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Ukraine Refugee Crisis - How You Can Help

March 4, 2022

Ukraine Refugee Crisis - How You Can Help

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Ryan Petersen

Founder and Co-CEO, Flexport


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A humanitarian crisis is unfolding as a result of the conflict in Ukraine. Over 1.2 million people have already fled Ukraine into neighboring countries, at below-freezing temperatures, primarily women, children and the elderly. Another 4 million people are expected to flee the conflict in the coming weeks.

To address this growing crisis, Flexport.org is organizing shipments of relief goods to refugee sites across Eastern Europe including Poland, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Moldova. Please join us by donating to the Flexport.org Fund and help us send as many supplies as we can from around the world to the Ukrainian people.

The United Nations is coordinating refugee and resettlement efforts, however, given the scale of the crisis, these camps and other refugee sites are already short of critical supplies including hospital beds, mattresses, medical supplies (like bandages, airway kits, and suture equipment), sanitation kits, and tarps for emergency shelter.

How We Use Logistics and Technology for Good

Over the last few decades, it has been estimated that 60% of all the relief supplies delivered in response to humanitarian crises have gone to waste. The primary reason for that is a lack of logistics coordination: the wrong goods, sent to the wrong place, at the wrong time.

Flexport.org—the impact arm of Flexport—was created to address exactly this problem. We work with NGOs and nonprofits, and humanitarian coordination bodies to deliver disaster relief cargo wherever it’s needed in the world. To do this, we partner with trusted international aid agencies such as UNICEF*, Project HOPE and Airlink.

Since 2016, we have delivered more than 16.5 million lbs of relief supplies to over 60 countries. Shipments funded by the Flexport.org Fund have reached more than 100 million people around the world. But there’s more to do.

After years of collaboration and partnership, these organizations are onboarded to our technology platform that gives them end-to-end visibility and control over the shipments we coordinate on their behalf. They’re standing ready to fill planes with relief goods for refugee sites in Eastern Europe starting this week.

To move these goods, Flexport.org is leveraging cargo planes as well as passenger planes that have been grounded as a result of reduced air travel due to Covid-19. Our airline partners have generously agreed to provide this capacity at a low cost.

In addition to these airlines, the whole Flexport global network is ready to support this effort—from warehousing to customs brokers to truckers. In short, we are well positioned to support this herculean humanitarian effort. All that’s missing is you.

Here’s How You Can Get Involved

Flexport is paying for the first flight of supplies, and I’m paying for the second flight personally. We are conducting this operation pro bono, and we will not earn any profits off this campaign. But the needs go well beyond what a single company can provide.

1. Individuals:

  • Please donate whatever you can at flexport.org/donate. (Your donations may be tax deductible.)
  • If you can’t donate yourself, please share this link with your family and friends and ask them to contribute.
  • Please post this link on social media channels and ask your followers to donate and ask your favorite influencers to get involved by tagging them on social media.
  • Share this link with your colleagues and leadership teams.
  • Ask your employer to be a corporate donor or to match employee donations.

2. Corporations:

  • Please donate at flexport.org/donate! $400,000 can pay for a plane full of supplies to be delivered from the United States to refugee sites in Eastern Europe. (Your donations may be tax deductible.)
  • Create a matching program: Ask employees to donate and match their donations.
  • Encourage your employees to amplify this campaign on social media with this link.

Here’s approximately what will fit in one full plane load:

  • 325 hospital beds and mattresses, or
  • 85 pallets of medical supplies such as gowns, bandages, airway kits, and suture equipment, or
  • 1350 cartons of sanitation kits

3. Non-Profits:

If you’re an established non-profit focused on providing humanitarian aid for disaster response and have goods you’d like to donate to refugee sites, please reach out to relief@flexport.com. (To streamline logistics and compliance, we’re mainly working with highly reputable, established organizations that have been conducting relief operations for many years.)

Contributing to shipments of relief supplies is the most direct way to support refugees from this humanitarian crisis in their time of need. Flexport is providing all logistics and coordination services pro bono. And, we are securing the lowest cost international air freight service possible thanks to our partnerships with major airlines.

Let’s show the world that even in times of crisis, humanity steps up to take care of one another. Join us by donating to the Flexport.org Fund. Thank you.

*(UNICEF does not endorse any company, brand, product or service.)

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