The off-road capabilities, ruggedness and durability of Land Rover’s vehicles have been central to the success of the partnership, enabling the IFRC to deliver aid in remote regions that are otherwise inaccessible.
Almost two million people are estimated to have benefitted from the partnership since it began in 1953, when a Series I was supplied to the British Red Cross in Dubai as a mobile dispensary. Since 2007, Land Rover has donated or loaned 119 vehicles worldwide, bringing direct benefits to more than 800,000 people and helping more than a million indirectly.
A key landmark was Land Rover’s 2012 Journey of Discovery, which focused its efforts on raising money for the IFRC's sustainable water and sanitation project in Uganda. The 10,000-mile expedition to Beijing using the millionth Discovery to roll out of Solihull, raised £1 million for the project, making it the most ambitious fund-raising activity in the company's history.
The latest multi-million pound commitment will last another five years (by which time the Defender is meant to be history) and aims to support a range of humanitarian initiatives worldwide, in countries as diverse as Austria, Portugal, South Sudan and the UK.
Joelle Tanguy, IFRC Under Secretary, said of the partnership: ‘Together we can set up new initiatives and accelerate the reach of water and sanitation programmes. We will grow the partnership so it reaches many more beneficiaries in vulnerable communities around the world.’