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SBP Scales Up Partnership With Walmart Foundation to Boost Disaster Recovery and Resilience Across the Southeastern United States

Strategic initiative will strengthen local capacity and enhance disaster recovery and resilience among rural at-risk communities

NEW ORLEANS (January 31, 2024) — SBP, the leading U.S. disaster recovery and resilience nonprofit, announced today the expansion of its Disaster Recovery and Resilience Fellows program. Funded by a new $2 million grant from the Walmart Foundation, the program will broaden its outreach to empower vulnerable communities across the Southeastern United States to recover from natural disasters and boost their resilience to future climate threats.

The Walmart Foundation Grant will support the growth of SBP’s Disaster Resilience and Recovery Fellows Program to serve new communities across the Southeastern U.S. It will also fund training and technical assistance to strengthen the capacity of state and local government partners to effectively and efficiently navigate the disaster recovery process. First launched as a pilot in 2022 with a grant from the Walmart Foundation, to date SBP’s Fellows Program has helped deliver more than $45 million in impactful resilience funding benefitting two disaster-affected communities in Louisiana. The expanded program will fund new resilience Fellowships in multiple states across the Southeastern U.S. and transform the capacity of communities to prepare for and mitigate the impact of disasters.

"This is a tremendous opportunity to equip vulnerable American communities with the resources they need to mitigate risk and build resilience to future climate threats, said Zack Rosenburg, Co-Founder and CEO of SBP, "The generosity of the Walmart Foundation enables SBP to position Disaster Recovery and Resilience Fellows where they are most needed, and it will improve the equitable distribution of Federal assistance. Fellows leverage local knowledge and strengthen the capacity of at-risk, historically underserved communities to unlock the resources that will help protect against future disasters."

"Disasters disproportionately impact vulnerable communities who tend to face challenges recovering financially,” said Brooks Nelson, program officer for disaster relief and preparedness on the Walmart.org team. “SBP’s Disaster Resilience and Recovery Fellows Program has a proven track record of helping under-resourced communities access the financial and technical assistance needed to support vital resilience projects that mitigate the impact of future disasters. Our hope is that this investment, aligned with the Community Disaster Resilience Zones framework, will help ensure that resources reach communities who need them most."

Despite unprecedented federal investment in climate resilience, a majority of funds have been awarded to major metropolitan areas, leaving smaller but equally vulnerable regions struggling to compete for critical, limited resources. By boosting local capacity in areas with significant risk, SBP's Resilience and Recovery Fellows program ensures that more resources are reaching the most vulnerable and exposed communities.

Communities are selected, in part, using FEMA’s National Risk Index and recently designated Community Disaster Resilience Zones (CDRZ). By leveraging these zones, SBP can strategically target areas in need and provide them with the necessary capacity to access disaster mitigation funding. The CDRZ designations are another example of FEMA’s commitment to using data to direct resources that can better protect at-risk communities.

This scale-up of the Disaster Recovery and Resilience Fellows program exemplifies SBP and the Walmart Foundation’s mutual commitment to fostering disaster resilience and supporting communities in need. The investment will broaden SBP’s impact on the Gulf Region and will deepen its impact on building a more resilient future for all communities.

About SBP’s Disaster Recovery and Resilience Fellows Program

With funding from the Walmart Foundation, SBP will expand the Fellows program to strategic communities across the country. If you’re interested in a Fellow for your community or if you’d like to become a Fellow, contact us to apply to become a fellow.

About SBP

SBP is a national social impact organization dedicated to empowering communities to shrink the time between disaster and recovery by reducing risk, increasing preparedness and resilience, and improving disaster recovery systems and policies to better serve the needs of all Americans.

About Walmart Foundation

Walmart.org represents the philanthropic efforts of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation. By focusing where the business has unique strengths, Walmart.org works to tackle key social and environmental issues and collaborate with others to spark long-lasting systemic change. Walmart has stores in 20 countries, employs more than 2 million associates and does business with thousands of suppliers who, in turn, employ millions of people. Walmart.org is helping people live better by supporting programs to accelerate upward job mobility for frontline workers, advance equity, address hunger, build inclusive economic opportunity for people in supply chains, protect and restore nature, reduce waste and emissions and build strong communities where Walmart operates.