Charities and funders everywhere are asking how they can help people impacted by the war in Ukraine. NCVO have produced a useful guide on who you can give to. We wanted to learn more about what these organisations are doing and how charities and funders can work with them.
In this guest blog, Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive at The UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK), shares how individuals, funders, social sector organisations, and businesses in your network can help provide support to children in Ukraine.
We are now one month into the war in Ukraine and already at least three million children have been forced to flee their homes—that’s almost one child every second. They are terrified and desperate for safety. They need our help—now.
UNICEF has been working tirelessly to keep children safe—from the start of this conflict eight years ago up to this very moment. Everyone at UNICEF UK has come together and is playing a key role in ensuring that the support of the public, businesses and organisations is being converted into support for our UNICEF colleagues on the ground in Ukraine and neighbouring countries, and the millions of children put in danger by the situation.
Our priority is ensuring that we can deliver critical supplies on the ground—this includes sanitation to prevent disease, access to nutritious food and making sure that child health and protection services are sustained. As infrastructure continues to be threatened by conflict, UNICEF is trucking safe, clean water to affected areas to ensure children and families have access to the essential sanitation they depend on. With children facing the trauma of chronic insecurity, UNICEF is also providing psychosocial care, in cases of violence and abuse against children. We intend to stay in Ukraine and continue to meet these urgent needs, as we do in any country suffering conflict.
Colleagues working at the borders of neighbouring countries, including Poland and Romania, have seen huge numbers of families, many including children, attempting to flee Ukraine. To respond to this growing crisis, UNICEF has reactivated ‘Blue Dots’. These are one-stop safe spaces set up along refugee routes providing crucial support to families on the move. The spaces connect to one another in a sequenced way, as people move, to help support tracing and family reunification.
It has been heartening to see the overwhelming generosity of the UK public and businesses, who have shown a tremendous degree of solidarity through their support for UNICEF’s Ukraine emergency appeal. However, we need even more of this generosity, as the risks faced by millions of children are increasing by the minute.
How can individuals and funders help?
Globally, we need $276m (£211m) to provide support to children in Ukraine, with an additional $73m (£56m) to support the Regional Refugee Response Plan in the neighbouring countries. For individuals looking to support children in Ukraine, we’re welcoming monetary donations to our emergency appeals through our website and via our dedicated phone line; 0300 330 5699.
We cannot accept clothing and gifts because sending items is very resource intensive.
How can your organisation help?
The best and most effective way to support our emergency work in Ukraine is to donate money to the appeal, and to share our appeal with your network.
How can businesses in your network help?
Businesses can offer their support through monetary donations or matched employee fundraising. The generosity of our existing corporate partners and new donors is enabling us to continue our work on the ground, and we urge any business that wants to get involved to email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The lives and futures of Ukraine’s children hang in the balance. Protecting them must be at the heart of our collective response.
Please donate to our appeal and help protect children in Ukraine.
For more information on how your organisation can support our appeal, contact email@example.com
Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive at The UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK)
Views are the author’s own.