Vice President, Global Resilience
February 24, 2023
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation recently convened cross-sector leaders to discuss the state of Ukraine’s ongoing humanitarian crisis, commemorating one year since the Russian invasion. The webcast featured perspectives from Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.S. Oksana Markarova and USAID Assistant Administrator for Europe and Eurasia, Ambassador Erin E. McKee.
Marjorie Chorlins, the U.S. Chamber’s SVP of European Affairs, reminded viewers that “the U.S. Chamber and the Chamber Foundation's position with respect to Ukraine has been clear ... the American business community stands with the people of Ukraine.”
The webcast pointed attention to the Foundation’s corporate aid tracker, totaling more than $1.06 billion pledged by the U.S. business community to assist Ukraine in the humanitarian crisis it faces.
Ambassador McKee applauded this support stating, “The private sector is a critical partner to USAID’s work around the world, but especially in Ukraine. Today, and in the months and years to come, this partnership is going to become even more critical. The private sector’s response to the humanitarian needs in Ukraine was quite generous, but it will require continued help.”
Ukraine has faced critical damage to infrastructure leaving people without homes or other essentials required to live. Trade and commerce have been affected globally, greatly surrounding Ukraine’s agriculture, and has left many people without jobs.
This conflict is not over, but reconstruction efforts have begun in Ukraine. “As the conflict continues, we are also thinking ahead towards Ukraine's victory and its eventual recovery and modernization and to that end, the U.S. Chamber standing up a Ukraine business initiative to sustain the work that has been undertaken thus far, and to ensure that American businesses are there to support Ukraine for the duration” said Chorlins.
Ambassador Markarova expressed her appreciation to both the Chamber Foundation and the American business community for their continued support. “It takes a village now to do what we need to do in Ukraine, and we invite everyone to be a resident of that village and do it together with us.”
- Ukraine will lead their own reconstruction efforts, as they best know their country and people’s needs, and additional resources are welcomed. Cash contributions are the most effective way to help. Unlike material donations, cash allows non-profits to allocate funds where most needed and neutralizes the need for transportation or warehousing.
- Approximately 14 million Ukrainians have been temporarily displaced, with 6 million leaving the country. Ambassador Markarova respectfully requested that the term “refugee” not be used, instead opting for “temporarily displaced people.” Ukrainian people did not choose to leave home, and many plan to return home.
- Agriculture effects are seen globally through the grain industry as Russia delays the passage of Ukrainian ships. Grain for Ukraine, a program in which partners fund shipping of donated grain to countries in Africa, has helped to mitigate this.
- The Embassy of Ukraine is available as a resource to direct help where it is needed. This includes business opportunities to utilize firms in areas such as IT, design and architecture from Ukrainians who are still working to provide quality service and rebuild their economy.
If your company is interested in new or continued involvement in the humanitarian situation in the Ukraine:
- Visit the U.S. Chamber Foundation resources page.
- Share how your company is contributing by clicking here.
We thank the Shape Leaders who make possible the work of the Chamber Foundation's Community Resilience and Disaster Response program:
Abbott, Amazon, AWS, The Coca-Cola Company, FedEx, Guidehouse, Medtronic Foundation, P&G, Prudential, The Shell Oil Company, and UPS Foundation.
Contributors to this article: Sydney Lewis and Claire Irish, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Communications
About the authors
Rob coordinates the U.S Chamber of Commerce Foundation's efforts to connect government and private sector capabilities and expertise, enabling readiness for all hazards and advancing resilience.