Uber Expands Aid Efforts for Ukraine

Ukraine ambulance

Uber is upping its aid to Ukraine as the country’s war with Russia enters its second year.

The ride hailing/delivery company announced Wednesday (Feb. 22) it had expanded its partnership with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s donations platform UNITED24 to help raise money for ambulances for Ukraine’s Ministry of Health.

“Every day, Ukraine’s emergency medical teams are the first to arrive at the scene of attacks and do everything necessary to help the wounded,” Uber said in a news release. “Despite their immense courage and skill, their ability to save lives depends on how soon they can reach the injured, administer emergency care, and quickly transport them to a hospital.”

To help raise money for those ambulances, Uber says riders in more than 80 cities in 16 European countries will be able to choose the “Uber for Ukraine” trip option and pay a surcharge that funds the ambulance program.

So far, Uber says it has raised more than $3 million through rider donations and company matching grants to send 50 ambulances — outfitted with equipment such as defibrillators, oxygen tanks and artificial lung ventilator devices — to Ukraine.

While the Russian invasion has devastated Ukraine in a number of ways, the country’s business community has remained resilient, Liubov Danylina, director and acting country manager of Payoneer in Ukraine, told PYMNTS last month.

Overall, 70% of Ukrainian businesses (out of more than 4,000 surveyed) have remained in operation during the conflict to operate during the crisis, Danylina said, quickly rebounding from the early macroeconomic shock in spite of global customers’ fears that they wouldn’t be able to keep up their level of service.

James Allum, Payoneer’s senior vice president for Europe, told PYMNTS that IT services and freelancing were crucial “hyper growth sectors” in Ukraine, something his company supports directly and through partners such as trade associations and major local banks.

That support has also included helping with working capital to fund future operations, an offering that Danylina said has been crucial to small businesses getting back on their feet and looking to up their advertising spend or hire new workers.

Ukraine’s economy is expected to grow slightly this year — just 1% — after a 30% drop in 2022, PYMNTS wrote late last year, while inflation in that country rose less than expected.

National Bank of Ukraine Governor Andriy Pyshnyi told Bloomberg News that these trends are the result of a country that has kept working, defending itself, and dealing with power outages, allowing the number of payment card transactions to increase each month.

“We see that the economy — and this is an amazing thing — shows adaptability, resilience and flexibility,” Pyshnyi said. “Ukrainians are modeling unique behavior in unprecedentedly stressful situations.”