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Article

15 Mar 2022

Author:
The UN Global Compact Network UK

UN Global Compact calls on business to act in response to humanitarian crisis in Ukraine

Ukraine crisis: an urgent call for business action

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is causing a humanitarian emergency on a scale not seen in Europe since the Second World War. It is difficult to turn a blind eye to the mass destruction and emergency evacuation of women and children, with images reminiscent of previous global conflicts...

The conflict has already caused an increase in the cost of energy, shipping, and some commodities, exacerbating the negative economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is likely to have huge impacts on supply chains worldwide. For example, Ukraine is one of the most important wheat-producing countries in the world and the ongoing conflict is driving wheat prices up globally. Disruption to Ukraine’s infrastructure (including ports) and the sanctions imposed on Russia mean that the private sector will continue grappling with the fallout from the conflict for years to come.

Firms are taking steps to halt their operations in the region, diversify their supply chains, and shift production. This can come at considerable cost for the environment and human rights. The ongoing conflict and humanitarian crisis, as well as the mounting public scrutiny on business conduct, calls for urgent and ambitious responses on the part of companies to minimise any harmful impacts on people and the planet...

How your business can help

  • Conduct (Heightened) Human Rights and Environmental Due Diligence
  • Support the Flash Appeal for people in Ukraine and the Regional Refugee Response Plan
  • Donate to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
  • Support Ukrainian Businesses and employ skilled Ukrainians

... Businesses can play a crucial role in ensuring that the rights of the people of Ukraine are respected through their activities and their operations. We urge you all to step up and accelerate action that will support the Ukrainian economy and population...

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