Growing the local economy during conflict

World Central Kitchen has pioneered a new model of how international aid can work together with local capacity and initiative to meet humanitarian needs. In Ukraine, since the Russian invasion in early 2022, it has created a model for how to work in conflict conditions in a way that supports and nurtures the re-emergence of the local economy.

This particularly fascinates me because in earlier times, I worked on community development in a post-conflict society, and I know this kind of approach works very well.

“Within days of serving our first meals to Ukrainian families fleeing for safety, WCK began to build a network of restaurants that spanned the entire country, providing millions of meals to people in need,” World Central Kitchen said in its recent newsletter. 

And they shared this inspiring video:

“We addressed the crisis on two fronts by paying local restaurants to cook fresh meals for their neighbors in need—getting food to people impacted by Russia’s full-scale invasion, while at the same time keeping restaurants open and their employees working as much of the country’s economy came to a sudden halt. In doing so, we disbursed millions of dollars into local businesses.”

“Today, acute food needs in Ukraine have shifted to newly liberated and frontline communities. As a result, many of our restaurant partners in other parts of the country have reopened to serve the general public, buoyed by the support they received from WCK.”

Cover image: WCK in Kherson. See A day with WCK in Kherson.