Providing humanitarian help to Ukraine

Tuesday 22 March 2022

On 16 March 2022, CFA UK hosted a webinar How we can provide humanitarian help to Ukraine led by Will Goodhart, Chief Executive of CFA UK and featured contributions from Karina Litvack with practical tips on housing a refugee, Lyn Tomlinson on philanthropic giving, Peter Varga, CFA, on the work that is going on across the CFA Institute and CFA member society community worldwide, and a personal account from the chair of CFA Society Ukraine, Oleskii Sobolev, CFA to hear his experiences on the ground in Ukraine. 




Hosting refugees

Karina Litvak is a member of the CFA Institute Board of Governors and she started off the discussion by talking about the enrichment of opening your house to a refugee, based on her experience of bringing over 30 displaced people into her home. She brought to life some of the challenges, from navigating language barriers, incorporating dietary requirements to the impact on your family – including your own children and ensuring personal safety. You can find out more about connecting with those that need a spare room through charities such as Refugees at home who Karina has been working with for 5 years. 


Providing financial aid 

Lyn Tomlinson, Head of Impact at Cazenove Capital explained how financial aid can make a huge difference – especially when giving levels can fall in times of market stress like we are seeing now.  There is a desire to send goods and services, however she emphasised that there can never be enough financial aid in a situation like this – and unsurprisingly cash on the ground is the most effective solution in an emergency. Donating to local disaster relief charitable organisations that really know the local community is important to factor into your giving strategy as they can scale up on the ground more easily.  

Following on, Lyn made the recommendation that you might want to consider splitting the donation over a longer period of time which is ultimately more beneficial than single, one-off donations as this is going to be a long road to recovery.   

Peter Varga, CFA , the CFA Institute Presidents Council Representative for Central Eastern Europe, shared how neighbouring CFA societies have gone above and beyond in the weeks following the start of the war and have opened their houses to Ukrainian CFA colleagues to help keep them safe. CFA Institute are actively supporting these societies and alongside a donation to the Red Cross Fund are working on further activities to support the situation including: 

  • Launching a special fund collection from CFA Institute use a pro-funding model to go from CFA members to CFA members and families affected by the war 

  • Non-monetary solution providing practical help – this information will be published on the CFA Society Ukraine website - covering job offers, accommodation and how to give immediate support on a member-by-member case basis. 


The road to peace 

Chair of CFA Society Ukraine, Oleskii Sobolev, CFA joined the conversation from Lviv where he outlined five key things that he believes you can do to help in the current crisis and beyond.

  1. Restricting the flow of capital to Russian entities by increasing the transparency around those exposures 
  2. Employing Ukrainians and working with Ukrainian companies 
  3. Donating to humanitarian organisations in Ukraine, not just global bodies 
  4. Pressuring governments to work with Ukraine on regional security, and 
  5. Preparing to support the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine’s social and economic infrastructure. 

Although it feels too early to be discussing the rebuilding and reconstruction of Ukraine, taking this into consideration with a longer-term view might be something to consider when choosing agencies to support. Oleskii mentioned two specific charities which are helping on the ground and would be grateful for your support.

Volunteer initiative HELP UKRAINE! is co-ordinating transportation, with supply chains in peril, they are locating storage, medicines and medical equipment to deliver to the Armed Forces. 

The Kyiv School of Economics is running an initiative alongside the Ukrainian business community to provide food, transportation, shelter, and medicine for refugees, along with first aid and protective kits.

CFA Societies Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania have joined together to set up an Ukraine Emergency Relief Fund to help our CFA community suffering from the war in Ukraine. This is purely a CFA membership initiative. We expect our global CFA community to help the local CFA people in need, however, donations are open for anyone to make. For more information please refer to the full Charter governing the process.  A huge thank you to Marek Prokopec, CFA president of CFA Society Slovakia for driving this initiative and to everyone involved.