The company delivered hundreds of tons of products to Kharkiv and helped Kherson region after the Kakhovka HPP dam was blown up

Ferrexpo, an iron ore company with assets in Ukraine listed on the London Stock Exchange, has allocated almost UAH 950 million to support the country through its humanitarian fund over the two years of Russia’s full-scale invasion. Yuriy Khymych, CEO of Belanovo Mining and leader of Ferrexpo’s corporate social responsibility projects in Ukraine, told GMK Center in an interview.

Support at the national level

Ferrexpo has been working closely with communities in Poltava region for decades, and at the same time, it has been implementing strong CSR activities aimed at developing and solving global problems of the communities located near its mining operations. And since the first days of the invasion, Ferrexpo has been supporting the global program to overcome the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, Ukrainian Humanitarian Support.

The Humanitarian Fund’s activities are aimed at supporting 12 regions of Ukraine that have suffered the most over the past two years: Kharkiv, Kyiv, Zaporizhzhia, Chernihiv, Sumy, Kherson, Mykolaiv, Odesa, Donetsk, Dnipro, Lviv and Poltava regions.

The amount of assistance varied depending on the situation in the regions and was quickly adjusted to meet the most pressing needs. For example, at the beginning of the Humanitarian Fund’s work, support covered the following areas: provision of food, medicines, household and personal hygiene items, and places to settle IDPs.

Thus, Ferrexpo has allocated over 720 tonnes of food, 27,000 pieces of clothing, 25,000 household items, 23,000 pieces of personal protective equipment and almost 7,000 pieces of electronic devices to overcome the humanitarian crisis. The company arranged accommodation for IDPs in the communities and allocated its own facilities to meet these needs. As a result, thousands of people found shelter, and volunteers from among the employees took care of daily hot meals for them.

More than one million UAH were allocated for the needs of the medical sector, including 745,000 units of medicines, 40 items of equipment, and 8 ambulances, including one resuscitation vehicle for the Chernihiv Children’s Hospital. In addition, the medical and sanitary unit of Poltava Mining provides medical care not only to employees of the company’s enterprises, but also to defenders and demobilised soldiers, residents of local communities and internally displaced persons.

After the Ukrainian Armed Forces began to liberate the occupied settlements, Ferrexpo began to purchase and donate specialised equipment to help rebuild the affected regions. The company donated 47 units of specialised equipment to Makariv, Trostyanets, Okhtyrka, Sumy and Chernihiv, including excavators, loaders, repair vehicles, buses and more.

Ferrexpo promptly responded to the latest crises and challenges in the communities and helped resolve them. For example, after the water pipeline was damaged in Mykolaiv, the company was one of the first to send construction materials and medicines, drill wells and donate 150 large drinking water tanks. This allowed us to quickly set up drinking water points for the population. In total, about one million hryvnias were spent on this assistance.

The response to a request from Kherson region for help in restoring buildings and infrastructure damaged by the dam at the Kakhovka reservoir, the occupation of part of Kherson region and constant shelling of civilian infrastructure was equally prompt. Ferrexpo engaged a contractor to carry out the work, allocating UAH 6 million for this purpose.

In addition to its own humanitarian fund, Ferrexpo has partnered with other organisations to achieve a common goal. Thus, UAH 2 million was donated to the Unbreakable Mom project for the rehabilitation of women and children, almost UAH 300 thousand was allocated for the evacuation of animals from Feldman Ecopark, UAH 1.4 million was donated for prosthetics for veterans at the modern SuperHumans prosthetics center, and UAH 200 thousand was donated for the needs of female and male veterans through the Prostheses for the Unbreakable program.

Supporting local communities

Despite the martial law, Ferrexpo did not stop its CSR activities in partner communities. On the contrary, the assistance has increased due to the urgent needs caused by the war. The company has joined in arranging places for internally displaced people to live in the communities, helping to supply food, medicine and hygiene products.

After the attacks on the power grid, the focus of assistance shifted to providing alternative power sources. Thus, the company purchased 26 generators with a capacity of 50 to 100 kV to ensure the continuity of operation of outpatient clinics, sewage and pumping stations, a retirement home, a hostel and educational institutions.

The lack of shelter in the Novohaleshchyn lyceum deprived children from 20 settlements in the community of the opportunity to receive knowledge. For a year and a half, children could not study fully because online learning was hampered by blackouts and lack of connectivity. Ferrexpo contributed to solving the problem by repairing and equipping the shelter in accordance with all the requirements of the current legislation. This made it possible to launch a full-fledged training process on 1 September 2023.

Supporting defenders of Ukraine

Ferrexpo continues to care about maintaining the level of security in communities. This applies to the public, specialised defence units and medical personnel.

Three all-terrain ambulances with an armoured capsule worth about $300,000 were donated to the defence units. In addition to the new vehicles, the company’s three mining and processing plants transferred 137 vehicles from their balance sheets to the needs of the mobilised soldiers with a total replacement cost of $6.8 million.

Poltava region’s Emergency Service units received a new demining vehicle worth over UAH 18 million. To ensure the safety of medics and rescuers, the company purchased 1,000 helmets and bulletproof vests.

In addition, the company provides strong support to its own mobilised employees. In total, almost 800 employees of the company have been mobilised to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The company provides them with uniforms, footwear, helmets and bulletproof vests, first aid kits, thermal underwear, household and personal care kits, etc.

Supporting veterans

Back in 2014, Ferrexpo introduced its own veterans’ support program. In April 2023, the program was expanded, with UAH 39 million allocated for this purpose.

In addition to physical and psychological rehabilitation, it includes social adaptation, health resort rehabilitation, as well as social support and assistance in preparing all necessary documents. Ferrexpo’s enterprises review the working conditions for demobilized veterans: if they cannot return to their previous jobs for health reasons, they take measures to eliminate the factors that prevent them from performing their work or offer them jobs in other structural units. If necessary, veterans can take several months of retraining courses to learn new skills in the shortest possible time.