Ukraine Relief Organizations Worth Supporting
Since last week, the world has been watching in horror as Russian forces launched a large-scale military invasion against Ukraine. Although the Kremlin had already seized and annexed Crimea by force and ordered separatist troops to encroach on parts of the Donbas region, this escalation marks one of the largest conventional military conflicts in Europe since the 2nd World War.
While Ukrainian soldiers have put up a good fight in their efforts to resist the occupation, they find themselves in an incredibly dire position, increasingly outnumbered, outgunned, and outflanked by one of the second-largest militaries on Earth.
As the United Nations’ refugee chief reported, over one million Ukrainians were displaced and forced to flee their homes in the first week since the invasion began. Those who remain risk being caught in the crossfire and facing an untold future of brutality and misery, as Russian forces have been relentlessly indiscriminate in their efforts to tear apart communities, families, and innocent human lives.
It’s a bleak, grim situation, and one in which the rest of the world sadly can’t lend much direct support toward. While NATO has taken to fighting a financial battle, hitting the Russian economy hard with a brutal wave of sanctions, any direct intervention on the part of NATO or the U.S. could be viewed as a provocation for war between two of the globe's largest nuclear superpowers.
Unfortunately, though rather understandably, world leaders have been forced into a bind to limit the extent of their help to the Ukrainian people, lest they risk escalating things into an even more grim, bleak, and hopeless situation. But even in our very limited, constrained framework at the moment, there are still actions you can take to help uplift Ukrainians immensely.
Ukraine is facing an unprecedented humanitarian emergency, and gravely so on the medical front. The nation’s healthcare system is facing a grave shortage of essential lifesaving medical supplies like oxygen tanks (see this WHO article). As ABC News has covered, injured soldiers are gradually overwhelming a Kyiv maternity hospital, as roughly 10 wounded infantry per day are sent there.
In addition, as reported by The Washington Post, health experts fear that the conflict could worsen the spread of illnesses like polio, the flu, and COVID-19. If you’re looking for ways to support Ukraine’s strained medical system in this dark and desperate time, here’s what you can do to help.
Where To Send Ukraine Medical Supply Donations
If you’re looking for ways to support the people of Ukraine, here are some causes worth supporting:
The YMCA World Service: You can visit their donation page to contribute financial gifts for emergency support, support which includes essential food, shelter, and clothing, medical supplies, and mental health counseling resources.
UNICEF: Right now, UNICEF is on the ground working to offer essential emergency support to Ukrainian children and families in need. These essential support services include healthcare, food, education, and sanitary drinking water. You can donate a financial gift on their website which will go toward these support efforts.
World Central Kitchen: A balanced diet is a crucial facet of maintaining one’s health, wellness, and overall vitality. Unfortunately, the WHO believes that over 30% of the global population faces food insecurity, and many more Ukrainians are likely to face it in these dire times. Even so, the World Central Kitchen’s brave chefs are on the ground, serving hot meals near 8 Ukrainian border crossings. Donate to support their efforts here.
Voices Of Children: Since Russia first annexed Crimea in 2015, Voices of Children has been on the Ukrainian front line, offering essential mental health support to children affected by wartime. Donate financial gifts to support their work here.
The UN Refugee Agency: Since 1950, the UNHCR has been offering essential support services to those displaced by war and natural disasters. You can visit their website here to learn more about getting involved.
Save The Children: For eight years, Save The Children has been offering vital humanitarian aid to children around Afghanistan, America, and now more than ever, Ukraine. Their humanitarian efforts include promoting health, education, public safety, and policies meant to uplift the social welfare of children. Click their link to donate, fundraise, organize events, or apply to become a volunteer.
CARE: CARE’s Ukraine Crisis Fund is prioritizing immediate aid sent to Ukrainian women, children, families, and the elderly. You can donate financial gifts to support those immediate aid measures by clicking here.
Project HOPE: For over 60 years, Project HOPE has been working to fill in healthcare accessibility gaps for vulnerable communities in humanitarian need. Visit their “Ways To Help” page to learn how you can volunteer and donate to their cause.
International Rescue Committee: The IRC is directly working to support displaced Ukrainian refugees now in Poland, as well as those who’ve fled conflicts in Syria, Afghanistan, and Yemen. Support their work by clicking here.
Razom For Ukraine:Since the conflict in Ukraine first kicked off back in 2014, Razom has been striving to support the Ukrainian people on a wide range of fronts. Learn more about their specific projects here, and donate to support those projects here.
Doctors Without Borders: For over half a century, Doctors Without Borders has stood on the front lines of offering frontline emergency healthcare in times of crisis, treating tens of millions of patients in need. This time is no exception. Visit their page to find out what Doctors Without Borders are doing to help Ukrainians, and how you can support that effort.
United Help Ukraine:This 501c3 is offering important humanitarian assistance to Ukrainian soldiers and civilians affected by the war. You can visit their website to donate and learn more about getting involved.
Resources For Marginalized Ukrainians: BIPOC Ukrainians and international students have spoken up about facing racism and mistreatment at the hands of Ukrainian border patrol guards, denying them their right to leave the conflict zone. Moreover, LGBTQ+ Ukrainians fear what occupation under a notoriously homophobic and transphobic regime could mean for their futures. If you’re interested in supporting BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and disabled Ukrainian refugees in peril, UPenn historian Kimberly St.-Julian Varnon created a helpful Linktree with specific aid resources, which you can access here.
Additional Ukraine Medical Care Resources
In addition to donating or volunteering for the organizations we’ve mentioned here, there are other ways you could consider providing support to the people who need it most in this dire time.
Beyond massive third party organizations, you could support small, localized mutual aid funds. You could book an AirBnb in a conflict zone with a local host, tell them you aren’t actually staying, but that you hope the money could help them or others who are suffering.
Lastly, you could buy directly from vendors living in active conflict zones like Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Lyiv through online marketplaces like Etsy. They don’t even need to send a product – you can just tell them that you hope the funds go toward helping them or other loved ones affected by the conflict.
We hope these resources will be useful to you and others in need, and our hearts go out to everyone affected by these difficult circumstances.