Ukraine Rapid Response

In the early hours of 24 February 2022, Russian forces launched an attack on Ukraine. Hundreds of Ukranians have been killed with thousands more wounded. In response to the assault, civilians are abandoning cities and fleeing west in unprecedented numbers; millions of refugees have crossed the borders out of Ukraine. As other emergencies have demonstrated, when people are forced out of their homes there is a critical need to access life-saving support.

We are activating the Rapid Response Facility, created by Business Fights Poverty and Crown Agents as a bespoke, business-led response to rapid onset challenges. It brings together Business Fights Poverty’s 16 years’ convening and rapid collaboration capacity with Crown Agent’s 187 years of experience in procurement and logistics. It was first used in April 2021 to provide companies with a rapid and direct-line-of-sight way of delivering emergency oxygen equipment to India during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. With one of our partners, Mars Inc, for example, we provided 14.6 million hours of oxygen to last-mile rural and urban communities.

The Immediate Needs

We are getting regular updates on needs directly from the Ukrainian Ministry of Health. Crown Agents has been embedded in the Ministry for 5 years, and have been working in the country for 25 years with offices in Kyiv and Lviv. Crown Agents has also established a humanitarian base in Poland.

The Ministry of Health is telling us they need three things urgently: medical trauma kits to stop people from bleeding out because of shrapnel wounds, protective equipment for doctors and nurses who are going out onto the streets to treat people, and oxygen.
The Rapid Response Facility uses the power of collaboration to inform and enable a more effective and impactful business response - by sharing intelligence, reducing costs and leveraging combined distribution networks. Common challenges in disaster response situations are the lack of clarity on (a) the specific, detailed needs; (b) where to procure the needed items, and/or (c) how to get them to people who need them. This Facility solves all three of these, while also ensuring quality, a better price, accountability, coordination of supply and delivery, and recognition of supporters’ contributions. The Rapid Response Facility gives businesses a rapid, bespoke way to respond to emergencies affecting the people and communities where they operate.

Specifically, the Rapid Response Facility:

  1. Enables companies to assess immediate and verified needs and context-critical insights via Business Fights Poverty’s network of trusted partners.
  2. Ensures rapid, cost-effective procurement by Crown Agents from its trusted suppliers, along with economies of scale by combining orders with others.
  3. Allows for bespoke, last-mile rural and urban delivery by Crown Agents’ award-winning logistics arm, Greenshields Cowie, and on-the-ground humanitarian response by Crown Agent’s Crisis, Response and Recovery Unit.
  4. Creates opportunities to collaborate with corporates across the Business Fights Poverty network, to share costs and on-the-ground distribution networks.
  5. Supports real-time learning to inform collective, business-led action.

How you can help

Crown Agents is already procuring emergency items, and is seeking to raise an initial £2.5 million from business and other donors to support the rapid procurement, inspection and delivery of emergency items.

We are also looking for companies to support in one or more of the following ways:

  • SUPPLY: Do you supply or have access to any items that are urgently needed?
  • LOGISTICS: Do you have logistics infrastructure and/or expertise?
  • KNOWLEDGE: Can you or your partners help verify current needs?
  • NETWORKS: Do you have global or local networks that can support local action?

Time is of the essence and we are looking to support companies with a footprint in the region who want to take action to help the Ukrainian people through this crisis. If you would like to participate in the Rapid Response Facility, please get in touch.
Download these free guides and toolkits to help plan your organisation’s response. If you have a resource you would like to share, please get in touch.
Crisis Response

War in Ukraine: What Can Business Do For Children and their Families?

This short guide by UNICEF provides three ways that businesses can support children and their families in Ukraine. | READ ARTICLE

Crisis Response

Action Toolkit: A Guide to Effective Planning

Designed as part of our COVID-19 Response, this guide is specifically tailored to assist with navigating planning during crises; when traditional corporate planning processes may take too long or require too many certainties. It is authored by Major Nick Barton DFC, an Army Officer serving with the Army Air Corps. | READ ARTICLE

Crisis Response

Action Toolkit: Supporting NGO Partners

This Action Toolkit provides guidance on what businesses can do immediately and in the longer term to support their NGO partners who play a critical role in supporting the most vulnerable people during crises. Written in the context of COVID-19, it contains a list of actions and resources that are relevant today. | READ ARTICLE


Resilience Through Refugee-Inclusive Business

Our toolkit provides practical insights into refugee-inclusive business models and recommendations on how to bring them to scale. It is a product of the Business Fights Poverty Business and Refugees Challenge supported by Pearson and in partnership with Mercy Corps, UNHCR, Thomson Reuters Foundation, Business Call to Action, and Innovest Advisory. | READ ARTICLE

Gender-Based Violence

How Can Business Tackle Gender Based Violence in the World of Work: A Toolkit for Action

This Toolkit provides a five step framework to help business tackle Gender Based Violence in the world of work. It includes top tips, a BSR Diagnostic tool and case studies illustrating how companies are starting to tackle this complex issue. It is the key output of the GBV Challenge which ran for nine months with support from International Finance Corporation (IFC) Anglo American, Primark and CARE International UK. | READ ARTICLE

Gender-Based Violence

Gender Equality is Everyone’s Business

This report illustrates why, where and how companies can engage men as allies to advance gender equality at three mutually reinforcing levels: Individual, Organizational and Societal. It highlights examples of how companies are taking action in supply chains, workplaces and through advertising. It is the key output of a Challenge in collaboration with ABInBev, Stanford University's VMware Women's Leadership Innovation Lab and CARE. | READ ARTICLE

Here are other ways you, as an individual or organisation can support those affected by the Ukraine crisis:
About Us
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We believe in the power of business to help improve the lives, livelihoods and learning opportunities of the most vulnerable people and communities.

We know that driving system-level change for a better future requires people to unite across traditional divides and come together in fresh and creative ways.

We curate purposeful collaboration to help companies and their partners access the insights and relationships they need to unlock new opportunities for business and social impact.

Join us. We are Business Fights Poverty.

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