All of us at Orange have been following the horrific events in Ukraine with great concern. From the beginning of Russia’s invasion, our immediate priorities have been to provide humanitarian aid and support to refugees, while helping people to keep in touch with their loved ones now separated by borders. Within our operating countries bordering Ukraine – Moldova, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia – as well further afield, we have put in place a series of measures.
€1 million emergency fund
On 7 March, the Executive Committee allocated a €1 million emergency fund to the Orange Foundation to support people impacted by the situation in Ukraine. This will be mainly directed to our Foundation activities in Romania, Slovakia, Poland, and Moldova, following the local and humanitarian effort in place from the first day of the conflict.
The Foundation has also donated an additional €50,000 to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which supports forcibly displaced populations inside Ukraine or fleeing the country, the majority of whom are women and children.
The Orange Foundation will also match all monetary donations made by Group employees to the Red Cross. These donations will be used by the Red Cross and partner associations working on the border with Ukraine.
Solidarity across Orange countries
Since the start of the conflict, people have reached out to help from across the Group. Employees in Moldova, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia have been supporting Ukrainian refugees by collecting essential supplies, providing shelter, and transferring them to accommodation centers.
In Poland, our training campus in the city of Serock has been transformed into a welcome center hosting 265 Ukrainian refugees, half of whom are children.
In addition to the help provided by employees in these border countries, many employees in other Orange countries have been volunteering and supporting these initiatives.
Orange has also adapted its commercial offer by distributing prepaid SIM cards to refugees at the border to make calls and connect to the Internet. We have also introduced free or discounted call rates (80% reduction) to Ukraine from most of our European countries. We’re also providing technical support to humanitarian associations, for example, by reinforcing our network and installing free Wi-Fi zones at several border crossings.
The work our teams are carrying out in these countries means we can ensure service continuity, which is essential to maintain vital communication between people.
We are continuing to monitor the ramifications of this worrying conflict and everyone at Orange is hoping for a fast return to peace and stability in the region.