According to the UN, 6.5 million Ukrainians have been displaced within Ukraine, and according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) more than 4 million people have been forced to flee the country since the invasion began on February 24, making this the fastest-growing refugee crisis in Europe since World War II. The scale of the unfolding humanitarian crisis in mind-numbing: experts estimate that 12 million people will be in need of humanitarian assistance.
At Cisco, we have long focused on helping vulnerable populations – those unhoused or displaced by conflict and natural disasters – meet their critical needs. We leverage our people, technology, and financial resources to support our nonprofit and non-governmental partners that are working tirelessly to help those displaced and in need.
Cisco employees have donated nearly $1M to 19 nonprofit organizations featured in our Ukraine Humanitarian Assistance Fund; with Cisco Foundation matching, we have raised nearly $1.9 million in total giving. In addition, Cisco has donated $1M to the UNHCR to support their relief activities and support services for Ukrainians fleeing the country, while our Cisco Crisis Response team is working with UNHCR to connect refugee centers and support hubs. The Cisco Foundation has also allocated $1M in donations to support local nonprofits efforts in and outside of Ukraine.
Here is more information on what some of our key nonprofit partners are doing to support those in need:
- Americares has Emergency Response Teams on the ground in Poland and Romania, assessing health needs and coordinating shipments of medicine and supplies for Ukraine. Americares response is focused on delivering medicine and medical supplies, supporting health services, and providing mental health and psychosocial support for refugees and survivors who have experienced trauma.
- Mercy Corps is on the ground in Ukraine, Romania, and Poland, providing funding and support to local organizations in their relief efforts and delivery of humanitarian aid. Mercy Corps is working with partners to provide emergency cash assistance, allowing those affected to meet their most pressing needs as well as providing up-to-date information in multiple languages to families on the move.
- Save the Children has been operating in Ukraine since 2014, delivering essential humanitarian aid to children and their families. Save the Children is in Ukraine, Poland, Romania, and Lithuania prioritizing cash and voucher assistance so families can purchase food and other essentials. Save the Children is also supporting the immediate needs of girls and boys with child protection, psychosocial support and education programs.
- UNHCR is assisting internally displaced persons (IDPs) inside Ukraine, and coordinating the delivery of protection, assistance, and solutions for refugees in collaboration with national authorities in neighboring countries. Together with UNICEF, UNHCR is setting up Children and Family Support Hubs with key protection and social services for children and families with specific needs.
- World Central Kitchen (WCK) began serving hot meals within hours of the initial invasion of Ukraine, and quickly set up at the eight border crossings with Poland. Since then, WCK’s Chefs for Ukraine response has grown rapidly, and is distributing nourishing food and almost 250K meals per day across 7 countries, including Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, Moldova, Slovakia, Romania, and Spain. In addition to their field kitchen, WCK is working with local restaurants, caterers, and food trucks to provide fresh and comforting meals at border crossings, reception centers, shelters, and other locations along their journey. WCK is also distributing bulk food product including produce and dry goods in Ukraine to supplement the strained food supply chain.
If you are a Cisco employee, you can help by donating to the Ukraine Humanitarian Assistance Fund in Bright Funds. If you do not work for Cisco but would like to help, we have an external Ukraine Humanitarian Assistance Fund.
Also, please consider making a direct donation to one of the organizations listed above. Cash donations enable nonprofits to purchase the supplies and services they need, and to support the most immediate needs of the communities they serve.