War in Ukraine: humanitarian and economic impact and solutions

The war in Ukraine started a humanitarian and economic crisis at a country, regional and global level. With half of the country’s retail stores destroyed, inaccessible or closed, it is our obligation to act now.

 

A population Lacking the Most Basic Supplies

It has become evident that the Russian aggression is targeting key civil infrastructures, destabilising supply chains for even the most basic goods. Large logistic hubs, such as seaports off the black sea and the Azov coast, have also been blocked, accentuating the difficulties of supplying the population. Although approximately 5 million people have fled to neighbouring countries, over 30 million citizens remain in the country, many of which are patiently awaiting supplies. The situation has escalated to a humanitarian crisis not seen in Europe since WW2 and requires immediate and powerful action.

 

50% of Domestic Business Lost

With the destruction of farms, factories, stores, restaurants, and other important infrastructures, Ukraine consumer goods manufacturers alone face a 50% loss in domestic business. Not only are citizens not gaining access to the most basic goods, but also the local and national economy is suffering a horrific blow. If not acted upon now, this could have serious implications on the country’s long term economic recovery.

 

Our Ukraine Briefing

Alongside EMD, Europe’s leading retail alliance, Cosaris organised a briefing to discuss the current situation and explore solutions. The webinar consisted of a panel of six international industry experts and was attended by senior delegates from over 20 countries and 4 continents. The purpose of the first part, which covered the situation in the Ukraine, was to identify ways to provide economic support, create new partnerships, and work together to achieve impactful sustainable solutions.

This week’s blog post shows what was discussed on the Ukranian side of the briefing, hosted by three top level Ukranian experts. Next week we will explore the challenges and potential solutions for international retailers and suppliers.

 

Current Situation, Developments and Challenges

At our briefing, we had the privilege of hosting 3 top-level Ukrainian experts: Boris Markov, CEO of ATB, the largest retailer in the Ukraine, Sergii Voitsekhovskyi, Head of the humanitarian HQ set up by the mayor of Kyiv and the president’s office, and Konstantin Melnikov, CEO of the Ukraine Hub. In a plea for cooperation and discussion on much-needed economic and humanitarian support, they expressed the importance of strengthening the links between Ukraine and Europe to strengthen the country’s economy and resilience.

Over 11 million people are believed to have fled their homes in Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion. Relentless shelling has led to the indiscriminate destruction of industrial, commercial and civil infrastructure and caused an immeasurable amount of unnecessary death. Furthermore, thousands of homes have either been destroyed or badly damaged. All this has debilitated important supply chains and led the country to a pressing humanitarian and economic crisis. Every store in the country has faced shortages, and every citizen anticipates much needed goods.

If you are a retailer or supplier and want to help directly by providing Ukrainians with food, hygiene products, fuel, and other necessities, please reach out to the Humanitarian HQ through Nadiia Stechyshyna, who is a representative of the BGV charity fund at n.stechyshyna@bgv.com.ua.

The Ukrainian Hub

Our briefing experts Boris, Sergii and Konstantin drew our attention to the fact that Russians are deliberately trying to weaken the economy by targeting key production and logistics facilities. To resist Russian aggression, they stressed the importance of supporting the economy, keeping suppliers in business and saving jobs.

Although domestic business for the consumer goods industry alone has seen a dip of 50%, many manufacturers still have production capacity or available stocks. The missing piece of the puzzle is where these goods can be sold. The newly formed Ukranian Hub aims to bridge that gap. Working with European retailers to organise a flow of goods from Ukraine into Europe, the Hub’s purpose is to create a sustainable way to support the Ukrainian economy directly. Furthermore, 10% of all revenue generated is allocated for humanitarian needs in collaboration with the Klitschko foundation.

By using existing facilities in Ukraine and Poland, the hub provides:

  • Certification
  • Logistics
  • Packaging adaptation
  • Ready to shelf packaging supply (if necessary)
  • Custom procedures

The Hub offers retailers four solutions to support the Ukrainian economy and people directly by preserving jobs and keeping businesses alive:

First, the Ukrainian shelf. This can be a secondary in-store display stocked with a variety of some of the leading Ukrainian food and non-food consumer goods.

Second, selling Ukraine- or co-branded private label products.

Third, providing in-out non-food promotion items like clothing. Giving shoppers the opportunity to show support, not just in store but also in public.

Fourth, developed and adapted gamified collectibles for children. They can be used for crowdfunding as well as turnover increase.

These 4 solutions will enable retailers and their shoppers to show support and directly help people and businesses in the Ukraine. Every sale also generates funds for the Klitschko Foundation humanitarian fund which directly helps Ukrainian citizens in their destroyed cities. The Ukrainian Hub offers on-demand delivery to retailers’ warehouses from within the EU. This initiative offers a great opportunity to strengthen not only the Ukrainian economy but also the ties within Europe while showing solidarity, offering help and opening up new opportunities.

How can I help? Want to know more?

Want to know how to get involved? Get in touch with the Cosaris Managing Director Rene Schneider at  rene.schneider@cosaris.com or fill in the form below.

Also make sure to check out the Ukranian Hub’s website at https://www.ukrainianhub.online

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