financial support. Several news organizations were reporting the federal government intends to give a total of $350 million to the relief effort.

Other pharmaceutical companies also are big contributors of cash and medicine to the stricken nations. Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ) is donating $2 million. Abbott Laboratories ( ABT) is contributing medical supplies valued at $2 million. Beleaguered Merck ( MRK) is donating $250,000. Bristol-Myers Squibb ( BMY) is donating $1 million in cash and $4 million in drugs.

Several big banks also are stepping up to the plate. Citigroup ( C) is contributing $3 million to the relief effort. The world's biggest financial services firm also will match employee donations to organizations providing disaster relief. J.P. Morgan Chase ( JPM) says it's planning to do the same. Securities firm Merrill Lynch ( MER) is giving $1 million.

Wells Fargo ( WFC), Sun Life Financial ( SLF) and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce ( BCM) will each contribute $100,000. Toronto Dominion Bank ( TD) of Canada is donating $250,000.

Other companies making significant monetary donations include Nike ( NKE), General Electric ( GE), American Express ( AXP), Walt Disney Co. ( DIS) and First Data ( symbol), which are each donating $1 million. Cisco says the networking company and its employees are donating about $2.5 million.

ExxonMobil ( XOM)is contributing $5 million and will match donations by its employees. The oil company employs about 5,000 people in the affected countries.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a not-for-profit founded by Microsoft ( MSFT) Chairman Bill Gates, is giving $3 million.

Ace ( ACE), the insurance company, said it would match donations to any relief fund made by its employees. American International Group ( AIG), the world's biggest insurer, said it also with match employees donation. The Starr Foundation, an organization affiliated with AIG, is contributing $2.5 million.

The insurance industry is not expected to take a big financial hit from the earthquake and tsunami because the number of policies issues in the affected countries is relatively small. General Motors ( GM) is donating $1 million and is matching employee donations.

Other companies are donating services and goods. PepsiCo ( PEP) and Coca-Cola ( KO) are donating thousands of cases of bottled water. Kimberly-Clark ( KMB) is donating diapers, surgical gloves and other health care products. FedEx ( FDX) is shipping supplies to several affected countries on behalf of a number of relief agencies.

Starbucks ( SBUX), in addition to a $100,000 contribution, says it will begin donating $2 from the sale of every pound of Sumatra coffee it sells to the relief effort.

The top of Amazon.com ( AMZN) contains an appeal for contribution and allows visitors to make a direct donation to the American Red Cross. As of this morning, the online retailer had collected $4.3 million from 71,724 contributors.

The nation's biggest retailer, Wal-Mart is contributing $2 million to the Red Cross. The company also said it would

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