Like many of you around the world, we’re watching what’s happening in Ukraine with horror, concern, and heavy hearts. While we have no direct operations in Ukraine, we have employees and partners who are from or have a deep connection to the country.
Over the past several days, we’ve worked across Amazon to understand how we can best help those who are affected by the violence. It’s difficult for any company without a local presence to provide direct support in a war zone, so we’re donating $5 million to organizations that are providing critical support on the ground, including UNICEF, UNHCR, World Food Program, Red Cross, Polska Akcja Humanitarna and, Save the Children.
We’ve also heard from employees that they want to help, so we’re matching up to $5 million in additional donations from our team to those organizations. For customers who want to help, we’re adding donation buttons or direct links to charitable organizations on the homepages of our websites in the U.S., UK, Poland, and Germany, and will waive our fees for payment processing., and will waive our fees for payment processing on donations made through Amazon.
In addition to providing financial support for relief efforts on the ground in Ukraine, we’re also working to support our teams and Ukrainian immigrants in other ways. For example, we gave employees in Poland additional time off to take care of themselves and their families, and we’re working with Ukrainian nationals to expedite immigration work visas if they’ve relocated.
As for our local response in Romania, we are concentrating efforts on the following main pillars:
- Temporary accommodation: We are putting in place standing agreements with local venues in Iasi at the disposal of local authorities as well as our own volunteer cell operating in the field at the Sculeni border crossing point, where Amazon employees are triaging refugees, dispatching aid and directing towards an accommodation option.
- Aid and products donations: We are donating €1.5 million to Romanian NGOs, including Fundaţia Comunitară Iaşi, and we are coordinating with them the purchase of emergency equipment required for fitting refugee camps. We have set-up collection points for product donations for our employees in Iasi, Bucharest and Timisoara. We are collaborating with local authorities to donate and deliver items and equipment for emergency response, such as diesel generators, water filtration systems, utility tents, medicine and diapers.
- Blood Drive: As Romania offered help in supporting emergency situations, we anticipate a demand in blood and plasma. We are partnering with Regional Transfusion Centers as well as with bloodochallenge.com for organizing blood donation drives on our premises in Bucharest and Iasi.
- Functional expertise: We are providing targeted support in key areas such as project management, software development, contact handling and translation. We are also providing support and Cloud resources to NGOs in the region that build digital tools to support refugees.
The recovery from the war will take many years, and we’ll continue working with NGOs, our employees, and our partners to support the relief efforts and those affected.