Walmart pledges $1 million aid for Israel victims

FILE PHOTO: View of Walmart's newly remodeled Supercenter, in Teterboro, New Jersey

By Siddharth Cavale

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Walmart Foundation, the philanthropy arm of the U.S. retailer, has pledged $1 million to an Israeli disaster relief and emergency medical service organization.

Walmart's donation, reported by the Jerusalem Post on Friday, joins a list of similar funding efforts by big U.S. corporations to provide relief for Israelis injured after the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas. UBS, Goldman Sachs and Jefferies are among companies to have pledged aid to Israel.

"To show support for all persons affected by these tragedies in the region, the Walmart Foundation is committing $1 million in funding to (Magen David Adom) for emergency services to save lives," said an internal memo, signed by Ofer Saban, a top leader in its software engineering team in Israel.

Magen David Adom is Israel's disaster relief and emergency medical service.

As the Israel-Hamas conflict intensifies, others, including billionaire Elon Musk, are providing aid in the Middle East in other ways. Musk on Saturday said that SpaceX's Starlink will support communication links in Gaza with "internationally recognized aid organizations."

Walmart does not operate stores in Israel, but employs 171 people in the country who work for its tech arm Walmart Global Tech, its Walmart U.S. operations and its Flipkart business in India.

Walmart said its donation follows a $1 million grant the Walmart Foundation pledged to the U.S. Holocaust Museum in October. The company said it would also match employee donations up to $3 million in the U.S. two-to-one, to any non-profit organizations, including those providing humanitarian relief.

The memo also said it would provide meal coupons and counseling services to its staff in Israel and encouraged them to continue to work from home as needed.

"Our hearts go out to colleagues, partners, and the communities in which we serve and live," Saban said.

(Reporting by Siddharth Cavale in New York)