A humanitarian crisis is unfolding in Ukraine as the Russian invasion continues to cause untold damage and destruction to the lives of the Ukrainian people.
As of today, the European Union estimates that up to four million people may try to leave Ukraine in search of safety from overnight bombardments from the air and fighting on the ground, with one million having already left.
The European bloc has relaxed its rules on refugees and says its member states will welcome refugees with “open arms”, but what can we as individuals to do help?
Global charities are operating in Ukraine and are appealing for financial help to offer aid in the humanitarian crisis. The Ukrainian Red Cross has shown support for Ukraine during natural disasters, humanitarian crises, and civil conflicts. By donating, you can help to provide essential aid like sanitary materials and blood donations.
According to Save the Children, there are 7.5 million kids who are in danger of physical harm, emotional distress and displacement due to the invasion of Ukraine. In response to this, the charity has set up its own Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund to provide food, medicine and shelter to those in need.
Global Giving also set up a relief fund as soon as the Russian invasion began, and according to the organisation’s official website, donations will help “affected communities in Ukraine, with a focus on the most vulnerable, including children, who need access to food, medical services and psychological support.”
At the time of writing, the charity has already raised £2,901,701 of its £5,259,652 goal.
Furthermore, a group of 15 UK-based charities have launched the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), with Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying that every pound donated by the British public will be matched by the government.
Other notable verified charities that you can donate with are:
- International Rescue Committee
- World Central Kitchen
- Global Empowerment Mission
- Razom For Ukraine
- British Red Cross
Journalists on the ground are also setting up GoFundMe pages that take donations. Former editor of the HuffPost Chris York is currently in Warsaw collecting phone power banks and gas heaters for refugees arriving in Poland, his GoFundMe can be accessed here.
Others like Jane Lytvynenko have put together a list of credible organisations to which foreigners can donate. See below:
In the UK, grassroots groups are collecting essential items such as bedding, clothing, and sanitary items:
- A family in Staffordshire who launched an appeal for essential items have told the BBC they have been “inundated” and “overwhelmed” by the response.
- In Northern Ireland, a group of Polish people have organised a collection point at a Belfast warehouse for supplies.
- The Women of Newport community group in Wales has been accepting donations for refugees, asking people to only bring brand new toiletries and clothes or shoes that in good condition.
People intending to make a donation with any community group are advised to check which items are most needed and if they are still accepting donations.
Raising awareness with your local representative
No matter where you are in the world, contacting your local representative and appealing for more government-sponsored humanitarian aid and further sanctions against Russia is one way to help.
Showing support for Ukraine at local rallies will also help raise awareness and put pressure on those who have the power to affect the crisis. In the last week, there have been demonstrations in many of Europe’s biggest cities and gatherings that varied in size in US cities like Washington, New York, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia and more.