Health, environment and culture are key focal areas of our social engagement at both the global and local level. In accordance with our Values, all subsidiaries of the company assume responsibility for their local communities. They foster an open dialogue with their neighbors and other community representatives and therefore know where they can make the most valuable contributions. Sustainable engagement means that projects have a long-term scope, and that we generally oversee and support them over a period of multiple years.
Our subsidiaries were involved in 136 projects in 2014 (2013: 125). Take for example the Erbitux® China Patients Aid Program (ECPAP) launched in 2012. In this program, we work with the Beijing Red Cross Foundation to provide Erbitux® free-of-charge to low-income patients with colorectal cancer. Over 3,100 patients have participated in the program to date. Other examples include running a hospital on the island of Baba Bhit in Pakistan and a wellness center in Jharkhand. Our employees also support and institute numerous initiatives. For instance, in the School Water Project in China, our life science business employees taught elementary school pupils about environmental issues and clean water.
Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany grants and promotes four literary prizes worldwide. Since 1964, we have been sponsoring the renowned Johann Heinrich Merck Award for Literary Critique and Essay of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, which is presented by the German Academy for Language and Poetry at its annual autumn conference. The award, which comes with a € 20,000 prize, went to publicist Carolin Emcke in 2014. For 12 years, we have been sponsoring the Premio Letterario of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany in Italy. This award is worth € 10,000 and recognizes authors who build bridges between literature and science, thereby making them accessible to a wide audience. In 2014, the award went to Carlo Rovelli, an Italian physicist, and to Francisco Gonzales-Crussi, a Mexican physician and writer. In India, we collaborate with the Goethe-Institut Calcutta to present the Tagore Award of Merck India, a subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, which is worth 500,000 Indian rupees (around € 7,200); this literary prize is granted every two years to authors who have made a distinctive contribution to the cultural exchange between Germany and India. In April 2014, the award went to Professor Pramod Talgeri, Vice Chancellor of the India International Multiversity. In October 2014, the company and the Goethe Institut Tokyo presented the first-ever Kakehashi Literature Prize of Merck Ltd. Japan, a subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. Worth a total of € 20,000, this award is granted to contemporary works by German authors that are made accessible to a wider readership in Japan. The prize went to German author Arno Schmidt for his book "Seelandschaft mit Pocahontas" (Lake Scenery with Pocahontas) and to the book's Japanese translator, Jun Wada.
In Brazil, we sponsored projects to help integrate disadvantaged children and adolescents, enabling them to learn skills such as playing a musical instrument.
In the 2013-2014 period, we extensively revised our processes for and approach to strategic disaster relief. The Public Affairs & Corporate Responsibility Group function partners with representatives from our businesses and subsidiaries to steer our efforts to help disaster victims. In October 2014, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany donated € 250,000 to the Deutsche Rote Kreuz (DRK) to help combat ebola. At the end of 2014, we collaborated with UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) to launch a joint initiative that is working to advance medical education and capacity in the fight against ebola. At universities in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, the first set of seminars were held for aspiring doctors and pharmacists, part of our Capacity Advancement program. In addition to this, the company also provided disaster aid for the victims of Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, the earthquake in Ludian, China, and the flooding in Pakistan.