The war in Ukraine has taken a harrowing toll on children. Since the beginning of the conflict, more than 1 .5 million children have fled the country and millions more are caught up in the escalating violence. Like all children driven from their homes by war and conflict, Ukrainian children arriving in neighbouring countries are at significant risk of family separation, violence, sexual exploitation, and trafficking.
UNICEF is appealing for $349 million to provide life-saving support for children and their families. This includes US$ 276 million to respond to immediate needs within Ukraine and US$ 73 million for humanitarian needs in neighbouring countries. This funding will help to support over 3.5 million people, including 2.2 million children.
The business community has responded at an unprecedented speed and volume. We are grateful to partners who have provided financial resources which is the most effective way to support relief efforts. This has enabled UNICEF to quickly scale up our emergency response in Ukraine and in neighbouring like Poland, Romania and Moldovia.
In refugee-hosting countries, UNICEF has set up “blue dot hubs” to provide parents and caregivers with valuable information and mental health support as they plan in their onward journeys. For children, Blue Dot hubs provide a safe, welcoming space
to rest, play and simply be a child.
Inside Ukraine, we have delivered essential supplies, including midwifery kits, surgical kits, obstetric kits, oxygen concentrators, cold boxes, as well as blankets and winter clothes, water, sanitation and hygiene kits, dignity kits, early childhood education kits and adolescent kits. Meanwhile, mobile child protection teams are being expanded from to scale-up protection and psychosocial services for children across Ukraine.
This work has been made possible thanks to our public and private partners. As of March 17, the private sector alone contributed with over $282 million from over 40 countries. Recent examples from businesses include Capgemini, ING, Louis Vuitton, the LEGO Foundation, Pandora, Novo Nordisk Foundation, Visa and Meta who took action and supported UNICEF.
Beyond direct and lifesaving grants, businesses have been activating their ecosystems such as their employees, their customers, in new and innovative ways and at a scale we have never seen before. Apple launched a global appeal for the
children of Ukraine reaching millions of customers on Apple’s homepage, Apple TV, Apple Music, Apple Books, the App Store, Podcasts. Building on $25 million in contributions from Google.org and Google employees, Google announced matching $5 million in public donations up to $10 million, to UNICEF, the World Food Programme and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to support relief efforts. All across the world there have been customer round-ups, appeals or
employee campaigns. In this manner, the reach of the private sector has been demonstrated in powerful ways.
But the scale of need remains staggering, ranging from food, clothing and essentials to trauma support and schooling. As needs are assessed and the situation evolves, we hope that partners engaging with us at the start will stay with us as specific needs emerge.
You can find more details on the different ways businesses can support Ukrainian children and their families here.
Editor’s note: Business Fights Poverty has launched a Rapid Response Facility for Ukraine. Click here to find out more about how you can get involved and download a selection of resources to guide action.