How to donate to the UK for UNHCR emergency appeal to help over 3.5 million Ukrainian refugees who have fled their homes
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How to donate to the UK for UNHCR emergency appeal to help over 3.5 million Ukrainian refugees who have fled their homes

As millions of Ukrainian civilians flee their homes to seek safety from Russian troops, here’s how you can help relief efforts.

Since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine 28 days ago, over 3.5 million refugees have fled to the neighbouring countries of Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Moldova – a situation the UN predicts may well become Europe’s largest refugee crisis this century.

Throughout the past month, charities across the world have been mobilising to provide the Ukrainian refugees with everything they need in the short and long term.  

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This includes UK for UNHCR, the UN’s refugee agency charity partner in the UK. The organisation is seeking donations to aid its efforts in providing protection, shelter, food, legal and psychological support for those fleeing the conflict.

The charity’s appeal for donations comes at a time when the Disasters Emergency Committee – an organisation made up of 15 leading UK charities – is urging people to donate money rather than goods to help those affected by the conflict, in order to accommodate the changing needs of the people on the ground.

“Our member charities are at the borders and inside Ukraine responding to the huge and growing humanitarian crisis,” the DEC said in a statement. “They are telling us that what they need is funding rather than donated items. The things that people give today might not be what people need tomorrow.” 

How to help the refugee crisis in Ukraine 

Ukrainian Refugees arrive at the Hungarian border
Refugees arrive at the Hungarian border town of Zahony on a train that has come from Ukraine.

Donate to UK for UNHCR’s Ukraine Emergency appeal today to support the ongoing relief effort.

UK for UNHCR is a reputable charity currently working to help refugees and people still in Ukraine. “Despite ongoing security challenges, relief is getting through,” says Emma Cherniavsky, chief executive of UK for UNHCR. 

“UNHCR has been working in Ukraine for more than 25 years, and has stocks of supplies for distribution wherever necessary and possible.”

Despite the UK for UNHCR’s long-standing relationship with Ukraine, more financial support is urgently needed – donations, the charity stresses, are vital. It is urgently upscaling relief operations across Ukraine and in neighbouring countries to support fleeing civilians. Urgent needs include shelter, relief items such as blankets, and specialist protection, all of which rely on voluntary donations.

Many collection points in Poland are filled with donations of clothes, food and supplies, but without financial help, the organisation cannot distribute them. “Right now, financial support is essential as it’s helping to get supplies already in the area out to the people who need it most – and quickly,” says Cheriavsky. “It also helps us to provide small emergency grants for the most vulnerable displaced people.”

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Because of the rapidly developing refugee situation, more help is needed every day. 

“The response and solidarity from the British public so far has been phenomenal,” adds Cherniavsky. “As more and more civilians need support, more funds are urgently needed – if you are able to, please donate.”

What is the state of the refugee crisis in Ukraine? 

Refugees From Ukraine
Refugees From Ukraine seen in Przemysl on March 2, 2022.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022, targeting military bases and large cities.

The attacks have made many cities and large towns in Ukraine extremely dangerous for civilians. Numerous residential areas have already been targeted by bombs or transformed into battle grounds. 

Russian artillery and warplanes are continuing to pound cities and towns across Ukraine including Mariupol, a key port city in the south-east of the country. Russian troops are holding 400 people, including doctors and patients, “like hostages” inside a hospital in Mariupol, the deputy mayor said, with the city council estimating well over 2000 civilians have died.

And the number of people in need of support is growing rapidly. The EU expects the number of displaced Ukrainians is closer to 7 million.

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Many people seeking refuge outside of Ukraine are facing queues of up to 60 hours at border crossings. Without support, many of these people may find themselves without the basic essentials, while others will need legal or physical support to cross safely out of Ukraine.

How UK for UNHCR is helping Ukrainian refugees 

UK for UNHCR is the UN Refugee Agency’s national charity partner for the UK and has a robust program to offer support. The charity aims to provide shelter, sanitation, food, water, health services, access to education and psychological support.

Their efforts in Ukraine include:

  • Working with leaders of Ukrainian communities to assess humanitarian needs
  • Identifying safe locations within Ukraine for people who have fled their homes
  • Working with border authorities to help establish humane reception and transit centres for refugees as they arrive
  • Distributing essential relief items, including sleeping bags, hygiene items and baby kits in Moldova
  • Providing essential psychological support and legal advice services for Ukrainian refugees after their arrival in Poland and Romania

Donate to UK for UNHCR’s Ukraine Emergency appeal.

Donate to the UN’s Coordinated Emergency appeal.

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Images: Hannibal Hanschke/Getty Images, Christopher Furlong/Getty Images, Maciej Luczniewski/NurPhoto via Getty Images.