Since the outbreak of war in Ukraine last year, billionaire businessman and philanthropist Rinat Akhmetov, who is part-owner of the metallurgical enterprise Metinvest Group and the head of the Rinat Akhmetov Charitable Foundation, has been helping to rehouse citizens forced to flee their homes by fighting.
Now, according to Metinvest Media, a further 2.8 million hryvnia (approximately $75,800) has been allocated by Metinvest Group, on the orders of Akhmetov, to provide housing for more than 3,500 displaced persons in two hard-hit communities in the Kirovohrad and Dnipro regions.
This funding has primarily been used to repair premises and purchase household commodities like beds and appliances. Metinvest Group worked closely with its partner the Kryvyi Rih Foundation of the Future, which helped to coordinate the project and solve logistical challenges.
The largest number of displaced persons live in the Kirovohrad region. There, more than 1,500 people — primarily women, children, and retirees — were eagerly awaiting help after they were forced to leave their homes. Metinvest Group quickly stepped in to help the community with a range of amenities that included folding beds, mattresses, showers, lighting, and household appliances.
In addition to housing, displaced persons have received more than 21,600 food kits as part of the Saving Lives project, which Metinvest implements in coordination with the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation.
Apartments Allocated in Dnipro
It’s not only the Kirovohrad region where Rinat Akhmetov’s charitable projects have helped to rehouse displaced Ukrainians. Recently, in Dnipro, 10 families from Mariupol received the keys to new temporary housing under the pilot project #IMariupolHousing.
Evgenia Ivanova was forced to move from Mariupol to Dnipro following the loss of her husband during the siege of Mariupol last year. Following her husband’s death, she decided she must leave Mariupol at all costs with her three daughters.
“This, of course, is not their own housing, but nevertheless, at least some improvements in housing conditions for people who have lost their housing in general. Especially for those who have many children, it is very difficult with children. We like it. We are very grateful,” she said, adding that she was pleasantly surprised by the high quality of the temporary housing. “We didn’t even know that there would be a separate apartment here.”
According to the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation, 127 people will live in the first building, which consists of 35 individual apartments. “In the renovated and modernized dormitory houses for Mariupol citizens, the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation arranged cozy and comfortable areas for common use: provided modern furniture and appliances in the hall, coworking space and in the kitchen, various and interesting toys and play areas in the children’s room,” says a recent press release on the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation website.
Rinat Akhmetov’s Humanitarian Aid Machine Keeps Helping
Metinvest Group allocated more than 3.1 billion hryvnia to help the country, its citizens, and its military in the first 12 months of the war. Through Rinat Akhmetov’s Steel Front initiative, more than 1.6 billion hryvnia was allocated to the military, which saw the metallurgical giant become one of its largest private donors.
“One year into the war, SCM [System Capital Management, Akhmetov’s holding company] businesses, my foundation, and [Akhmetov-owned professional soccer club] FC Shakhtar have donated $150 million in aid to help Ukraine and Ukrainians,” Akhmetov said in an interview with Forbes following the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion. This aid has included body armor, vehicles, equipment, medicine, and measures to keep critical energy infrastructure operational.
For his philanthropic efforts, Rinat Akhmetov was recently recognized by the publication The New Voice of Ukraine. According to its report, Akhmetov topped its list of biggest donors to Ukraine’s war efforts with donations that, as of September 2022, totaled more than 3 billion hryvnia.
“All businesses owned by Rinat Akhmetov, the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation, and FC Shakhtar are doing everything they can to help people, towns, and cities, as well as the state to withstand this war with Russia,” said a spokesperson for Akhmetov.