Staff from DEC charity World Vision's Romania team meet families from Ukraine on the border with Romania.
Staff from DEC charity World Vision's Romania team meet families from Ukraine on the border with Romania.

Humanitarian Appeal

Humanitarian Appeal

Staff from DEC charity World Vision's Romania team meet families from Ukraine on the border with Romania. Photo: World Vision

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Key facts

People affected by conflict

18 million

people are projected to be affected by the conflict

Displaced people

12 million

people - over 1/4 of the population - have fled their homes since the conflict began

More than 5 million people have fled Ukraine since the conflict began. Leaving behind jobs, belongings and loved ones, they now face an uncertain future.

Intense conflict is threatening the lives and livelihoods of civilians across Ukraine, with another 7.7 million people displaced inside the country. Families have been separated. People have been injured. Lives have been lost. 

Homes have been destroyed or are unsafe to live in. Critical infrastructure such as health facilities, water supplies and schools have also been damaged or destroyed.

At Ukraine’s borders with Poland, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Moldova, huge numbers of people are arriving with only what they can carry. In many places there are long waits to cross and scant facilities waiting for them on the other side, with temperatures dipping overnight. 

There have also been media reports of racism against people of colour who are being refused access to relief, aid and the right to cross the border to safety.

DEC charities are in Ukraine and neighbouring countries meeting the needs of all refugees and displaced people:

  • £30 could provide essential hygiene supplies for three people for one month
  • £50 could provide blankets for four families
  • £100 could provide emergency food for two families for one month
DEC BBC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal with Adrian Lester

Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal with Adrian Lester

Watch the video

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You can help

Provide aid for families fleeing the conflict

UK public's generous response to DEC’s Ukraine appeal sets new Guinness World Records title

11 May 2022

Simon Beresford Director of Fundraising and Marketing at the DEC holds the award certificate

The UK public response to the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal has set a new Guinness World Records title for the most money raised by an online campaign in one week. Following the incredibly generous support from the British public a staggering £61,997,547 was donated online between 3-10 March 2022.  

This is the second time the DEC has achieved a Guinness World Records title - the first being in 2004, following the Boxing Day Tsunami when £10,676,836 was raised online in just 24 hours.  

Simon Beresford, Director of Fundraising and Marketing for the DEC said: “At the DEC we have been overwhelmed by the incredible generosity and outpouring of support from the UK public to the people of Ukraine. It has been heart-warming to see the inspiring fundraising efforts which are ongoing, with donations flooding in from individuals, companies, schools and arts organisations across the UK.  

“We are of course proud and delighted to have taken a part in setting a new world record. However, most importantly what this means is that with the help of the generous UK public DEC charities and their local partners can scale up to respond to help the people of Ukraine.”  

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet DEC aid workers as Ukraine appeal reaches £300 million

21 April 2022

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the DEC office

The DEC welcomed the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to its London offices today as it was announced that the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal has raised over £300 million. 

The Duke and Duchess met aid workers who have recently returned from Ukraine and neighbouring countries. They also spoke to staff in Ukraine via video link to get a clearer picture of the current situation and hear about how aid is helping people in need.

The visit came as the 13 member charities of the DEC that are responding to the crisis laid out plans for their response over the first six months.

Thank you for supporting the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal

3 April 2022

It's been one month since the launch of the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal and the response has been incredible.

Thank you for your generosity, and for putting your trust in us.

DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal reaches £260m after stars perform at Concert for Ukraine

30 March 2022

Concert for Ukraine

The DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal has raised a total of £260 million following the Concert for Ukraine in Birmingham on 29 March, which raised over £13.4 million.

The concert, featuring artists including Ed Sheeran, Camila Cabello, Paloma Faith, Gregory Porter, Emeli Sandé, Nile Rodgers and Chic, and Ukrainian singer and former Eurovision winner Jamala, was broadcast live on ITV and STV, and streamed on ITV Hub.  

The event raised funds for the DEC and saw a surge in donations as 3.6 million people tuned in. Profits from ticket sales and an estimated £3 million in advertising revenue from ITV will also be donated to help DEC charities provide emergency aid to people fleeing the conflict Ukraine.

Concert for Ukraine

22 March 2022

On Tuesday 29 March 2022, a line-up of presenters and artists will come together for a live concert at Resorts World Arena, Birmingham.

ITV, STV, Livewire Pictures and the media and entertainment group Global will stage a two hour concert raising money for the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.

Ed Sheeran, Camila Cabello, Emeli Sandé, Snow Patrol and Gregory Porter will be among those performing at the televised fundraiser.

Ukraine appeal reaches £200 million in two weeks

17 March 2022

200m graphic Ukraine

The Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal has reached £200 million in the two weeks since it was launched - the equivalent of £3 for every person in the UK.

The staggering total reflects the hugely generous response of the UK public towards people affected by the conflict in Ukraine, where the devastating conflict continues to force people to flee their homes and cross the border into neighbouring countries.

The number of refugees has passed 3 million, with almost 2 million more people displaced inside Ukraine as intense fighting, shelling and air strikes continue across Ukraine, affecting many civilian areas and destroying homes and vital infrastructure such as hospitals, schools and water supplies. 

Donations to the appeal are funding work by DEC charities and their local partners inside Ukraine and in neighbouring countries. They are helping people with their immediate needs while also planning to support refugees and displaced people over the coming months and years. 

