£100m raised to support DEC’s Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal as charities scale up response

The British public has helped raise £100 million in just four days to support the Disaster Emergency Committee’s Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal – the equivalent of more than £1 million an hour since the official launch on Thursday. 

In a wave of generosity and goodwill, hundreds of thousands of people from all over the UK have donated.  

More than 1.5 million people have been forced to flee Ukraine due to the conflict, and many more have fled their homes inside the country. 

Most of the refugees are women and children, forced to abandon their homes and loved ones to find sanctuary in neighbouring countries. Some have friends and families they can stay with. But many have no-one and nowhere to go. The UN estimates up to 4 million people may be forced leave the country and 7 million may lose their homes inside Ukraine. 

DEC charities and their local partners are in Ukraine and across the border in neighbouring countries, are working to meet the immediate needs of all people fleeing with food, water, medical assistance, protection and trauma care. Thanks to the public’s generosity and £25 million in match-funding from the UK Government, DEC charities have already started to use funds to deliver vital aid and scale up their response. 

Jo Kitterick, head of supporter engagement at CAFOD said: 

“This amazing show of support for people fleeing the conflict has meant that we have been able to start spending money straight away to help more people. Through our international partner Caritas we are working inside Ukraine and on its borders, setting up safe centres with beds, food and washing facilities. We’re also providing transport, information, psychological support and child-friendly spaces. 

“The conflict shows no sign of letting up and our local experts are seeing more and more people having to flee their homes to keep themselves safe. We’re expecting the numbers crossing the border to keep increasing in the coming days. I want to thank everyone who has donated to help us support them in their moment of greatest need.” 

Charities on the ground have urged people to show their support through cash donations rather by giving specific items, which although well-meaning are often not what people need and are expensive to transport. 

The appeal has been supported by leading actors, celebrities and the Royal Family. Actors Adrian Lester, Kit Harington, and David Tennant have filmed or recorded appeals, and social media films have been made by Hugh Bonneville and Simon Pegg. 

The £100 million also includes generous donations from Her Majesty The Queen, HRH The Prince of Wales and The Duke of Cambridge. 

The £25 million donated by the UK Government is the largest commitment ever made to a DEC appeal through the UK Aid Match scheme and amplified impact of the public’s donations, ensuring that charities working on the ground can reach those in urgent need. 

See below for some of the work DEC charities and their local partners are currently doing. Donations to the DEC will ensure this work can be scaled up to meet the growing humanitarian need. 

  • Age International is responding inside Ukraine via local partners and in neighbouring countries to support older people. The charity aims to reach 400,000 people, providing emergency food and water kits, medical, hygiene and dignity kits and support in response to trauma that so many older people will be experiencing.   
  • Ukrainian Red Cross volunteers are providing first aid, warm clothes, and support in shelters and metro stations. International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is working to restore water supplies, provide support to medical facilities, and provide food and shelter to those affected by the fighting. In neighbouring countries, the Red Cross is helping those fleeing Ukraine.   
  • CARE International has partnered with a local partner to distribute urgently needed emergency supplies such as food, water, hygiene kits and cash to cover daily needs.   
  • CAFOD through its international partner Caritas has 19 centres across Ukraine: they are running warm and safe ‘collective centres’ with beds, food, washing facilities and safe spaces for children; providing transport, up-to-date information and psychosocial support. They are organising child-friendly spaces where children can play sports and do arts and crafts as a means of coping with their experiences.  
  • The International Rescue Committee is rapidly scaling up resources and mobilizing partners to assist civilians who have been forced to flee their homes. The charity is meeting with partners and local civil society organizations in Poland and speaking to partners in Ukraine to meet the humanitarian needs that arise as conflict forces people to flee to neighbouring countries and inside Ukraine itself.  
  • Save the Children is working in neighbouring countries to help provide children and families with immediate aid: food, water, hygiene kits, psychosocial support, cash assistance.  
  • World Vision is working through partners in Ukraine and neighbouring countries to help provide fleeing children and families with hygiene kits, protection and psychosocial support including child-friendly spaces.   

24/02/23 Update: Find out how donations are helping one year on from the start of the conflict here.


Notes to editors: 

Media enquiries please call 020 7387 0200 or 07734 653616 (out of hours). 

DEC charities are working in Ukraine and in neighbouring countries, ramping up efforts to meet the growing humanitarian need. We have spokespeople available in Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Moldova and the UK.  

For more information or to request interviews in advance please contact: pressofficemanager@dec.org.uk 

A collection of images and video footage of DEC member charities responding as refugees arrive into neighbouring countries is available here. 

About the DEC: The DEC brings together 15 leading UK aid charities at times of crisis overseas to raise funds quickly and efficiently. In these times of crisis, people in life-and-death situations need our help and our mission is to save, protect and rebuild lives through effective humanitarian response. The DEC’s 15 member charities are: Action Against Hunger, ActionAid UK, Age International, British Red Cross, CAFOD, CARE International UK, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide UK, International Rescue Committee UK, Islamic Relief Worldwide, Oxfam GB, Plan International UK, Save the Children UK, Tearfund and World Vision UK. 

Thirteen of the DEC’s 15 members are either responding or planning to respond in Ukraine or in neighbouring countries and will receive funds from this appeal. Some may work through trusted local partners. They are Action Against Hunger, ActionAid UK, Age International, British Red Cross, CAFOD, CARE International UK, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide UK, International Rescue Committee UK, Oxfam GB, Plan International UK, Save the Children UK and World Vision UK. 

Through UK Aid Match the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) gives the British public the opportunity to have a say in how the UK aid budget is spent whilst boosting the impact of the very best British charities to change and save the lives of some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people. The UK Government match funded up to £25 million of public donations to the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal. This is the largest commitment ever made to a DEC appeal through UK Aid Match and will double the impact of public donations, ensuring that charities working on the ground can reach those in urgent need. 

UK Aid Match has increased the impact of a number of DEC appeals to help those in need around the world, including most recently to support people in Afghanistan through DEC’s Afghanistan Appeal in 2021. 

Enquiries about UK Aid Match and UK Government support for Ukraine should be directed to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Newsdesk. Please email newsdesk@fcdo.gov.uk. 

How to donate:  

  • Online: dec.org.uk 
  • Phone: 0370 60 60 900 
  • SMS: To donate £10 text SUPPORT to 70150. Texts cost £10 plus the standard network charge and the whole £10 goes to the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal. You must be 16 or over and please ask the bill payer's permission. For full terms and conditions and more information go to www.dec.org.uk 
  • Or donate over the counter at any high street bank or post office or send a cheque by post to Post: DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal, PO Box 999, London EC3A 3AA.