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As the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and neighbouring countries intensifies, the British public has been donating essential goods – such as clothing and bedding – to grassroots organisations to help families impacted by Russia’s invasion.
But charity leaders and experts, including Dragon’s Den star Deborah Meaden, have said that the overwhelming response from the public means further physical donations may not be needed.
The Polish government has warned custom checks and lengthy distribution procedures are generating disproportionate amounts of labour and costs for frontline workers.
The British Red Cross has advised people to donate money instead, specifically to organisations with direct links to Ukraine. Here are some ways you can help.
Disasters and Emergencies Committee
The Disasters Emergency Committee – an umbrella group for 15 of the UK’s leading aid charities – has set up a Ukraine appeal to provide food, water and healthcare to refugees. On Wednesday, Boris Johnson told the House of Commons that the government will match public donations pound-for-pound up to £20 million.
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Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has said that donating money through the Ukraine Embassy would be an effective way of helping, as it has launched a new fund, With Ukraine. The pool will be used to purchase medical and military supplies.
The displacement of Ukrainians poses an immediate threat to the country’s 7.5 million children. Unicef is accepting donations to ensure child protection services continue during the conflict. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is also working alongside Unicef to provide repairs for properties damaged by shelling.
Over a million people have been displaced so far from Ukraine, with many heading westwards to neighbouring countries like Poland. There are several groups on the ground feeding and housing refugees. These include Polish Humanitarian Action, HIAS and Ukrainian partner R2P.
Another option is to support media outlets in Ukraine that are telling the world the truth about the war. The Kyiv Independent is one such publication providing essential independent journalism.