March 14, 2022
From the President

Update on Ukraine and the contributions of Canadian philanthropy

Jean-Marc Mangin, President & CEO of Philanthropic Foundations Canada

We are all watching Ukraine with grave concern and sadness. The situation is evolving rapidly, but it is clear that there has been a massive escalation in hostilities since the current conflict began less than three weeks ago.

More than two and a half million people have fled the country in the last two weeks (the equivalent of Manitoba and Saskatchewan empty of people), with millions more internally displaced. Canada has offered to accept an unlimited number of Ukrainian refugees, and Ukrainian residents and citizens alike continue to face extreme danger, uncertainty and brutality. The humanitarian consequences of this crisis will be vast. The situation is quickly becoming one of the fastest growing and largest global refugee crises this century.

PFC members and the wider philanthropic community are starting to step up in a big way. We know of at least one foundation that has taken steps to verify that there are no Russian-owned assets left in its portfolio and it is encouraging others to consider doing likewise.

PFC has been in touch with the Canadian Red Cross and to date, over $59M has been raised via the Canadian Red Cross, including generous contributions from at least 20 Canadian foundations. Currently, the most urgent need is to provide them with financial means to help the people, families and the most vulnerable impacted by the conflict.

Money raised is enabling the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement to respond to humanitarian needs, preparedness and response efforts both in Ukraine and surrounding countries, including supporting populations displaced.

The Ukrainian Red Cross and international Red Cross Movement partners are working hard to provide aid for those impacted by the current escalation—including food, water, medical supplies, shelter support, psychological support, and mobile health teams. They are in close communication with colleagues in Ukraine and are supporting preparedness and response efforts on the ground. Pooling resources through the Red Cross appeal is an effective way for Canadian foundations to assist for those looking for avenues to get involved.

The Canadian Red Cross is also part of discussions with various levels of government regarding the impending welcoming of refugees in connection with this conflict. The respective provincial Ukrainian Canadian Councils are also actively mobilizing and are welcoming support.

The Humanitarian Coalition and the Federation CJA are other viable options as well.

PFC continues to monitor the situation in Ukraine as well as the imminent domestic mobilization effort, and we are reaching out to the Government of Canada offering PFC’s support to assist in connecting with Canadian philanthropy.

PFC remains a trusted conduit for information for members and the broader sector. I encourage our members to get in touch with me with any questions.

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