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US philanthropist pledges $300 million for Ukraine in 2024

by Abbey Fenbert February 25, 2024 2:42 AM 1 min read
Howard Buffett, CEO of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation and son of billionaire Warren Buffett, speaks at the Ukraine Recovery Conference in London on June 22, 2023 in London, England. (Henry Nicholls / WPA Pool / Getty Images)
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Howard Buffett, the son of American billionaire Warren Buffett, has promised that his philanthropic foundation will donate $300 million in aid to Ukraine this year.

The Howard G. Buffett Foundation has already donated over $500 million in humanitarian assistance to Ukraine since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion. The combined funds exceed the humanitarian aid contributions of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Canada.

In an interview with Business Insider published Feb. 24, Buffett praised President Volodymyr Zelensky's wartime leadership and said it would be a mistake for the United States to withdraw support for Ukraine at this critical time.

"Anybody who feels that Ukraine doesn't need our support is failing to recognize what Zelensky is leading his country against, and it's an incredible force that he's up against," Buffett said.

Buffett's foundation has helped repair agricultural infrastructure in Ukraine, aid demining efforts, and provide essential supplies to healthcare facilities. Funding for the foundation comes primarily from Howard's father Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway CEO and seventh-richest person in the world.

"When Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, I felt like it was one of those situations where you have to step up right away, and you have to step up big," Howard Buffett said.

Buffett has traveled to Ukraine during the war and met with Zelensky twice, in 2022 and again in December 2023. He called Russia's invasion the "largest humanitarian crisis" he's seen in his life, and said he feared support for Kyiv could waver amid "Ukraine fatigue."

"People lose interest over time, so keeping this going is tough," Buffett said.

"And it's going to be one of the biggest mistakes that the United States makes historically if we don't continue to support Ukraine."

Delays in U.S. military aid to Ukraine have been felt on the front lines, where soldiers face an increasingly desperate ammunition shortage. A security assistance package worth $61 billion remains frozen as obstructionist Republican legislators refuse to approve the bill.

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