TOKYO — Fast Retailing said Thursday it would celebrate World Refugee Day on June 20 by donating an additional 2 million units of its Airism masks — the company donated 1 million masks earlier this year — to help combat the spread of COVID-19 among the world’s most vulnerable peoples. It will also donate $100,000 to UNHCR. The organization will use the funds to respond to the coronavirus pandemic with essential support and services, including assistance to child refugees deprived of educational opportunities due to COVID-19.
The latest masks donated by Fast Retailing Co. Ltd. will be distributed to displaced persons in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Myanmar and Pakistan. The company’s previous donation went to countries in South America and the Middle East. The monetary donation will help children commute to school, aid in the construction and repair of school buildings and sanitary facilities, and enable the purchase of textbooks and other educational supplies.
Tadashi Yanai, Fast Retailing’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, said, “The COVID-19 pandemic highlights why corporations must leverage all resources to support society in times of need. Through our long-term partnership with the UNHCR, Fast Retailing understands that refugees are among the world’s most vulnerable people, and so we embrace our responsibility to continue aiding. As a global company, we have called on our core strength — apparel — to make this donation of Airism masks possible. Together with our previous donations, we wish to provide three million items of human health security, protecting refugees as they rebuild their lives.”
Fast Retailing has been supporting refugees through donations to the UNHCR for 10 years. To mark the milestone, Uniqlo recently produced a short film that shows the journey of donated clothing from a young girl living in Japan to a girl in Uganda. Titled “Closer Through Our Clothes,” the film received the award for “branded short of the year” at the ShortShorts Film Festival & Asia 2021, held on Wednesday.