How to Help People in Ukraine Right Now

Learn more about the organizations providing humanitarian aid and life-saving support to those caught up in the conflict.

man holds Ukrainian flag while standing on tank

Medically reviewed in February 2022

Updated on March 1, 2022

Photo credit: Sasha Maksymenko

Since Russia began its full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, more than two million people have fled their homes, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The number of Ukrainians in need is growing exponentially, “with future repercussions ‘spooling out’ before our eyes,” the United Nations (UN) warns.

“We are seeing Russian military operations inside the sovereign territory of Ukraine on a scale that Europe has not seen in decades,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres in a February 24 statement. “With deaths rising, we are seeing images of fear, anguish, and terror in every corner of Ukraine. People—everyday innocent people—always pay the highest price.”

The armed conflict has intensified the region’s humanitarian crisis, which could displace four million refugees, crossing into neighboring countries, including Poland, Romania and Moldova, the UN cautioned.

Among those in greatest need are women, children, older people and those with disabilities, the UN added, noting the number of people needing food, shelter, medical care, water, sanitation, and protection is increasing rapidly.

People around the world have been watching the events unfold in real time. Many expressing outrage but unsure of how they can make a difference. Here are some ways you can help today:

World Central Kitchen is providing meals to Ukrainian refugees who are arriving on the Polish and Romanian borders as well as Ukrainians still inside the besieged country. Donations to the organization will support these emergency food relief efforts.

The International Rescue Committee provides resources to refugees from countries facing humanitarian crises. The group has responded to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, working with local organizations to estimate the number of refugees and determine what assistance is needed to support displaced families. Donations help provide food, medical care, and emergency supplies.

Save the Children is another accredited charity working to deliver lifesaving aid to children caught up in the armed conflict in Ukraine. “Ukraine’s children are in grave danger of physical harm, severe emotional distress and mass displacement,” the group states on its website. The organization notes that kids in Ukraine who’ve been forced to leave their homes during the military assault are vulnerable to freezing temperatures, injury, and hunger. Donations to the group’s Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund help provide children and families with immediate aid, including clean water, food, hygiene kits, psychosocial support, and cash assistance.

Voices of Children is a Ukrainian-based charitable foundation that offers psychological and psychosocial support to children affected by war. Among the resources they group provides: art therapy, video storytelling, mobile psychologists and individual aid for families.

Sunflower of Peace is a nonprofit organization raising money to prepare medical tactical backpacks for paramedics and doctors on the front lines. Each backpack is designed for 5 to 10 people includes supplies such as bandages, anti-hemorrhagic medicine, and medical instruments. Donations may be made through the group’s fundraising page on Facebook.

CARE is an international humanitarian organization that has established an emergency Ukrainian Crisis Fund with the goal of providing immediate support for four million people. Donations will help provide Ukrainians with water, food, supplies, hygiene kits and cash assistance. CARE notes that it will prioritize the needs of women, girls, families, and elderly.

Doctors Without Borders was forced to stop most of the work it had been doing in Ukraine. But the group says it is working to mobilize an emergency preparedness response to be ready for needs as they arise. Teams in Belarus and Russia are ready to provide humanitarian assistance. The organization is also assembling medical kits and plans to send teams to other neighboring countries to provide medical care for refugees seeking asylum abroad.

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is also accepting donations. The Swiss organization is helping people affected by the conflict and supporting the Ukrainian Red Cross. "I am gravely concerned for the safety of communities in Ukraine,” said ICRC president Peter Maurer. “Our message to the parties to the conflict is clear: uphold International Humanitarian Law, protect civilians and essential services.”

UNICEF, which promotes the rights and well-being of children, says it is scaling up its humanitarian efforts in Ukraine. “Heavy weapons fire along the line of contact has already damaged critical water infrastructure and education facilities in recent days,” the group’s website states. The organization is scaling up its efforts in conflict-affected areas, such as providing clean water and hygiene supplies in areas with damaged infrastructure and offering psychosocial care to traumatized children.

Project Hope is an international organization that coordinates with healthcare professionals to provide medical support to countries in crisis. Donations support the group’s efforts to ship medicine and medical supplies to Ukraine.

Razom for Ukraine is an organization seeking to provide critical medical equipment and other lifesaving supplies to Ukraine. Founded in 2014, the pro-democracy group has been working to increase civic engagement in the country and help Ukrainian voices be heard. Razom, which means “together” in Ukrainian, posted a list of the lifesaving supplies it has already purchased and is asking for additional support here.

The National Bank of Ukraine has created an account where people from around the world can donate to the country’s military.

Article sources open article sources

United Nations. “Three million Ukrainians already in need – with future repercussions ‘spooling out’ before our eyes.” Feb 26, 2022.
United Nations. “Statement by the Secretary-General – on Ukraine.” Feb 24, 2022.
United Nations. "More than half a million have fled Ukraine, UN refugee agency reports." Feb 28, 2022.

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