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How to help Ukraine

A woman offers accommodation for refugees
Reuters/Annegret Hilse
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  • Annalisa Merelli
By Annalisa Merelli

Senior reporter based in New York City

Published Last updated

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has quickly turned into a huge humanitarian crisis. An estimated 1 million refugees have already fled, heading toward the neighboring countries of Poland, Hungary, and to western Europe. Many of those who had to flee Ukraine are women and children, with many men staying behind to fight for the Ukrainian army.

Refugees, as well as Ukrainians displaced within their country or sheltering in bunkers close to home, are in need of healthcare and medical supplies, clothing, and food, among other necessities. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is collecting emergency donations to provide support, as are an array of international and local organizations.

Where to donate for humanitarian assistance

Most big international nongovernmental organizations already are on the frontline in Ukraine, or helping Ukrainians in neighboring countries. Most are requesting money over supplies or other in-kind donations. Here are a few organizations to support:

Voices of Children is a Ukrainian organization that has been offering psychosocial support to children affected by the tension in Ukraine since 2015.

Sunflower of Peace is a foundation that provides backpacks with emergency supplies for doctors and other medical personnel on the front lines.

Vostok is a Ukraine-based nonprofit that helps evacuees.

International Medical Corps is supplying physical and mental health services to Ukrainians in the country as well as to refugees.

Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) has teams in Ukraine and is assisting refugees in Poland, Moldova, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia.

Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund is an initiative by international fundraiser GlobalGiving to help local charities and organizations working on the ground.

Right to Protection (R2P) is working in collaboration with international refugee organization HIAS by setting up information lines and distributing aid in the form of cash and essential supplies.

CARE has a Ukraine Crisis Fund that aims to provide food, hygiene supplies, and other necessities to 4 million people, including children and elderly citizens.

International Rescue Committee is providing emergency support to refugees and Ukrainians.

How to help Ukraine and Ukrainians without sending money

Those who aren’t in a position to make donations to help the Ukrainian people can show their support by backing international measures to deescalate the conflict, and by supporting actions such a sanctions against Russia.

As the Russian propaganda machine relies on disinformation to spread myths about the invasion, circulating accurate information is an important weapon to strengthen support for Ukraine, as is helping independent, reliable news organizations such as Meduza (Russia) or The Kyiv Independent (Ukraine).

Opposition to the invasion also can be expressed through participation in rallies and protests such as those happening outside Russian embassies and consulates around the world.

Finally, people living in areas where Ukrainian refugees may be headed can offer to host them or provide them with basic supplies. Airbnb’s charity arm has a program to allow individuals to provide temporary housing to refugees.

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