The world watched in shock as the Russian military invaded Ukraine on February 24 2022, since then over 5 million refugees have fled from Ukraine into neighbouring countries.

As attacks continue to target civilians and almost 2,072 civilians have been killed and an estimated 7.1 million people have reportedly been displaced within Ukraine.

The IRC is on the ground in Poland, working with local organisations to support those who've fled over the border from Ukraine. 

Here are some ways we can help the people of Ukraine:

How to help Ukraine and its people 

Give a donation to organisations helping people in Ukraine and those fleeing for safety

While we truly hope we can avert disaster and avoid human suffering, the IRC is ready and preparing for the worst. We are working with local partners in Ukraine and Poland, 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. Can you make an emergency donation to help refugee families right now?

Get informed about the situation between Russia and Ukraine

Since the 2014 annexation of Crimea and the outbreak of armed conflict in eastern Ukraine, the conflict left 3,000 people dead, displaced 850,000 Ukrainians from their homes, and placed 3 million people in need of humanitarian aid. 

The current conflict has the potential to be the worst humanitarian crisis Europe has seen in decades.

Get up to speed on the situation here and follow us on social media for regular updates.

Raise your voice

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

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What can world leaders do to help Ukraine?

This has the potential to be the worst humanitarian crisis Europe has seen in decades and people must be protected.

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 suffering. The UN Charter must be respected and International Humanitarian Law followed including the protection of schools and hospitals. 

Welcome refugees

Countries surrounding 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 those 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 citizenship and nationalities who face grave dangers as conflict escalates. 

Get funds to where they are needed most

At the same time, 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. 

How the UK government can help Ukraine:

The UK has an opportunity to step up and offer refuge to those who need it. The IRC is calling on Home Secretary Priti Patel to ensure safe passage for people fleeing Ukraine, and for the UK Government to work with other countries so that those fleeing the conflict– including non-Ukrainian nationals– are offered sanctuary in Britain. Add your name to send the Home Secretary one clear message: refugees welcome, always.

How can the European Union help Ukraine:

Countries in Europe are taking the right steps to prepare to welcome refugees. Leaders can ensure safe passage and access for Ukrainian refugees. They must also support Ukraine’s neighbouring countries who are expected to receive refugees.

Countries must offer access to protection without discrimination, including for non-Ukraine nationals impacted by the conflict who may not necessarily have visa-free entry to Europe. In addition, this emergency cannot detract from the protection needs of other asylum seekers across the EU. 

What is the IRC doing to help Ukraine?

The IRC is on the ground in Poland, and working with local partners in both Poland and Ukraine. In the early stages of our response, we will provide essential items that people displaced from Ukraine tell us they need. These include blankets, warm clothes, cookstoves, groceries, basic supplies, and—where possible—cash.

Through our partners, the IRC will also provide new arrivals with information about asylum and available services using an existing hotline, offer legal counselling and psychological support, and connect them to other services through social workers, interpreters, and cultural assistants.

“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.