FACTBOX-European and U.S. companies mobilize to help Ukrainians fleeing war

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March 4 (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

Ukraine said on Monday it had received Starlink satellite internet terminals donated by SpaceX, but CEO Elon Musk and an internet security researcher warned these could become Russian targets. y

More than a dozen telecom providers are providing free international calls to Ukraine or scrapping roaming charges there. Firms taking measures include A1 Telekom Austria Group, Altice Portugal, AT&T T.N, Deutsche Telekom , Orange , Proximus , Swisscom , Telefonica , Telenor , Telia Company , TIM , KPN , Vivacom and Vodafone .

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 over $1 million to bring 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  said it was working with its hosts to offer free, short-term housing to up to 100,000 refugees from Ukraine, and that it was temporarily waiving its booking fees there.

Nordic Choice has offered free lodging in its Vilnius hotel, while Poland’s Arche Hotels said three days after Russia launched the invasion that it had already put up 1,000 refugees as it prepared to lodge 5,000, and called for clothes, Polish language books and toy donations for children fleeing Ukraine.

HEALTHCARE

Sweden’s Medicover  and private Polish provider LuxMed said they were providing free medical assistance at the border, while Gdansk-based Nivique clinic offered free gynaecological services to female refugees.

Further afield, French cosmetics group L’Oreal  said it aimed to deliver 300,000 hygiene products to Ukraine in coming weeks, while U.S. drugmaker Eli Lilly LLY.N pledged over $9 million-worth in insulin and COVID-19 medicine supplies for aid organisations there and General Electric GE.N $4 million in medical equipment such as mobile x-ray units and ventilators.

TRAVEL

Train operators across Central and Western Europe have offered free travel to Ukrainians, including Polish PKP Intercity trains and Germany’s Deutsche Bahn , while Flixbus said it would send more free buses to run routes from the main Polish border crossing of Medyka.

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

LOGISTICS

Low-cost airline Ryanair RYA.I, which has suspended all its flights to and from Ukraine, has begun carrying medical supplies from the UK and Ireland to Polish airports, its CEO said on Wednesday.

Trans.EU said it was organising a network of carriers to bring supplies to Ukraine from Western Europe and the CEO of Krakow-based InPost  said he would mobilise parts of the parcel group’s fleet to bring aid to the border.

BANKING

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

DONATIONS OVER $5 MLN

Multinational firms and their foundations have pledged cash for aid organisations, including around $16 million from Danish toymaker Lego, $10 million each from crypto giant Binance and Danish brewer Carlsberg CARLb.CO, and $5 million each from Biedronka-owner Jeronimo Martins , French luxury group LVMH , 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 in Gdansk and Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by William Maclean, Gareth Jones, Tomasz Janowski, Maju Samuel and Kim Coghill)

Photo – Protesters carry placards as they take part in a demonstration against the Russian invasion of Ukraine in Lausanne, Switzerland. EPA-EFE/JEAN-CHRISTOPHE BOTT

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