“This amazing total shows what’s possible when we all come together as charities, as communities, as a country, to help people who are facing unimaginable hardships," said Sue Inglish, DEC Chair of Trustees. "Thank you so much to everyone who has leant their support to this appeal."

Afghan family in Ukraine forced to flee conflict for a second time in eight months

12 March 2022

An Afghan man and his son after fleeing to Romania from Ukraine

Samad* and his father after arriving in Romania. Pedro Armestre/Save the Children

An Afghan family who escaped violence in Afghanistan last year have been forced to flee for a second time after conflict broke out in Ukraine.

When the conflict escalated in Afghanistan in July 2021, 14-year-old Samad* and his family fled from Afghanistan to Ukraine, where they were rebuilding their lives.

“It was a very big thing for me to come from war, and live in a peaceful place,” says Samad about his experience of resettling in Ukraine. “This was very good for me and my family. I made friends... I came to school. And the people were very kind.”

The family could never have imagined that just months later their new lives would be shattered by war for a second time. Once again, they were forced to abandon everything they owned and flee – this time to Romania.

They drove for more than 30 hours on crowded roads before waiting for three days at the border, sleeping in their car while temperatures plummeted outside.

The overwhelming feeling of relief when Samad and his family crossed the border was sadly all too familiar. “Just like when I came to Kyiv, the feeling was the same when I came to Romania.”

DEC charity Save the Children is working at the reception centre where Samad and his family are staying and is supporting them with information and guidance, clothes, and shoes. You can help support families like Samad's fleeing the conflict in Ukraine by donating below.

*Name changed to protect identity

DEC’s charities warn of long road ahead after ‘horrifying’ hospital bombing

10 March 2022

A children’s and maternity hospital in Mariupol, Eastern Ukraine, was severely damaged in fighting there, underscoring the devastating effect the conflict is having on civilians, particularly children. 

Commenting on the bombing of the hospital, Save the Children’s Eastern Europe Director, Irina Saghoyan said: “It’s horrifying that a place people seek for help has become one of absolute and utter destruction. Where can families and children turn to if even hospitals are not safe?”
More than 2.3 million people have fled Ukraine since the conflict began, leaving their homes, jobs and loved ones. It’s estimated that half of the refugees are children. The UN estimates that 12 million are in need of life-saving assistance - 30% of the population. 

The public’s incredible generosity in giving to the DEC’s appeal - which has raised £150 million in its first week - is enabling DEC charities and their local partners to respond immediately to urgent needs both inside Ukraine and on its borders. But charities are also eyeing the long-term consequences of the destruction that’s causing so many to flee. 

DEC Chief Executive Saleh Saeed said: “We are in this for the long term, for families who have lost everything, whose homes have been bombed and livelihoods lost. The destruction of vital infrastructure such as hospitals – as well as causing terrible suffering now - painfully demonstrates the lasting impact that this conflict will have and just why so many people are fleeing. We’re incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support that we’ve seen from the British public that will allow DEC charities to help now and be there to rebuild lives in the months and years to come."

The BBC report below shows the aftermath of the bombing as well as other damage to Mariupol, which staff from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have described as “apocalypic”. “This is a city going without the very basics of survival,” says ICRC spokeswoman Crystal Wells. “No food, no water, no heat. The temperatures are freezing.”

Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal raises £150m in first week

10 March 2022

150m graphic

The British public has helped to raise over £150 million in a single week for the Disaster Emergency Committee’s Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal, including £25 million matched by the UK Government, in an inspiring demonstration of support for people fleeing the conflict. 

The fundraising effort has spread right across society, with schools, companies, arts organisations, celebrities and sports events all coming together to lend their support the appeal. Last night an event featuring Bob Geldof, Chrissie Hynde and Franz Ferdinand was held at the Roundhouse in London with proceeds going to the appeal. British Airways and the RFU have arranged a collection at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday as England face Ireland in the Six Nations, while the Royal Mail has added a postmark stamped on letters to highlight the appeal. 

'Why women and children fleeing Ukraine need your support'

9 March 2022

Helen Pankhurst, Senior Gender Advisor at DEC charity CARE International, has written an article for the Evening Standard on why women and children fleeing Ukraine need your support. Here's how it starts:

With every day that passes, the people who are fleeing their homes in Ukraine are more traumatised and more vulnerable. These are the people who thought and hoped the conflict might all be over quickly, or those for whom it felt impossible to leave. Now, even they are compelled to make that terrible journey in freezing temperatures, away from their homes and from their normal life.

Filippo Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, has called it a ‘human avalanche’ but an avalanche, while devastating, is over relatively quickly. Humanitarians know there will be no swift resolution to the humanitarian disaster unfolding in Ukraine and on the borders of its neighbours.

Alexander receives support from a volunteer

Donations to the DEC appeal are a lifeline for people like 81-year-old Alexander in Donetsk, Ukraine, who cannot leave his home. DEC funds ensure a volunteer from Age International's local partner provide him with food, essential items and support. Photo: HelpAge International/Age International.

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How donations are helping

Donations to our appeal go to our member charities and their local partners responding in Ukraine and in neighbouring countries. DEC charities are experts in humanitarian relief with decades of responding to crises around the world – from earthquakes to floods as well as conflicts. Find out some of the ways they're helping people fleeing the conflict in Ukraine.