Ensure your humanitarian support of Ukraine has the greatest impact

Polish border guard welcomes Ukrainian refugees
Border crossing point in Medyka, Poland. Source: Polish Ministry of the Interior and Administration via Twitter.

Barely more than a week. That is how long it has been since Russia launched its offensive into Ukraine. Despite condemnations and sanctions, Russia has continued and intensified its incursion. Too little regard is being paid to International Humanitarian Law and its protections for civilians and civilian infrastructure.

As a result, the world is witnessing one of the largest population movements in memory, with 1 million Ukrainians already having fled into neighboring countries, with four times as many projected. Countless more are displaced within Ukraine, unwilling or unable to seek refuge outside the country.

The most important call any of us can make is for an immediate end to the conflict, a cessation of hostilities that will bring peace to Ukraine. Until then, and after, the incredible displays of international solidarity need to continue. While much can be destroyed in moments, recovery always takes years. And in this, philanthropy can help, now and in the future.

Some guidance as you explore how to help:

  • Recognize that the population’s needs will continue to alter as time goes on. Affected people’s access to services and organizations is always fluid in a crisis’ early days. In any disaster, access constraints continue to alter and vary from place to place, month to month, and year to year. Support the organizations you trust with flexible, multi-year grants that allow them to be true partners in Ukraine’s recovery.
  • Respect that the very sanctions we welcome as political pressures on Russia directly impact the operating environment for the nonprofits and United Nations agencies you support. Mitigate the risks faced by nonprofits by sharing the burden with them. For example, you can provide them with adequate resources to protect themselves and their partners and appreciate that the cost of helping may thus be greater than you anticipated. Understanding the complexity of working under sanctions will be especially critical in providing direct assistance to Ukrainian and other local nonprofits, many of whom will be best placed to support the equitable recovery needed in the years to come.
  • While Ukraine is top of mind now, the other programs, organizations and causes you support continue to need your help. Dig deep and seek to increase your donation thresholds. Simply put, give more to Ukraine, not instead of somewhere else.

CDP has resources available on ways you can help humanitarian efforts in Ukraine. Stay abreast of urgent and evolving needs through our disaster profile. Support efforts to address the humanitarian needs among the most vulnerable, marginalized and at-risk internally displaced peoples and refugees through the CDP Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Recovery Fund. And our staff is ready to assist donors in their response to this moment of great need.