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Factbox-European and U.S. companies mobilise to help Ukrainians fleeing war – Metro US

Factbox-European and U.S. companies mobilise to help Ukrainians fleeing war

Ukrainian people stand after shopping in front of Biedronka market
Ukrainian people stand after shopping in front of Biedronka market near the border crossing between Poland and Ukraine in Medyka

(Reuters) – Companies across Europe and North America have begun offering aid to Ukrainian authorities and people fleeing war following Russia’s invasion, as over a million leave their homes and head to safety in Poland and other neighbouring countries.

The following are some companies which have offered support. More are expected to follow in the coming days.

ENERGY

TotalEnergies said on Tuesday it would provide fuel to the Ukrainian authorities and aid to refugees in Europe, but stopped short of joining rivals Shell and BP in planning to exit positions in oil-rich Russia.

COMMUNICATIONS

More than a dozen telecom providers are either providing free international calls to Ukraine or are scrapping roaming charges there.

Firms which have taken measures include A1 Telekom Austria Group, Altice Portugal, AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Proximus, Swisscom, Telefonica, Telenor, Telia Company, TIM, KPN, Vivacom and Vodafone.

Ukraine on Monday said it had received donated Starlink satellite internet terminals from Elon Musk’s SpaceX, but an internet security researcher warned these could become Russian targets.

FOOD AND BLANKETS

Poland’s largest food retailer Biedronka said it would hire family members of its 1,800 Ukrainian employees, who would each receive a 1,000 zloty ($233) grant. It also pledged $1.2 million to deliver basic food, hygiene and cleaning products to refugees.

Jysk will provide refugees in need with blankets or other items from the Danish home retailer’s stock, a spokesman told Reuters on Thursday as the group reopened eight stores in western Ukraine.

ACCOMMODATION

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said on Monday the rental firm was working with its hosts to house up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees for free, while Nordic Choice offered to lodge people in its Vilnius hotel.

Polish hotel chain Arche Hotels said on Saturday it had already put up 1,000 refugees and prepared to accommodate 5,000, while its establishment in Lublin, 100 km (62 miles) from the border, had collected bedding, clothing, Polish language books and toys for children fleeing Ukraine.

HEALTHCARE

Private provider LuxMed said it was providing free medical assistance to Ukrainians in Poland, with doctors and paramedics stationed near the border, along with Swedish Medicover which said it had launched a Ukrainian language helpline.

French cosmetics group L’Oreal said it aimed to deliver 300,000 hygiene products to Ukraine in the coming weeks, while Gdansk-based womens’ health clinic Nivique offered free gynaecological services to female refugees.

TRAVEL

Poland’s PKP Intercity said on Saturday its trains would carry Ukrainian citizens for free from the border, while operators across central and Western Europe have also offered free travel.

Flixbus has given out free tickets and said it would send 40 buses free-of-charge to the Ukrainian-Polish border with routes from Przemysl, near the main border crossing of Medyka.

Car rental companies Panek Panek CarSharing and 4Mobility said they would allocate parts of their fleet for transport to the border and invited volunteers to help, while Uber announced unlimited free rides from the border to Polish cities.

LOGISTICS

Trans.EU on Sunday pledged nearly $500,000 in aid for Ukrainians and said it was organising a network of carriers to bring supplies from Western Europe to Ukraine.

The CEO of Polish parcel locker firm InPost said it would use parts of its fleet and drivers to transport aid packages collected by Polish communities to Ukraine.

BANKING

Several banks have promised to waive or refund fees for transfers to Ukraine, including Dutch lender ING, Poland’s mBank and BNP Paribas’s Polish branch, which offered free withdrawals to Ukrainian customers. Nordea Bank ABP has also waived transaction fees on donations to charities offering emergency aid.

DONATIONS

Multinational firms have pledged cash donations to aid organisations, including $16 million from Danish toymaker Lego, $10 million from crypto giant Binance and $5 million each from Jeronimo Martins, LVMH – owner of the world’s largest luxury label – and U.S. internet giant Amazon.

($1 = 4.2888 zlotys, 6.6991 Danish crowns, 0.9007 euros)

(Reporting by Sarah Morland, Marie Mannes, Marta Frackowiak and Federica Mileo, Editing by William Maclean, Gareth Jones and Tomasz Janowski)

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