Emergency Philanthropy

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We currently have active emergency funds that are supporting pre-vetted partners on the ground.

Israel and Gaza Emergency Humanitarian Relief

As the world watches the distressing events continue to unfold in Israel and Gaza, we, like many of you, want to do something to help. This is a full-scale humanitarian crisis and the UBS Optimus Foundation has launched a fundraising appeal to help all those who are suffering. 

We have seen a swift response, with USD 20 million pledged in donations and matching so far. With our matching pledge amount of USD 5 million reached, UBS will now continue to match your donations by 20 percent.

Read full message from Sergio Ermotti, Group CEO and President of the Executive Board of UBS AG.

Türkiye and Syria Earthquake Relief Fund

Two large earthquakes which hit Türkiye, Syria and the surrounding region on 6 February have had a devastating impact. According to the World Health Organization, 23 million people are estimated to be affected. With homes and livelihoods destroyed and temperatures below zero, people are in need of urgent help and many more dependent on humanitarian aid.

We have launched an emergency appeal to provide support. UBS Optimus Foundation and Community Impact has teamed up with our existing partner organizations, the International Rescue Committee (IRC), in Türkiye and Syria and our local civil society partner AÇEV - Mother Child Education Foundation in Türkiye. UBS will match donations with 20% additional funding. We would like to offer our sincere thanks to AÇEV and their partners, who have agreed to match 100%* of all donations made by UBS Optimus Foundation to ACEV.

Ukraine Relief Fund

The world continues to bear witness to the horrors of an unjust war as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues. We are committed to supporting those who are suffering as a result.

At the start of the war, we established a donation-matching program for UBS employees and clients to support emergency humanitarian relief. To date we have raised over USD$56 million in collaboration with our matching partner XTX Markets. We continue to raise funds and match donations to support immediate relief efforts and support long term recovery.

Pakistan Relief Fund

The unprecedented flooding in Pakistan is having a devastating impact, with more than 33 million people estimated to be affected and a third of the country under water. With homes, livelihoods and crops washed away, some 6 million people are in need of urgent help and many more dependent on humanitarian aid.

We are matching your donations to support immediate disaster response needs. By donating collectively, we can fund the most effective organizations for the greatest impact.

Want to become a matching partner for an emergency fund?

We believe in the power of collective impact. If you would like to potentially become a named matching consortium partner by donating to one of our active funds, please let us know and we will contact you to discuss the details. Our Response Program Directors can also support you in preparedness for crises as part of your overall philanthropy planning.

Responding to emergencies

Disease outbreaks. Wars. Climate-related disasters. Food insecurity. We’re seeing humanitarian crises, from emergencies to ongoing crises, occur with increasing regularity across the globe. It can leave one feeling utterly helpless.

Humanitarian crises drive people into poverty, disrupt their social support networks and erode their ability to improve their well-being. Poverty, in turn, undermines resilience to shocks. Children – especially girls – miss out on education. Women’s rights are threatened. Economic hits at individual, regional and national levels diminish stability. Decades of development are put at risk. The cost of inaction is high.

But it’s during the worst of times that we see the best in people, wanting to help however they can. Distance, limited know-how, the need to respond quickly and the sheer number of organizations can make giving decisions overwhelming. Reacting too fast and without the right insight can lead to ineffective giving or – even worse – harm.

Our UBS Optimus foundation has over 20 years of experience, a full response strategy and a network of pre-vetted partners in place to help support you in making sure your giving is impactful during a humanitarian crisis, as well as on the long road to recovery.

Maximize your impact

  • Knowing where to give can be overwhelming; with our long-established partnerships, you benefit from grantees carefully pre-vetted by our team of experts.
  • The flexible nature of our emergency funds allow us to respond quickly as the situations change, so we can share donations to other vetted partners if such a need arises.
  • We diligently track progress and share regular feedback.

With a gift to the UBS Optimus Foundation, you could support thousands of people during humanitarian crises. And to maximize your impact, UBS will add 10% or more to employee and client donations.

UBS Optimus Foundation response to humanitarian crises

How to give during a humanitarian crisis

To learn more from our experts about how to react thoughtfully and effectively with your philanthropy through the giving cycles of humanitarian crises, download the full guide.

In times of need, one of the most effective ways of giving for maximum impact is collectively. Would you like to connect and exchange with other philanthropists and changemakers? If so, ask your client advisor about joining our Global Philanthropists Community.

More questions? Please get in touch!

Ask your UBS Client or Financial Advisor or send us an email choosing your local UBS Optimus Foundation representative office