EDP appeal: How your support can help Ukraine

Refugees fleeing conflict from neighboring Ukraine arrive to Zahony, Hungary, Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022.

Refugees fleeing conflict from neighboring Ukraine arrive in Hungary - Credit: AP

The war in Ukraine has forced people to flee their homes and loved ones to find safety in neighbouring countries. And by backing this newspaper's appeal you can directly help agencies on the ground provide urgent aid to those in need.

The EDP launched its Aid for Ukraine Appeal in support of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) to help those escaping the conflict and is calling on readers to raise vital funds for the cause.

EDP Aid for Ukraine Appeal

The EDP has launched an Aid for Ukraine appeal - Credit: Archant

More than two million people have fled their homes in Ukraine so far to escape heavy fighting, shelling and air strikes, leaving behind jobs, belonging and loved ones.

Huge numbers of people have been arriving at Ukraine's borders with Poland, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Moldova with only what they can carry.

And the DEC, which is made up of 15 UK aid agencies including the British Red Cross, CAFOD and ActionAid, is working tirelessly on the scene with local partners to provide trauma care, medical treatment, water, food and emergency shelters to those displaced by the conflict. 

Teams are operating in Ukraine and in neighbouring countries to reach people swiftly and offer vital aid.

Refugees from Ukraine cross into Poland at the Medyka crossing.

Refugees from Ukraine cross into Poland at the Medyka crossing. - Credit: AP

DEC chief executive Saleh Saeed said: “Families, including many children, have been forced to leave everything they know behind to find safety and desperately need food, water and shelter.

"The DEC exists to mobilise the British public’s generosity and goodwill at times of crisis overseas, and this is one of those moments.”

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Jo Kitterick, head of support engagement at CAFOD, said the organisation was expecting numbers crossing the border to "keep increasing" in the coming days, with the conflict showing "no sign of letting up".

The aid agency is working inside Ukraine and on its borders to provide help by setting up safe centres with beds, food and washing facilities, and is providing transport, information, psychological support and spaces for children.

The Red British Red Cross Society said it fears "further escalation will worsen an already appalling humanitarian situation and wreak havoc on more lives", and is doing everything it can to support people in need.

A refugee girl who fled conflict from neighboring Ukraine holds her toy at the railway station after

A refugee girl who fled conflict from neighboring Ukraine holds her toy at the railway station after arriving at Zahony, Hungary - Credit: AP

More than £120 million has been raised for the DEC in just five days, including £25 million in aid matched by the government.

Funds raised go to each of the member charities to help scale up their response and help families and children affected by the conflict.

What DEC charities are doing

  • Age International is responding inside Ukraine and in neighbouring countries using local partners to support older people. The charity is aiming to reach 400,000 people by providing emergency food and water kits, medical, hygiene and dignity kits and support those experiencing trauma.
  • 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. 
  • CAFOD through its international partner Caritas has set up 19 centres across Ukraine, which provide running warm and safe ‘collective centres’ with beds, food, washing facilities and safe spaces for children. It is also organising child-friendly spaces where children can play sports and do arts and crafts.
  • Save the Children is working in neighbouring countries to help provide children and families with immediate aid such as food, water, hygiene kits, psychosocial support, and cash assistance. 
  • World Vision is working through partners to help provide displaced families with hygiene kits, protection and psychosocial support including child-friendly spaces.  
Ukrainians hold a protest against the Russian invasion of Ukraine outside Downing Street, central Lo

Ukrainians hold a protest against the Russian invasion of Ukraine outside Downing Street, central London . Picture date: Thursday February 24, 202. - Credit: PA

How you can support

EDP editor David Powles has set up an appeal in response to the crisis to help raise vital funds for the DEC. More than £4,700 has been raised by our readers so far.

The newspaper's call for action has received the backing of key figures in Norfolk, including the General the Lord Dannatt and the Lady Dannatt, MPs and families affected by the war.

And you can help by donating to the EDP's appeal by visiting justgiving.com/fundraising/edp-ukraine and raising awareness of it by sharing it on social media platforms.

The DEC said £10 could provide a hygiene kit to a family of five for one month, £20 could provide five blankets to families taking shelter, £33 could provide 40 chlorine tablets to ensure that families have access to clean, safe water, and £100 could provide sleeping mats to 66 people who have been forced from their homes.

Madara Hettiarachchi, DEC director of programmes and accountability, said the "incredible support" shown so far will help "meet people’s urgent needs today and help them rebuild their lives into tomorrow".

She added: “Every person who has donated, fundraised and helped to spread the word can be proud to be supporting people who have had their lives torn apart by this devastating conflict.”