- Olivia Eriksen
How the business world is responding to the Ukraine crisis
How businesses are stepping up in the wake of violence against Ukraine.
Russia’s recent attack on Ukraine has left the rest of the world stunned at the lack of humanity that is being exhibited in this modern age, and businesses have acted to show their solidarity with the people of Ukraine, finding their own ways to provide support and relief to those in harm’s way. This article is exploring the ways in which the business world is responding to the crisis.
CEASING TRADE WITH RUSSIA
Russia has long been a consumer of and a lucrative trade location for countless big-name brands from around the world but, since the war in Ukraine began, one by one these brands have ceased trade with Russia.
McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, and Starbucks are among the food and drinks companies to cut ties with the country, while retail outlets H&M, Zara, and Levi’s have all shuttered their stores. These companies are only a handful of the huge numbers that have ceased trading in Russia – technology, corporate, oil and gas, and entertainment being some of the other sectors to take a stand – due to not wanting to contribute to an economy or regime that has been driving such violent actions over the last couple of months.
With so many companies being based far from Ukraine and unable to offer physical aid, an alternative route that many have taken is setting up and/or donating to relief funds. The money from these funds has been used for a whole host of support measures, including use by relief groups on the ground in Ukraine that are offering first-hand assistance and to help refugees escape the destruction as safely as possible.
Sending money to Ukraine is a quick way to be of real help to those in need, and it can be distributed on the ground to the relief areas that need it the most. From military support to economic stability, from humanitarian efforts to purchasing goods, supplying the country with the funds to make these needs a reality is vital.
Companies all around the world are donating goods from their product lines to help those in need. Food, clothes, toiletries, sleeping bags, and first aid kits are some of the countless items that have been donated for shipping to Ukraine. As well as donating products, some companies have donated their space to be used as goods drop-off points.
This gesture – one that is ultimately quite small for the companies – will have a huge impact on the day-to-day welfare of the people suffering through warfare in Ukraine.
OFFERING SPACES FOR REFUGEES
Hotel chains and accommodation companies – including Hilton hotels and Airbnb – are offering free housing to Ukrainian refugees. This olive branch provides the possibility of a safe haven for those fleeing from the war, and offers security where they very easily could have been none. A safe home should not be a commodity, it should be a given. So, for these companies to be providing such spaces is no small thing.
Some governments have also set up initiatives whereby citizens with space in their home can sign up to house refugees coming into the country. The UK is one such country, with a Homes for Ukraine scheme in place.
It can be hard to know what to do in order to provide support for those in the thick of it, but what is certain is that sitting back and ignoring the situation is not an option. From cutting ties with Russia, creating relief funds for victims of the war, offering refuge, or even just using their voices, businesses all over the world are stepping forward in solidarity with Ukraine and showing the country some humanity, in what feels like the most inhumane of times.
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