March 10, 2022 | By Joyce DiMascio

Major celebrations of International Women’s Day seemed almost out of place this year, as the world sees the tragedy unfolding in the Ukraine and its impact on women and children.

The massive exodus of refugees – mostly women, children and the elderly – is now arriving at international borders.

In Poland, the Ptak Expo Centre located in Warsaw has become a safe haven for 3,000 people. The venue is set up to accommodate 10,000.

The centre’s president, Tomasz Szypuła has appealed for support from the global business events community to help them in this major humanitarian crisis.

The Global Association for the Exhibition Industry (UFI) has commended the work of its members around the world who are trying to assist in the crisis.

“We applaud the work of the many UFI members across Europe who provide humanitarian aid directly. And we will increase using our communication channels to share their initiatives and drive connections between our members to facilitate the help.

“If you want to donate to humanitarian work in Ukraine, we ask everyone to support those entities that are present on the ground in Ukraine and provide support.”

UFI has identified various agencies through which support can be channelled include the UN Refugee Agency, International Red Cross and UNICEF.

UFI’s Executive Committee is meeting this week to discuss additional actions.

Diversified Communications has also announced that it would be they setting up a Donation Page to raise funds for the people of Ukraine.

All donations would be sent to the Disasters Emergency Committee – DEC Ukraine Appeal for distribution to 15 charities involved in the humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.

“We are all impacted and saddened by the unnecessary destruction taking place in Ukraine, and the devastating impact it is having on the Ukrainian people,” said Carsten Holm, Managing Director of Diversified UK.

“People are in desperate need for help, so we encourage all our friends, visitors and exhibitors to support our fundraising efforts at this difficult time.

International Confex, held in London this week, also discussed how the industry could support the Ukraine. Among the speakers was CEO of IMEX Group, Carina Bauer. Last week, IMEX announced a ban on Russian exhibitors at IMEX Frankfurt which is coming up at the end of May.