Relief Efforts in UkraineThe Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) is a group of U.K. charities that launches appeals for urgent funding to address humanitarian crises around the world. Through its Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal, DEC charities aim to implement relief efforts to help Ukraine by meeting the basic needs of people in war-torn Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees in neighboring countries.

Consequences of the War

The war in Ukraine has led to the destruction of infrastructure, the dissolution of essential services, the separation of families and severe injuries and deaths. Because of these incitements, more than 7 million people have fled Ukraine, according to the British Red Cross Society.

According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, as of March 12, 2023, Ukraine has noted a total of 21,965 casualties, with 8,231 people killed and 13,734 people injured. Additionally, the country will require $411 billion to rebuild the country, according to the World Bank in March 2023.

A Collaborative Effort

The DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal has raised more than £400 million worth of funding to assist in Ukraine, Poland Moldova, Romania and Hungary, including £25 million matched by the British government, “making it the biggest charity donor to the Ukraine humanitarian response in the world,” the DEC website says.

In the initial three months of the response, the majority of the finances went toward helping people within Ukraine itself. In the first six months of the response, almost 50% of the funding went toward cash assistance for more than 338,000 people to meet their basic needs of survival.

Additionally, 17% of funding went toward securing warm meals and food packages for people.  Furthermore, 15% went toward health services for 71,000 people and mental health care for 37,000 people. The DEC’s work also includes safeguarding Ukrainians residing in bomb shelters and providing medical and mental health services.

The DEC’s local partners are helping across the borders of these countries, like Action Against Hunger, the British Red Cross and World Vision. The organization released a short video entitled “Never Alone,” created by a majority Ukrainian team and directed via remote camera. The video highlights the devastation and ruin brought about by Russia’s attack on Ukraine. “We cast Ukrainian people still living there – so that we could capture their resilience, their strength and their Ukrainian stoicism for all to see,” film director Rick Dodds said. The individuals in the short film are actors but they represent true stories of the victims of war assisted by DEC charities.

Helping Ukraine

According to Ukraine’s economy ministry projections, the country’s GDP will only grow by about 1% in 2023, illustrating the significant economic consequences of the war. The most tangible way to support the DEC in its relief efforts to help Ukraine is to donate. Individuals in the U.K. can do so physically by visiting any of the 11,500 Post Office branches in the U.K. There is also the option of donation via phone call or via the online website. Through the Disasters Emergency Committee and its relief efforts in Ukraine, Ukrainians in Ukraine and in neighboring countries can look to the possibility of a brighter future.

– Robin Kalellis
Photo: Flickr