How donations are helping people affected by conflict in Ukraine

Ivanna receives aid from a volunteer

Ivanna* (left), is homeless after her house was damaged in the conflict. DEC funds are ensuring hundreds of vulnerable people in Kharkiv receive regular food baskets. Photo: Dmytro Minyailo/DEC

In March 2022, the DEC launched an appeal to provide urgent aid to people fleeing the conflict in Ukraine, where over 8 million people are now internally displaced and more than 6.3 million are refugees.

The response from the British public has been incredible, raising over £300 million in the first two months, including £25 million of match funding from the UK Government. 

13 DEC charities are responding to the crisis, providing emergency aid and support to families in Ukraine and in neighbouring countries. With funds raised through the appeal they are supplying essential items like food, water and shelter for displaced families and medical support including incubators for babies in Ukrainian hospitals. DEC charities and their local partners are also supporting vital protection work to ensure vulnerable people are kept safe, and helping them settle into their new lives.

In the initial phase of the response - the first six months - DEC charities plan deliver £74.5 million of aid using DEC funds, with the remainder being spent over a period of three years. This will allow aid agencies to continue providing the immediate help people need now, as well as establish programmes to support them as they try to rebuild their lives in the months ahead.  

How funds are planned to be spent

In the first six months of the response, donations to the DEC are providing access to healthcare, cash, food, water, sanitation and hygiene, protection and shelter for people affected by the conflict in Ukraine.

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DEC response in first six months

Water, sanitation, hygiene
Camp management and coordination

Where we're working

The situation in and around Ukraine remains fluid and our plans may be adjusted to meet people’s changing needs, but in the first phase of the response, 54% of DEC funds will be spent supporting people in Ukraine, and 44% in neighbouring countries. 2% of the funds will be spent on pan-regional programmes including safeguarding and capacity-building.

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Here are some of the ways your donations will continue to help people over the next few months:

Critical health services

The conflict has created critical healthcare needs in Ukraine, where health facilities were already under strain from the Covid-19 pandemic and years of underinvestment. The urgent need to treat trauma patients is disrupting the provision of basic essential services, with the conflict driving shortages of staff and medical supplies at the same time as it creates a spike in public health risks due to displacement and poor shelter. Health services in neighbouring countries are also struggling to meet the needs of the sudden influx of refugees. 

28% of DEC funds will be spent on the provision of primary healthcare services, providing trauma and first aid kits, surgical training, medicines, drugs, as well as supporting healthcare facilities with equipment such as incubators and oxygen compressors and vital pharmaceutical products. 

Immediate cash support

One of the most effective ways to support families on the move is to provide cash support so they can meet their own needs, as well as help local business owners. 

23% of the first allocation of DEC funds will support the needs of affected people - internally displaced people, refugees, and in some cases members of the host communities - through cash payments to meet vital basic needs. This will be delivered using a variety of secure approaches such as pre-paid cards and digital transfers. 

Food supplies and meals for families

The conflict is disrupting supply chains in Ukraine. Farmers are likely to miss this year’s planting season and agricultural production is grinding to a halt. Food imports to replace lost yield are not scaling rapidly and the poorest are being left behind. In Ukraine, 1.8 million children under the age of five are estimated to need life-saving nutrition services. 

16% of donations will be spent on delivering food provisions (with staples including sugar, salt, oatmeal, canned sardines, white rice and black tea), hot meals or through supermarket vouchers. 

Clean water, sanitation and hygiene services

Around 1.4 million people lack access to water in Ukraine, and another 4.6 million people have limited access. The huge numbers crossing the border into neighbouring countries, whether staying or transiting, continues to create a critical need for water, sanitation and hygiene services. 

11% of DEC funds will be spent on safe drinking water, hygiene information and hygiene kits. 

Protection for vulnerable people

Conflict inflicts physical and psychological trauma, with mental health disorders reported to affect one in five people in post-conflict settings. In response to the child protection risks, a network of ‘Blue Dot’ hubs at border sites and transit routes has been set up to address women and children’s immediate needs. This ensures all children are monitored, traced, protected and will arrive safely at their destinations, allowing effective case management for the most vulnerable children, as well as monitoring access to services. 

11% of funding will be spent on psychosocial support for women, children, older people and people with disabilities, as well as stress management training sessions. 

Shelter for displaced people

The conflict continues to damage physical infrastructure in Ukraine and large numbers of people on the move need temporary shelter, sleeping mats and bedding, and safe spaces to receive trauma care. 

2% of funds will be spent on bed linen, blankets, towels, kitchen sets, jerry cans, buckets and other essential household items for displaced people and host communities.  

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.

Thank you

Your donations are reaching people fleeing conflict