Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Appeal for UKRAINE

The Welsh Centre for International Affairs are supporting the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Appeal for Ukraine.

A man hugs his daughter and granddaughter after they crossed the border from Shehyni in Ukraine to Medyka in Poland. Numerous Ukrainians are leaving the country fleeing the conflict.  

More than half a 1.5 people have fled their homes to escape conflict in Ukraine. Leaving behind jobs, belongings and loved ones, they need shelter, food and water.  

  • The eight-year conflict in Ukraine has dramatically escalated. Heavy fighting, shelling and air strikes across Ukraine have had devastating consequences.  
  • At time of writing (as of March 6th), at least 1,058 civilian causalities have been confirmed, with 351 killed, but the real figure is feared to be considerably higher, and more casualties are expected.  
  • Humanitarian planners are anticipating 18 million people to become affected, including up to 6.7 million people projected to be newly internally displaced. 
  • More than 1.5 people have been forced to flee their homes already to escape the violence.  

Health facilities, water supplies, schools and other key infrastructure have been damaged or destroyed. Homes have been blown apart. Thousands have arrived at the country’s border crossings with Poland, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Moldova. Families have been separated and they travel with very little as they flee the fighting.  

Vulnerable groups are caught in the conflict  

Thirty percent of people caught up in the conflict are older than 60 years of age; the largest percentage of older persons affected by conflict in a single country. Older people face many challenges during crises such as this. Escaping to safety, carrying heavy loads, and waiting in long queues can be nigh on impossible for some older people. They may be weaker, less mobile, living on their own or suffering a condition that people their age are more susceptible to, such as coronary heart disease or dementia.  

The current conflict is also having a significant impact on the lives of children, many of whom have had to flee fighting and see relatives drafted into military service. Some will have witnessed traumatic acts of violence or been caught up in shelling or air strikes. Schools have been occupied or damaged in the conflict and around 350,000 school-aged children currently have no access to education. Children will also be affected by a lack of access to nutritious food, clean water and safe, warm shelter. DEC charities are also concerned that children may be separated from their families or orphaned.  

The adverse effects of this crisis are compounded by the socio-economic and health impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has put significant strain on the most vulnerable families and children. Essential healthcare services are now under threat. The World Health Organization says oxygen supplies are dangerously low, with trucks unable to transport oxygen from plants to hospitals across the country, including the capital Kyiv. The majority of hospitals could exhaust their oxygen reserves within the next 24 hours. Some have already run out, putting thousands of lives at risk.  

But the aid effort is fully underway   

 Four DEC member charities including Age International, British Red Cross, CAFOD and Save the Children are responding directly or through local partners in Ukraine; while others including CARE International, Christian Aid and International Rescue Committee are working in neighbouring countries to help refugees fleeing across the borders. In total, 13 DEC members are already responding to this disaster or intending to.  

The immediate and primary focus of the relief effort is to support internally displaced people and refugees fleeing the conflict. DEC charities will be supporting families with cash grants, food packages, warm clothing and shelter.   

DEC charities will also focus on ensuring access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene. They will be repairing vital water infrastructure; and setting up water points to provide sources of clean, readily available water for people who have been displaced from their homes. DEC charities will also support hospitals and other primary healthcare facilities with water, medicines and medical equipment.   

This is a rapidly changing crisis. Events in Ukraine and the resulting refugee movement into surrounding countries will inform the ongoing needs assessments and the DEC member charities’ response.  

Spotlights: How DEC member charities are responding to the crisis  

Due to the breadth of the DEC membership, we can effectively support a range of vulnerable groups. Age International are responding inside Ukraine through local partners and focusing their work on supporting older people (above 60); Save the Children are working inside Ukraine and in neighbouring countries to help provide children and families with immediate aid, such as food, water, hygiene kits, psychosocial support and cash assistance.  

Much of the humanitarian assistance will be delivered through local partners. CARE International has partnered with a local partner ‘People In Need’ to distribute urgently needed emergency supplies such as food, water, hygiene kits and cash to cover daily needs. World Vision are able to work through partners in Ukraine and neighbouring countries to help provide children and families searching for a safe haven with hygiene kits, protection and psychosocial support including child friendly spaces.   

Other DEC member charities already have their own established networks in the region. British Red Cross is working with colleagues inside Ukraine who have been providing first aid, distributing food and hygiene parcels, helping evacuate people, restoring water points and other essential services. The Red Cross is also helping people fleeing the conflict in neighbouring countries.  

Please donate to help the response  

The UN’s Flash Appeal Humanitarian Response Plan for Ukraine was launched on 1st March 2022. The UN and Humanitarian Partners have requested $1.1bn for inside Ukraine and $550.6 million for the regional refugee response. The total Ukraine Crisis appeal request is $1.7bn for Ukraine and neighbouring countries.  

If you can support this emergency appeal, please donate in one of the following ways:  

  • Online at www.dec.org.uk  
  • Call 0370 60 60 90 to donate by phone 
  • Text HELPU to 70150 to donate £101 

If you prefer to post, please send to: 17-21 Wenlock Road, London N1 7GT  

Any donations received after 31st August 2022 could go to our emergency fund.  

If you have any questions about this crisis, the appeal, or how the DEC and our member charities are responding, please contact Siân Stephen sstephen@dec.org.uk / 07483 247323 
07846 119 351  

Thank you for your consideration.