Media release

Private sector donates over US$200 million to UNHCR’s Ukraine emergency response

UNHCR thermal blankets arrive in Ukraine to be distributed to internally displaced people as temperatures reach far below freezing. Photo: © UNHCR/Valerio Muscella

15.03.22 – As humanitarian needs continue to rise, UN High Commissioner for Refugees calls on the private sector for continued support. 

Following fast-growing displacement, a quickly deteriorating humanitarian situation and spiraling needs, donations from the private sector towards relief efforts for Ukraine have reached record-breaking amounts, UNHCR said yesterday. 

More than 3 million people have been forced to flee the country as refugees since 24 February, and at least 2 million more have been displaced within the country. UNHCR fears millions more will be displaced if the war continues.  

In just over two weeks, companies, foundations and philanthropists have contributed over US$200 million towards UNHCR’s Ukraine emergency response. The private sector is demonstrating its generosity and solidarity through direct contributions, while also launching creative initiatives to help engage stakeholders such as employee giving schemes and match funding. The donations come as UNHCR urgently appeals for US$510 million to provide initial emergency assistance to those displaced inside the country and for refugees throughout the region. As more people flee every day and are increasingly in need of urgent humanitarian support, UNHCR’s funding requirements are also likely to grow.  

“At this moment, all eyes around the world are on Ukraine. We stand in solidarity with people fleeing for their lives, whose families are being torn apart. We thank the private sector for their overwhelming generosity,” said UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Cate Blanchett.

Contributions from the private sector have already enabled UNHCR to respond quickly since the start of the crisis, for example by arranging airlift and truck convoys of assistance both to refugees and displaced people inside Ukraine, and by rolling out emergency cash assistance to those in need so they can find safe shelter, warmth, and food. UNHCR is also providing protection services such as psychosocial support and targeted care to the most vulnerable, including unaccompanied and separated children, deploying scores of emergency experts to help set up reception facilities, and reinforcing operations inside Ukraine and throughout the region.  

“I want to thank the companies, foundations and philanthropists from around the world for the kindness and generosity they have shown in helping the people fleeing the war in Ukraine. Millions are in desperate need of urgent assistance. As the crisis deepens, I call on the private sector to continue its support,” said the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi. 

In response to the escalating crisis, the IKEA Foundation, UNHCR’s decade-long partner, has committed EUR€20 million to support the agency’s response to the humanitarian emergency.  

Per Heggenes, CEO, IKEA Foundation, said: “This is a human tragedy. We believe everyone deserves a safe place to call home and we have pledged to do all we can to help the children and families affected by the deadly war. UNHCR has been our long-standing partner and they have a proven track record. We therefore call on the world’s governments, businesses, and philanthropies to join us and increase the relief support for UNHCR and the people fleeing Ukraine.” 

As the private sector rallies to support the response to the Ukraine emergency, UNHCR is also appealing to the world not to forget the many humanitarian crises that are far from the spotlight, where people forced to flee are still in dire need of support. 

Generous private sector donors include: IKEA Foundation, XTX Markets, CTP, Fast Retailing, Akelius Foundation, Samhällsbyggnadsbolaget i Norden AB, The Schörling Foundation, BNP Paribas Foundation, INDITEX, Google.org, Volkswagen,  Binance Charity, Novo Nordisk Foundation, HEARTLAND, Latter-day Saint Charities, Liberty Mutual Insurance, SONY, TikTok, Zegna, Generali, Cargolux, Pernod Ricard, Kering Group, Shiseido, The Foundation at Sanofi, Chanel Foundation, La Caixa Foundation, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Mazda Motor Corporation, Amplifon, Deloitte, FastPartner, JYSK, Z Zurich Foundation, Bain & Company, Cisco, BioNTech, Royal Humanitarian Foundation of Bahrain, Fujitsu Ltd., Supercell, Ryan Reynolds & Blake Lively, NTT, Restaurant Brands International, Capcom Co., AUDI, Porsche, Marks & Spencer, H&M Group, Banco Santander, Vodafone Foundation, Banco BBVA, Üsine Foundation, Haldor Topsoe, Software AG, Armani, BASF Foundation, Continental, NEXI, Valentino, Prada Group, SAP, Toyota Motor Corporation, Kao Corporation, Adidas, Roschier, Gucci, Fujifilm, Jones Day Foundation, Ripple, Koei Tecmo Holdings.

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