Ukraine fundraising appeals reach nearly £200m in donations 

18 Mar 2022 News

With war in Ukraine continuing, around £200m has been raised from a plethora of fundraising appeals. 

The number of people needing urgent help is increasing, and aid workers are operating at great personal risk. Ongoing fighting leads to disruption that hampers relief efforts. 

According to the United Nations three million people have fled the country and two million are displaced within Ukraine. 

About Loyalty, a consultancy, which has been tracking the proportion of the public who have given to charity, says there has been a noticeable uptick in those who have donated. 

Last week around 18% of people surveyed said they had donated to charity in the past week. This week it reached almost 25%. 

Here’s a round-up of some fundraising efforts from the UK and how donations are being used to help. 

Disasters Emergency Committee 

The Disasters Emergency Committee, a coalition of 15 aid charities, which comes together in times of crisis, has seen a huge response to its emergency appeal.

As of yesterday, it had raised £175m, including £25m from the UK government. 

Saleh Saeed, chief executive of the DEC said:  “The money raised by the British public is already being spent by DEC charities, organising the delivery of hygiene items, trauma kits, nappies, sleeping bags and mats to the cities of Lviv and Kyiv by truck and train. 

“Others are distributing food, first aid, warm clothes, and support in reception centres, shelters and metro stations, and much more. It is difficult, challenging work and the DEC is extremely grateful to them for all their efforts.”  

Aid workers from its member charities explained how difficult conditions are in Ukraine. 

Kieran McConville, an aid worker with Concern Worldwide, currently in Lviv, said:  “It's obviously very difficult to conduct effective humanitarian operations in an active conflict zone and that's what many brave people are trying to do in the east and south of Ukraine right now. One of our partners is facilitating aid distributions in the city of Dnipro, which has been coming under attack in recent days, and we know that those involved are doing it at great personal risk. 

“With such a highly fluid situation and such a large number of people on the move, another challenge is to try to predict how and where to meet the next set of needs. Many people are leaving the country, but many others want to stay and it's important to get a clear understanding of what's going on.” 

Julia Brothwell, a British Red Cross aid worker currently supporting the International Federation of the Red Cross and Ukrainian Red Cross from Chernivtsi near to the Romanian border, added: “People are cold, temperatures are around freezing day and night, and they are anxious because they don’t know what the future holds. The Red Cross is distributing food, water, medicines, blankets and hygiene materials. 

“So far more than 300 tonnes of food, blankets, medicine, and trauma kits has been sent to Red Cross branches and local authorities across the country, including towns and cities in the north and east with another 300 tonnes in the pipeline ready to be transported. In addition, several thousand people have received psychosocial support from Red Cross volunteers.” 

Depaul International 

Homelessness charity, lDepaul International launched an emergency appeal at the beginning of the war to support its Ukraine branchc. 

In an update yesterday, Matthew Carter, Group CEO of Depaul International, said the first shipment of supplies has now reached the east of Ukraine. 

“We are pleased to announce that the first major shipment of urgent medical supplies has now reached Kharkiv in the east of the country. The city has been devastated by air attacks, and demand for medical supplies is very high,” he said. 

This includes includes 12,000 tourniquets, which are used to stem blood loss in limb injuries.

Carter added: “As everyone has seen on the news, civilians including women, children and the elderly are suffering from horrendous injuries. This shipment of emergency medical supplies will undoubtedly save the lives of some very vulnerable people. We hope this will be the first of many medical shipments.” 

Help Ukraine Emergency Appeal

In February a group of Ukrainian organisations in the UK launched an appeal, anticipating a humanitarian crisis and lasting trauma for people in the region.  

At the start of the war it had raised £40,000, and by yesterday this had grown to over £2m. 

The group has partnered with AICM, an aid agency in Ukraine, to distribute funds. 

In an update this week, Anna Dezyk, an organiser of the appeal said: “AICM is, in some areas the only [health] NGO on the ground to help Ukrainians… Please keep encouraging donations to our appeal - your money really IS going to the right places.”

Newspaper appeals

A number of Major UK news organisations have been encouraging readers to donate to appeals. 

The Daily Mail has urged its readers to donate to its charity, MailForce, which in turn is funding the aid charities. So far this appeal has raised over £7m. 

MailForce has already transferred £500,000 to CARE International and £500,000 to UNICEF. 

In an update last week it said: “An estimated 32,000 cheques have been posted to the DMG Media finance office in Leicestershire and many are still to be counted.” 

Elsewhere the Evening Standard urged readers to support the DEC. 

The Sun is supporting the Red Cross and its owner News UK put in £100,000.

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