How Business Can Support the Humanitarian Response in Ukraine

The horrifying events unfolding in Ukraine will undoubtedly count among the darkest in modern history, even as conflict endures in Syria, Yemen, Ethiopia and other regions. Our hearts are breaking for the people of Ukraine and we stand with them — and all those affected by this war.

By Kate Olsen

EMERGENCY SUPPORT: During the emergency phase of the humanitarian response, provide direct support to UN agencies, aid organizations and international NGOs mobilizing on the ground. It is best to provide unrestricted cash funding, not in-kind or physical goods, to allow on-the-ground agencies to direct resources to the greatest area of need, support economic recovery and ensure donation management does not detract from disaster recovery needs. Global Citizen* and USAID* have recommendations on where to direct giving.

LOCAL SUPPORT: For companies that seek to support local Ukrainian organizations directly, it is advised to work through a trusted intermediary with strong relationships with nonprofits on the ground as they can provide funding, capacity building and additional support alongside the cash grants. Such organizations here in the U.S. include the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, and GlobalGiving.

LONG-TERM SUPPORT: The private sector is best positioned to engage in long-term support for recovery and rebuilding, especially for the refugee community, after this initial emergency phase. Working with and through aid and NGO partners, the business community will be in a position to invest in long-term solutions to support food security, livelihoods and economic empowerment, healthcare system strengthening, access to education, access to water, sanitation and hygiene.

Kate Olsen


Kate specializes in developing strategies and integrated engagement campaigns that help purpose-driven clients build brands and advance sustainable development.

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