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The Initiatives in the Netherlands Assisting the Ukraine War Humanitarian Efforts

Companies in the Netherlands are pursuing all kinds of initiatives to aid Ukrainian refugees.

As it stands, more than 5.1 million Ukrainian citizens have been forced to flee their country as a result of Russia's invasion on February 24th this year. The Netherlands is preparing for the arrival of 150,000 refugees. 150,000 people who will need to rebuild their lives here - without knowing when they can return to their country, and for many, their families. The situation is truly unimaginable.

As the world watches the atrocities unfold, many companies have felt emboldened to make any kind of effort to assist in the humanitarian efforts.

Below is an overview of just some of the Dutch organizations running initiatives:

People for People

With the war in Ukraine ongoing, Dutch entrepreneurs Joris Beckers (Picnic), Robert Vis (MessageBird) andAli Niknam (bunq) have joined forced to found ‘Stichting People for People’; an initiative to connect people who can provide help to Ukrainian refugees in the Netherlands.

The foundation was founded after bunq received an enormous amount of messages in response to a LinkedIn message that Niknam posted soon after the war began.

Within the first two weeks of its inception in early March, the foundation had already received over 1,300+ help requests. Since then, People for People has partnered with a countless number of organizations to assist in an array of meaningful ways, such as:‍

Housing and accommodation with Booking.com, Belvilla, and Takecarebnb;

Job opportunities with Fastlane Ukraine in hiring displaced individuals as well as filling volunteer roles;

Transportation of supplies with On My Way UA;

Provisioning SIM cards to new arrivals with 500 prepaid sim cards supplied by Vodafone Ziggo and 50 power banks donated by T-Mobile.

The above list is just a small portion of the impact this foundation is having. If you or your business would like to join, or if you’re in need yourself, visit their website.

For more info: https://peopleforpeople.info/

bunq

Dutch fintech, bunq is enabling Ukrainian refugees with valid ID cards and passports to open a free bank account. Also led by People for People co-founder and bunq CEO, Ali Niknam, Ukrainian citizens can easily setup their account in as little as 5 minutes.

For more info: https://www.bunq.com/ukraine-refugees

Picnic

Customers of online grocery store Picnic can add a relief package to their shopping basket and have it delivered to the Ukraine border with the help of UNHCR. The exact contents of the package will depend on what’s needed the most.

For more info: visit here

Welcome App

Welcome App is a Netherlands-based non-for-profit that works closely with local municipalities to help integrate refugees in the country.Their centralized app connects new arrivals with local organizations, networks and activities. It also facilitates many of the hurdles that stand in the way of integration such as meeting locals, finding the right information, securing a job and even overcoming language barriers.

As you can imagine, there’s been growing demand for these kind of services of late. If you would like Welcome App to work in your municipality OR if you are, or know, a newcomer who would benefit from their services, please visit their website.

For more info: https://www.welcomeapp.nl/en/

Workwize

To assist in the humanitarian efforts, home-office onboarding software, Workwize is partnering with Fully to give free office chairs to refugees in the Netherlands. The initiative is available to Ukrainian citizens who have found work or are looking for work in the Netherlands, as well as companies based in the Netherlands who have hired Ukrainian refugees. The scale-up will take care of the sourcing, payment and delivery of the chairs in support of all those having to rebuild their lives under such unimaginable circumstances.

NS

Dutch railway company NS has joined international train group Thalys and Deutsche Bahn in offering free travel to people fleeing the war in Ukraine.

All Ukrainian refugees arriving in the Netherlands can use any public transportation service in the country by showing a Ukrainian passport or identity card.

‘Your passport is your train ticket,’ director Marjan Rintel said. ‘We hope NS can play its part in contributing towards a better situation for fleeing Ukrainian families.’

For more info: https://nieuws.ns.nl/aan-de-gevluchte-inwoners-van-oekraine-jouw-paspoort-is-je-treinkaartje-naar-nederland/

Edge Technologies

Real estate developer, Edge Technologies has worked in conjunction with the City of Amsterdam in offering 400 Ukrainian refugees to temporarily stay in a vacant building located on Amsterdam Zuidas.

In their recent LinkedIn post, the company stated they were hoping that their initiative will, “encourage more building owners and real estate developers to rethink the role of their vacant buildings and act fast to facilitate more housing for the ones in need.”

For more info: visit here

Booking.com

Three weeks after the start of war in Ukraine, online booking platform and travel agency, Booking.com, launched a “Humanitarian Aid” tab to their website. Here, partners in over 12 European countries can offer free and discounted stays to people in need. By hacking its tools, the company hopes to empower its hosts to welcome and support refugees.

Discounted housing for Ukrainians is marked as ‘Ukraine Refugee Rate’ on their website and range from 50% and 99% on usual rates, or free, depending on the host's discretion.

For more info: visit their humanitarian aid listings here

Giro555

Giro555 is an initiative of 11 collaborating aid organizations: CARE Netherlands, Cordaid, Kerk in Actie, Dutch Red Cross, Oxfam Novib, Plan International Netherlands, Save the Children, Refugee Foundation, Terre des Hommes, UNICEF Netherlands and World vision. The organizations work together to give humanitarian aid to people in disaster areas.

As of 10th April, their ‘Together in Action for Ukraine’ campaign has collected an enormous 160.8 million euros to aid in humanitarian efforts. This goes towards efforts in Ukraine itself and to refugees who have crossed the border to neighboring countries. For example, various organizations ensure that people in Ukraine are provided with food, medicines, shelter, electricity and water. There is support for evacuations and for the provision of medical care. Psychosocial help is also provided and places are set up where children are safe. In addition, various organizations provide assistance in the form of cash or vouchers. This allows refugees to buy what they need most, such as medicines, food or other necessities.

For more info: https://giro555.nl/

Catawiki

Last month, Catawiki, the leading online auction marketplace for special objects, launched a call to its sellers to submit and donate objects to provide financial support for the Ukraine conflict. In the span of a couple of days, over 200 sellers coming from 20+ countries submitted over 800 objects. All objects were gathered in Catawiki’s dedicated #StandWithUkraine auctions which ended on 21 March. The sale of these objects, combined with Catawiki’s double commission contribution, resulted in a total donation of more than €115,000.

Highlights of the auctions included a fine 1:8 scale model of the Ferrari La Ferrari donated by Amalgam (sold for €4,800), a silver ring and earrings that reached a sevenfold of the seller’s estimate (sold for €920) - showcasing the generosity of the Catawiki buyer community - and a Chinese Tang Dynasty Terracotta which counted over 60 bids (sold for €3,400).

For more info: visit here

Adyen

Fintech payment platform, Adyen, has partnered with the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, to allow merchants on the platform to fundraise through their own online checkout and Point of Sale terminals using Adyen’s donation feature, Giving. The feature gives merchants’ shoppers the option to donate to a charity as part of its payment flow.

Adyen will match every donation made via Giving to the relief effort. By default in Giving, Adyen absorbs all costs related to donations - ensuring that the full donation amount makes it to UNHCR.

For more info: visit here

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Holly whittaker: Content Marketer
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