As the situation in Ukraine worsens more charities, including the Red Cross, have launched fundraising appeals to support humanitarian work on the ground.
This morning the UN human rights office said it has reports there have been at least 127 civilian casualties in Ukraine, with 25 people killed and 102 injured.
Charities and community groups in the UK have been setting up appeals and calling for an end to violence. One fundraising appeal, which started earlier this month, saw the total raised increase sharply yesterday as images of the Russian invasion spread on social media.
Yesterday afternoon the British Red Cross opened its fundraising appeal to support work responding to water shortages and other humanitarian challenges.
The Ukrainian Red Cross Society and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have been working with affected communities since the conflict began eight years ago.
Maksym Dotsenko, director general of the Ukrainian Red Cross Society, said: “We are deeply concerned for the safety of communities given the recent intensification of fighting. Our volunteers and staff will continue to work closely with affected communities, to help them cover their basic needs and be prepared during these challenging times.
“We are focused on being adaptable, flexible, and responsive to whatever happens next. In the meantime, we remind that civilians and infrastructure must be spared at all times.”
People can donate to the Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal here.
UK for UNHCR
This morning UK for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency’s charity partner in the UK, started its urgent appeal for funds to deliver support for displaced people.
The Russian invasion has forced people to flee their homes and the UNHCR is providing support to people who need shelter and basic items
Emma Cherniavsky, chief executive of UK for UNHCR, said: “This is a dark day for Ukraine but UNHCR teams continue to work around the clock to support displaced civilians. The most critical needs right now include shelter and basic relief items for people fleeing their homes – we urgently appeal to the British public to support these humanitarian efforts.”
Homelessness charity Depaul International, has started an emergency appeal to extend its support. Depaul Ukraine is remaining in place, offering emergency shelter, advice and food to homeless people.
Father Vitaliy Novak CM, chair of the Trustees for Depaul Ukraine, currently in Odessa, said: “There are missile strikes, one after the other, the roads are dangerous. Overnight they are predicting heavier fighting. In Kharkiv we are seeing tanks on our roads and there is regular shelling. Many people are sheltering in the metro stations underground. We are shocked and desperate.”
The appeal will to fund emergency heating centres, extend its information services, provide food and access to outreach workers to those living on the streets as the situation worsens.
Matthew Carter, CEO of Depaul International, said: “We are shocked and horrified for the people of Ukraine. This was a worst case scenario. Our Ukrainian staff are heroic in their unflinching commitment to keep serving the most vulnerable, in the face of a volatile and escalating situation.
“We are ensuring our staff are safe and well, and are eager to scale up our services as the needs dramatically increase. We would be grateful for any donations to ensure we can help all those who need it. Thank you so much.”
Other charities voice support
Several other charities voiced support for Ukrainian civil society organisations.
Matt Hyde, chief executive of the Scouts, said he was “standing in solidarity” with his counterpart in Ukraine.
On Twitter he shared the statement from Plast – Ukrainian Scouting about how it was supporting young people caught up in the conflict.
Standing in solidarity with Scouts of Ukraine @plast who put out this statement last night. They are continuing Scout activities, will be ‘supporting people in need’ and ‘will conduct humanitarian actions for the local community.’ This is the very best of @worldscouting pic.twitter.com/AdrzZm2hgo— Matt Hyde (@matthyde) February 25, 2022
Elsewhere, Christian Aid was among those calling for an immediate end to the conflict. The charity’s interim chief executive Patrick Watt said: “It is a dark and worrying time for the people of Ukraine and for everyone who believes in peace.
“Ukraine is witnessing a terrible humanitarian tragedy. After an eight-year war, thousands of lives have been lost and hundreds of thousands have been displaced. All-out war is putting many more at risk.
“Our message is simple: immediately agree a ceasefire and unequivocally commit to protect civilians and key services. All parties must abide by international humanitarian law.
“The UK government must also stand ready to support humanitarian efforts, including welcoming vulnerable people fleeing the conflict.”
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Institute London has shared a list of organisations operating in Ukraine that need donations. It has also published a template letter people can use to lobby their MP for more sanctions.
Elsewhere the Refugee Council has co-ordinated a letter to the Times urging the government to do more.
More than 50 charities, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and aid agencies working with refugees have signed the letter, which calls for the UK to “play a leading role”.
The letter adds: “This crisis also illuminates the crucial flaw in the Nationality and Borders Bill currently going through Parliament.
“Ukraine’s plight will command a broad cross-party and public consensus on the need for Britain to play our part. Yet the Bill undermines our obligation to give all who seek asylum a fair hearing on our soil. Those who take dangerous journeys over land to the UK will be treated as criminals.”
Help Ukraine Emergency Appeal total reaches £140,000
Earlier this month a group of Ukrainian organisations in the UK launched an appeal, anticipating a humanitarian crisis and lasting trauma for people in the region.
Yesterday morning the appeal total stood at £40,000 and in just one day has risen to over £140,000.