A Time to Reflect: Humanitarian Aid Across the Globe

by  Hassane El-Khoury  - 03-14-2022 

Over the last few weeks, my team and I have been closely monitoring the evolving humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. The acts of violence against people being forced to flee their homes due to conflict, war or persecution go against my beliefs and the values of our company which deeply affects our employees. Personally, the crisis has led me to reflect back on my own childhood in Lebanon during its civil war era and how we – as individuals and organizations – can make a meaningful difference. Not only for the Ukrainian people but also for those affected by other ongoing humanitarian crises around the world.

While I have many happy memories of growing up with my parents and two sisters in Lebanon, I also recall many times of fear when missiles hit too close to our home and we rushed to the underground storage shelter, waiting for it to be safe again to return to our home.

When the warzone was farther away from our house, my father would take us out on the balcony, where we could see missiles flying through the night sky and hear machine guns raining in the distance. As a kid, I didn’t fully understand everything going on around me, but it made an indelible mark on me as an individual, the importance of supporting human rights and addressing the challenges caused by these acts of violence. And now as a parent, I recognize the fear and hence the need to ensure the safety of our children, which affects parents, family and loved ones on all sides of a conflict.

Having personally been through the experience of war and that of a refugee, leaving behind a home and country you love to rebuild a new life for a safer future, I can understand and relate to the anxiety, exhaustion and hurt of what these refugees are going through.

While many, luckily, do not share these experiences, I believe they know and see enough to empathize with what people in Ukraine are going through. A humanitarian crisis shakes the very foundation of who we are and it is our compassion for others and our intrinsic desire as human beings to help others when needs are urgent.

With Ukraine and Russia being top of mind given current events, we must also remember that there are millions of other refugees across the globe who are suffering from being forcibly displaced and are also in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. That is why we at onsemi decided to donate to two organizations providing immediate relief and assistance:

  • The GlobalGiving Foundation Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund to support impacted communities in Ukraine and surrounding regions, including Romania, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, where Ukrainian refugees have fled.
  • The U.S. Association for UNHCR tosupport the UN Refugee agency which works in 132 countries and territories providing disaster relief and support for the over 82.4 million people around the world who have been forced to flee their homes.

These donations are part of our giving program and we plan to assist in future humanitarian aid as situations evolve. In addition, we are matching our employees’ donations dollar-for-dollar.

As a company, we will continue to monitor ongoing changes and how they may impact our operations as well as comply with government sanctions, which require business suspension in Russia. However, our number one priority is the safety and well-being of our employees and those affected by the unrest. Now more than ever, we must remain committed to being socially responsible and respond as and when crises arise in our communities. And only together, can we make a meaningful impact for a better future.

My heart is with everyone as we navigate through this and other ongoing global humanitarian crises.

Hassane El-Khoury

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