The world watched in shock as the Russian military invaded Ukraine on February 24 and began targeting homes, hospitals, bridges and schools.

More than 1 million people - mostly women and children - have left to seek safety in neighbouring Poland, Moldova and other European states amid the growing crisis in Ukraine.

The escalation of conflict between Russia and Ukraine will lead to grave human suffering. Here are some ways you can help the people of Ukraine:

Get informed about the situation between Russia and Ukraine

The Russian invasion has the potential to create the worst humanitarian crisis Europe has seen in decades. The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations has warned that up to 5 million people could be displaced from Ukraine.

Even before the attacks began on 24th February, Ukrainians’ lives were affected by armed conflict. In 2014, Russia annexed Crimea and began backing pro-Russian separatists in parts of eastern Ukraine. Over the past eight years, fighting in this region has uprooted 850,000 Ukrainians from their homes, and placed 3 million people in need of aid.

Get up to speed on the situation here.

Show Ukrainians your support

The IRC stands in solidarity with the people and families of Ukraine whose lives are being impacted by this attack. One way you can show them your support is by sharing this post:

Donate to organisations like the IRC

The IRC has launched an emergency appeal to help support displaced families with critical aid.

We are already on the ground working with local partners in Ukraine and Poland, mobilising resources to provide life-saving support to people and families forced to flee their homes.

One of the best ways you can help right now is by rushing an emergency donation to help us assist those in crisis around the world.

The IRC is consistently awarded top marks by charity watchdog groups for our efficient use of donor contributions and the effectiveness of our work. Read more reasons to give to the IRC.


How can the European Union help Ukraine?

European countries have taken extraordinary steps to prepare to receive refugees fleeing Ukraine in a spirit of European solidarity. 

Yet, beyond the welcome emergency response, the EU and its member states must take concrete steps to guarantee durable protection and sufficient support for people fleeing the conflict. 

Read our policy brief to learn what the EU must do to ensure a humane and effective refugee response, as the conflict continues to escalate. 


What world leaders can do to help Ukrainians?

People in Ukraine and those fleeing the country must be protected. Unless the international community acts now, the world will bear witness to even more death and destruction inside Ukraine as well as massive displacement inside the country and across Europe.

Protect people in Ukraine and allow for free movement 

The IRC strongly backs the United Nations Secretary General’s call to protect civilians in line with international humanitarian law. An immediate ceasefire and a political solution that spares lives and prevent suffering.

The UN Charter must be respected and international humanitarian law followed, including the protection of schools and hospitals. 

Welcome refugees

Countries bordering Ukraine must prepare to welcome their neighbours who have been forced to flee their homes. The international community must scale up funding for services to support refugees and asylum seekers. People must be allowed to move freely, and aid agencies must be granted access to everyone in need of aid. 

Europe must not just offer protection to Ukrainian nationals who have visa-free access to the EU, but to people of all citizenships and nationalities fleeing Ukraine who face grave dangers as conflict escalates. 

Get funds to where they are needed most

The world must prepare for the worst and get funds to relief services inside and outside Ukraine. This will save lives and alleviate human suffering.

Stand united in calling for an end to violence in Ukraine

​​The international community must remain united and apply diplomatic pressure to focus on a political settlement.


What is the IRC doing to help Ukraine?

The IRC is ready and preparing for the worst. We are working to quickly mobilise resources and connect with partners in Ukraine and Poland to establish a response that will provide life-saving support to civilians forced to flee their homes.

“We truly hope we can avert disaster and avoid the human suffering we will inevitably see if this conflict continues to escalate,” says IRC’s senior director of emergencies Lani Fortier. “However, the IRC is ready and preparing for the worst. We are working to quickly mobilise resources and connect with partners to establish a response that will provide life-saving support to civilians forced to flee their homes.

“The IRC is meeting with partners and local civil society organisations in Poland and Ukraine to assess capacity for responding to an increase of refugees and people in need. We will work to respond where we are needed the most and with the services that are needed urgently. Whatever the needs are, we are preparing to meet them.”