As a humanitarian crisis unfolds in Ukraine following its invasion by Russia, CRAG is being asked what we can do to help Ukrainian people who are fleeing from the fighting or trapped in bomb shelters in the cities.
While offering physical donations such as food, blankets and clothing is a natural and generous human response, aid agencies are stressing that at the moment this may not be the best way to help.
Collecting supplies means transporting heavy goods hundreds of miles and can lead to supply chains, aid workers and volunteers becoming quickly overwhelmed. In this crisis, cash donations can reach people more quickly to buy what is needed, so if you are in a position to help, we suggest sending donations to any of these appeals:
The British-Ukrainian Aid fundraising campaign which is aiming to raise 500k immediately for medical supplies, first aid kits, transport and critical services. UKRAINE AID - HELP NOW! - JustGiving
The British Red Cross (also part of the DEC) has launched an appeal to help the Ukrainian Red Cross to provide food, medicine, clothing and shelter, as well as first aid training and, in the last few days, 15,000 litres of drinking water to villages in eastern Ukraine https://donate.redcross.org.uk/appeal/ukraine-crisis-appeal
Choose Love has an appeal to support projects in Ukraine who are providing vital aid and services to those still in and fleeing the country, including emergency medical care, food, shelter, clothes, legal support, support for the LGBTQIA+ community and mental health support. https://chooselove.org/
We are also urging CRAG supporters to write to their MPs, asking for a visa waiver to enable displaced Ukrainian people to get to the UK without resorting to unsafe trucks and boats, and making the point that without such humanitarian corridors, these journeys are inevitable for those seeking safety. https://members.parliament.uk/member/4589/contact
If you would like to donate physical goods, here are a couple of collections we're aware of:
Tomorrow: you can take toiletries, tins of food, painkillers, first aid supplies and baby clothes, formula and nappies to Wigwam (the old Countrywide store) just outside Chippy - see location details. A van for Poland will be leaving on Saturday.
If you are near Oxford please see: https://www.facebook.com/OxfordHelpForUkraine
Inside the Polish Community Centre, Balham, London on Wednesday afternoon