According to recent estimates from the United Nations, at least 500,000 Ukrainian refugees have traveled out of the country, fleeing the conflict that began last week with Russia’s invasion. They’re making the painful decision to separate from loved ones, leaving their belongings and lives to seek safety elsewhere.
Many are calling for immediate, government responses and action from tech giants, while others are organizing community aid and supporting humanitarian organizations on the ground to aid the swaths of displaced Ukrainians.
At the same time, global responses to the new wave of refugees have also highlighted glaring discrepancies in how communities and government leaders respond to a refugee crisis that is perceived to be white and European, versus those that forced out people from Middle Eastern and African countries over the last few years. What’s more, as some have reported, refugees of color are experiencing different treatment at borders as they flee their homes.
Now is the time to offer universal support to Ukrainian refugees, as half a million people are displaced across the region for an unknown amount of time. They’ll need assistance from governments, nonprofit organizations, and communities around the world.
Here’s a few ways you can help them.
Donate to humanitarian organizations
The following are just a few organizations working to provide critical aid to Ukrainian refugees. You can find even more nonprofits and international organizations — all of which have a three- or four-star ratings — supporting those affected by the conflict on the Charity Navigator website.
Save The Children
Save The Children is a global nonprofit dedicated to supporting child health and education around the world. Its organizing additional support for Ukrainian refugees, building on eight years of work supporting the 2.9 million people, including over 400,000 children, who already required humanitarian assistance in the country, the organization says. Donate here to Save The Children’s relief fund for Ukrainian refugees, which includes food, water, hygiene kits, psychosocial support, and cash assistance.
International Rescue Committee
An international humanitarian organization, the International Rescue Committee, is pledging assistance to those in Ukraine and neighboring countries like Poland that are sheltering Ukrainian refugees. “Whatever the needs are, we are preparing to meet them,” said IRC’s senior director of emergencies Lani Fortier on its website. Donations go to the organization’s global mission to provide food, hygiene and medical supplies, and other emergency resources for refugees, and there isn’t a way to earmark funds specifically for Ukraine on its website.
UNICEF is on the ground supporting families fleeing Ukraine. Your donations go directly to UNICEF’s work providing “health, nutrition, HIV prevention, education, safe drinking water, sanitation and protection for children and families,” according to the organization. You can earmark your donation specifically to its efforts in Ukraine on the donation page.
Global Empowerment Mission
The nonprofit, which organizes emergency aid to global disasters, is currently operating a temporary travel and aid center in Medyka, Poland on the Ukrainian border. The organization is not only providing short term “vital necessities, but is also offering travel assistance to refugees wanting to relocate to other countries or be with friends and family — a mission to reduce the strain on Polish hotels and prevent potential homelessness. You can earmark donations to the Ukraine refugee crisis on its website.
World Central Kitchen
A nonprofit started by chef Jose Andrés, World Central Kitchen is delivering warm meals to refugees and displaced people at various Ukraine border crossings. The initiative, originally delivering meals at a 24-hour border crossing, is preparing to support refugee accommodation centers in Poland and Romania. Donate here to fund food and supplies to support World Central Kitchen’s mission.
Global Giving is an international nonprofit that connects charitable campaigns to donors around the world. The organization started the Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund to support both short- and long- term humanitarian aid to Ukrainian refugees. According to the organization, donations will go towards shelter, food, and clean water for refugees, as well as health and psychosocial support, education, and economic assistance.
Vostok SOS is a Ukrainian-based humanitarian aid organization partnering with a German-Swiss nonprofit called Libereco to help evacuate Ukrainian refugees out of the country. As a volunteer-run nonprofit, money donated to Vostok SOS helps deliver “medical and humanitarian aid to local people, evacuate vulnerable people, and provide tailored trauma support in the aftermath of shelling,” the organizations says.
Malteser International, an emergency relief organization based in the country of Malta, is collecting everyday supplies for Ukrainians who have had to leave their homes without warning. Oliver Hochedez, head of Malteser International’s emergency relief department, wrote in a public statement that, “the supply situation in Ukraine itself is becoming increasingly difficult. What is especially needed are everyday medicines, as well as cots, blankets, food, and cash to provide for the many people affected.” You can specify donations go to purchasing these supplies for Ukrainian refugees on its donation page.
United Help Ukraine
This nonprofit was founded in 2014 to support those in Ukraine affected by war and the Russian annexation of Crimea. Right now, the organization is hosting an online fundraiser to purchase first aid kits and other emergency supplies for those still within Ukraine, as well as other critical aid for refugees.
Stop disinformation and share resources
For information on where to go for reliable updates and fact-checking, consult Mashable’s guide to combatting misinformation about the conflict.
The United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR) has published guides for Ukrainians who have remained in the country and are currently in transit to safer areas. This resource guide shares important safety information for people traveling through conflict zones, including how to emotionally support children in conflict zones and information on asylum procedures and other refugee services in neighboring countries. You can also visit the UNHCR’s Ukraine homepage for updates on refugee support and other ways the UN is assisting Ukrainians.
Al Jazeera has a list of every country currently accepting Ukrainian refugees, as well as the countries’ requirements for entry.
Others online are sharing community-led resources for those in neighboring countries. There is also a guide by Ukrainian activists on the ground with additional information on the conflict, donation links, and other resources.
Mashable will continue updating this story with more resources if they become available.