All war, wherever in the world it takes place, imposes huge costs and suffering, particularly on civilians. At this time, the Impact Investing Institute shares the world’s horror at the events unfolding in Ukraine and the suffering the invasion by Russia’s armed forces has brought to everybody in Ukraine.
In our work, we focus on the positive impact that capital allocations can have in addressing social and environmental challenges. But under the current circumstances, we believe that those with the means to deploy discretionary capital should be looking in the first instance to allocate their funds to philanthropic organisations that have the expertise to provide urgent, emergency relief to civilians in need. We are not qualified to recommend specific charities active in this area, but would suggest that people consult sites such as Philanthropy Europe Association, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisers, EVPA and the Disasters Emergency Committee to consider what their philanthropic options might be.
Investors can also consider excluding Russian securities from their investment portfolios – and, in particular, investments in Russian sovereign bonds and in companies with significant links to an oppressive Russian government. This will not provide immediate relief to civilians in need. But it will recognise the negative impact of the deprivation of fundamental freedoms and rights of the Ukrainian people, and respond incrementally to the abhorrence communicated from around the world for the actions of the Russian government.
We believe that investors should respond to the growing consensus that investing in developing alternative energy sources will help reduce the world’s dependence on oppressive regimes that rely heavily on revenue from fossil fuels.
Longer term, there will be a continued need for philanthropic support in Ukraine but there will also be opportunities to invest with impact in the country’s communities and enterprises as they rebuild their economy. Until that time comes, we will work with the impact investment community to support the Ukrainian people in any way we can.