The UPS International Disaster Relief and Resilience Award, supported by the Department for International Development

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Recognising business’ unique contribution to addressing international disasters, helping communities to prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters.

Please note: the deadline for all Award submissions has been extended to 5pm GMT on Friday 17 February 2017.

Businesses play an important role in addressing international disasters. Beyond financial contributions, they can offer skills, products and services, leverage their core business assets and competencies, and through collaborative partnerships, help address the impact of disasters.

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This Award recognises the unique power and potential of business to engage and support those impacted by disaster. Working together with their NGO and humanitarian partners, businesses can make a huge difference to the lives of so many...

- RT Hon. Desmond Swayne MP TD,
Minister of State for International Development

International disaster relief in this award category refers to all aspects of the disaster management cycle: disaster risk reduction and risk mitigation, disaster preparedness, response, recovery, rebuilding and resilience. We define resilience as; preparing and supporting individuals, communities or organisations with the skills, capacities and knowledge in relation to natural disasters and humanitarian crisis so that they can respond to, recover from and reduce, the impact of international disasters more efficiently and effectively. We welcome entries addressing any of the above.

The frequency, intensity and complexity of disasters will increase over the coming decades. Globalisation means the impacts of those disasters on business and communities are increasingly evident, and businesses are being called upon to scale up their response to such events by internal and external stakeholders. Through their actions, businesses have demonstrated that business and social value can be increased by taking a strategic approach to international disasters, building the business case and developing long term collaborative partnerships.

This award recognises business’ unique contribution to addressing international disasters, helping communities at risk to prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters.


A successful entry can focus on:

  • Any aspect of the disaster management cycle: disaster risk reduction, risk mitigation, resilience building, disaster preparedness, disaster response, post disaster recovery and rebuilding.

  • A specific international disaster, or on an overall global/regional programme or strategy that your company has put in place to address international disasters. For the latter, you should illustrate your entry with examples or case studies of how the programme has been implemented in one or more specific international disasters.

  • Natural disasters, conflict and or man-made disasters, or a combination of these.

  • International disasters that took place any time within the last seven years (i.e. since 1 January 2010). Please see the next section for the definition of an international disaster.

  • Entries must demonstrate both a social benefit AND a business case for the company’s engagement in international disaster relief and resilience.

  • Entries can, if appropriate, present the work that companies have done collaboratively as part of a partnership or group to address international disasters.

Watch our International Awards webinar, featuring advice and guidance from former winners, BITC experts and sponsors on creating the best Award entry possible.

For the purpose of this award category, we define an international disaster as one:

  • That results in the affected community(ies) being unable to cope without external assistance;

  • Where the national or state government of the affected country has declared a state of emergency. In exceptional cases, normally relating to political emergencies or sensitive contexts, a disaster of equivalent scale and severity will be considered without a state of emergency declaration.* You should clearly explain this in your application form;


  • Where international assistance has been requested by one or more of the following entities (or two or more in the situations where a state of emergency has not been declared):

    • National government of the affected country request for international assistance;

    • One or more United Nations Agencies appeal launched;

    • UK  Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC), or national equivalent, appeal launched;

    • International Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO)/ charity appeal launched.

*Where a state of emergency has not been declared, despite the disaster being of equivalent scale, a request for international assistance by two or more of these entities will be accepted instead.

Please note that domestic disaster response (for example a UK company responding to a UK disaster) will not be eligible, unless the criteria are clearly been met to classify this as an international disaster.  If your activity relates to building resilience in small and medium enterprises in the UK, you may wish to enter the Barclays Award for Building Business Resilience instead.


  • This category is open to all members of Business in the Community (BITC) and any non-member private sector business. This may include social enterprises but does not include charity organisations or NGOs unless they are tied to a corporate entity in a joint application, for example, Company X and the Company X Foundation.

  • Entries can focus on contributions to international disaster relief and resilience that your company has made individually, or as part of a partnership or coalition. Please note that entries must be submitted by a private sector partner.  Entries submitted directly by humanitarian partners will not be accepted.

  • This Award is open to businesses based in any country. The entry must focus on impact in international disasters (see above).

  • The entry should be for a programme that goes above and beyond any regulatory or legislative requirements of the business. For example, a critical infrastructure provider, such as a water or telecommunications company, which is legally required by the government to respond to critical incidents would not be able to enter this work for this award. They would however be able to enter other programmes that exceed these legal requirements.

  • Businesses of any size can enter and will have an equal chance of winning. Entries are assessed against the scoring guide as relevant to the business’s operational scope.

For more information, please email Danielle Cox, Programme Manager - International Disaster Relief at Business in the Community on

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