DEC charities are providing emergency aid to the people of Ukraine - how to donate

A Ukrainian woman holds her 3-month-old baby at the Western Railway Station as they flee Ukraine on March 9, 2022 in Budapest, Hungary.
A Ukrainian woman holds her 3-month-old baby at the Western Railway Station as they flee Ukraine on March 9, 2022 in Budapest, Hungary.

The speed and the scale at which the crisis in and around Ukraine has developed has been overwhelming.

If not distraught, then so many of us are numb or disorientated that such a conflict has broken out in Europe - how can this be happening in our interconnected world in 2022?  Yet tragically, it is.

The next reaction for many of us is to ask how best we can help.  The complexity and fast-moving nature of conflict and the consequent mass exodus from Ukraine should give us pause.

What can I give, what should I give, will it make it to the people who need it most, the most vulnerable, whether they are cowering in the homes or basements in Kyiv or fleeing by train, bus, car or even on foot, such is their desperation to feel safer, to be safe?

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    This is why the Disasters Emergency Committee exists, to provide a quick, reliable and effective way for people here in the UK to help those who need humanitarian aid the most.

    Please donate to the DEC’s Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal at, or by texting SUPPORT to 70150 to donate £10 or by phoning 0370 60 60 900 

    What is the DEC?

    For nearly 60 years the DEC has brought together the leading international aid agencies across the UK, alongside the main broadcasters, to provide a clear way for the public to donate and to disperse those funds effectively.

    So far, the reaction has been astonishing. More than £120 million raised across the UK in less than a week.

    This money is already allowing our member agencies to rapidly increase their relief operations not only in Ukraine but in neighbouring Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Moldova where people are now arriving in their tens of thousands every day.

    The expertise of our member networks, like the Red Cross, Age International and their long-established links with local charities and partners means we are able to rapidly respond to what is needed, whether that be in or around Kyiv or in border towns and makeshift camps now springing up along Ukraine’s borders.

    We are hearing that an overwhelming majority of elderly people in Ukraine either can’t or don’t want to leave their homes in the city.  Our members will now prioritise supporting them in the best way they can.

    In Poland and Romania, Save The Children are scaling up to help thousands upon thousands of children who have had to flee their home, often without their parents. They will provide spaces where these children feel safe as well as providing of food and water for those with nothing.

    A man who fled the war in Ukraine holds a baby as they wait in line to board a bus with Police officers (Photo: Getty)

    The best way to help Ukraine

    We hope this message can get out to all those people keen to help but are currently thinking about sending what they have in their homes via local charities.  However well-intentioned, that may not be the best way to help.  What may appear to be the best response today may not be what the people caught up in the crisis might need today or in the days and weeks to come.

    The costs of moving goods and the possible delays is already being recognised by Ukrainian and other diaspora groups here in the UK. The Polish Embassy in London has asked people to give money rather than sending physical goods to Poland.

    If people already have large stockpiles of generously donated goods, then perhaps they could consider selling them in person or online and then donating the proceeds.

    For all the reasons outlined above, if you haven’t already donated to the appeal then we would urge you to do so now.

    Where your money goes

    The money you give will be shared with 13 of the 15 DEC members who will translate that goodwill into urgently needed food and water supplies, shelter, blankets and warm clothing for people who haven’t yet found a temporary home.

    It will also be used to provide medical support and supplies for people who have been injured.In the coming days, our members will also be offering trauma counselling and other types of psycho-social support to help people come to terms with the upheaval they’ve encountered in these terrifying past few days.

    Our members are also acutely aware of reports of racism against black people and people of colour being refused the right to cross the border to safety, and in some cases access to aid. We are totally committed to ensuring everyone who needs help gets it, regardless of their race, religion, sexuality or any other factor.

    At a time when it’s hard to know how to react to situations that can change with terrifying speed and where people don’t always know who to trust, one constant is the generosity of people across the UK and elsewhere and their desire to really help those most in need.

    Since it was founded in 1963, the DEC has been best placed to make sure that your donations result in practical help getting to those in most need as quickly as possible, and that the help has a lasting impact, even after the news headlines have moved on.

    None of us know what will happen next in this bewildering conflict but with your continued support, we will do our best to help as many families as we can and give them hope in the difficult days, week and months to come.

    Please donate to the DEC’s Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal at, or by texting SUPPORT to 70150 to donate £10 or by phoning 0370 60 60 900