Amazon is converting warehouse space in Slovakia, previously used to fulfill customer orders, into a massive humanitarian aid hub to get much-needed supplies to refugees fleeing the war in neighboring Ukraine, the company announced Tuesday.
Amazon says teams from around the world came together to convert 5,000 square meters of space in 10 days and that it’s the largest such hub Amazon has ever built. Amazon will leverage its expertise in global logistics to get such things as shelter materials, hygiene items, blankets and clothing to front-line organizations quickly and efficiently.
A network of fulfillment centers across Europe are prepared to deliver more than 4 million items donated by both Amazon and its customers, with the company filling in what supplies it must donate directly based on charity needs. Customers in Europe are able to donate to support the efforts through dedicated Wish Lists on Amazon’s European stores.
Amazon’s Transportation Services team ships items to the new hub in Slovakia, and from there supplies are distributed to displaced refugees in partnership with charities including Save The Children and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
The location of the hub will expedite the movement of relief supplies throughout Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Moldova, and the Czech Republic to help Ukrainian families in need.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates 10 million people have fled the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with 3.5 million seeking refugee in neighboring countries and 6.5 million displaced within Ukraine.
Amazon previously announced that it was contributing $ 5 million to such groups as UNICEF, UNHCR, World Food Program, Red Cross, Polska Akcja Humanitarna, and Save the Children, and that it would match up to $ 5 million more in contributions from employees.
Amazon has a dedicated page to solicit donations for humanitarian relief via the Red Cross and Save the Children.