Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) has raised £100m for its Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal in just four days, which is the equivalent of more than £1m an hour since its launch.
The appeal raised £55m in its first 24 hours. This figure included £25m in match-funding from the British government.
The UN estimates up to four million Ukrainians may be forced to leave their country following Russia’s invasion. Some 1.5 million people have already fled Ukraine due to the conflict and 18 million people are projected to be affected by the conflict.
The charity said: “Thanks to the public’s generosity and £25m in match-funding from the UK government, DEC charities have already started to use funds to deliver vital aid and scale up their response.”
The Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William have made donations to the appeal. Actors Kit Harington and Adrian Lester have recorded appeals imploring for people to donate, while David Tennant did the same on the radio.
Saleh Saeed, chief executive of DEC, told BBC News that this is the charity's largest appeal since the tsunami in the Indian Ocean back in 2004.
The charity has a history of raising funds quickly in response to disasters. In December 2021, DEC raised £9.5m in the first 24 hours of its Afghanistan Crisis Appeal which was set up in response to the Taliban taking over the country. The charity’s coronavirus appeal raised £5m on its first day in 2020.
DEC charities are urging the public to make cash donations as opposed to donating specific goods because goods are often expensive to transport.
The DEC is a charity made up of 15 leading aid groups, including ActionAid, British Red Cross and the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD).
Jo Kitterick, head of supporter engagement at CAFOD, said: “This amazing show of support for people fleeing the conflict has meant that we have been able to start spending money straight away to help more people. Through our international partner Caritas we are working inside Ukraine and on its borders, setting up safe centres with beds, food and washing facilities. We’re also providing transport, information, psychological support and child-friendly spaces.
“The conflict shows no sign of letting up and our local experts are seeing more and more people having to flee their homes to keep themselves safe. We’re expecting the numbers crossing the border to keep increasing in the coming days. I want to thank everyone who has donated to help us support them in their moment of greatest need.”
The Ukrainian Red Cross is using the money raised to provide first aid, warm clothes and support in shelters and metro stations across the country. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is working to restore water supplies, provide food, shelter and medical facilities to those affected.
Save the Children, which is also a member of DEC, is working in neighbouring countries to provide children and families with immediate aid.