Donations to the appeal from right across the UK have reached £100 million – the equivalent of more than £1 million an hour since the official launch on Thursday (March 3).
Hundreds of thousands of people from across the UK have donated in a wave of goodwill. More than 1.5 million people have been forced to flee Ukraine due to the conflict, and many more have fled their homes inside the country.
The DEC brings together 15 leading UK aid charities to save, protect, and rebuild lives through effective humanitarian response in times of overseas crisis. In Northern Ireland, it is supported by the British Red Cross, Save the Children, Tearfund and Concern Worldwide.
DEC charities and their local partners are in Ukraine, border areas and neighbouring countries working to meet the immediate needs of all people fleeing the conflict. Most of the refugees are women and children, forced to abandon their homes and loved ones to find sanctuary in neighbouring countries. The UN estimates that up to four million people may be forced leave the country and seven million may lose their homes inside Ukraine.
Thanks to the public’s generosity, and £25 million in match-funding from the UK Government, DEC charities have already started to use funds to deliver vital aid and scale up their response.
Charities on the ground are urging people to show their support through cash donations rather than giving specific items, which although well-meaning are often not what people need and are expensive to transport. Funds donated via the DEC appeal will help these charities continue to meet the most urgent needs of food, water, sanitation, and health provisions.
The DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal continues. Members of the public can donate at dec.org.uk, by calling 0370 60 60 900, or by texting SUPPORT to 70150 to donate £10.
Peter Anderson, Northern Ireland Director at Concern Worldwide (UK) said: “It is heart-warming to see the people of Northern Ireland donate such a significant amount of money to humanitarian aid efforts for the people of Ukraine.
“Along with their local partners, DEC charities are delivering aid on the ground, working to meet people’s immediate needs of food, water, medical assistance, protection and trauma care for those fleeing the conflict. This money will go a long way in supporting that, however I would urge those who can to continue donating as the number of people affected will undoubtedly continue to rise.”
Kevin McCaughan, Senior Institutional Programme Funding Officer at the British Red Cross in Northern Ireland said: “The response in Northern Ireland has been overwhelming, and we thank each and every individual who donated in the last few days for their generosity.
“The circumstances facing the people of Ukraine are unimaginable, and we know the need for humanitarian support will exist in the long term. With this in mind, we would encourage those who feel they can to continue donating and help the people of Ukraine in their darkest hour.”
DEC Chief Executive Saleh Saeed said: “We are extremely grateful to everyone in Northern Ireland and right across the UK who has donated to the DEC Appeal. We also thank the UK Government who have matched pound for pound the first £25 million donated by the public.
“Giving through the DEC is the most effective way to get the right assistance to the right people. While wanting to collect clothes and other items for people in need is laudable, the things people give today may not be what people need tomorrow and aid workers say they can’t use much of what is arriving. Donating through the DEC is the most helpful way people can assist.
“While we have raised an astonishing amount in the initial days of the appeal, we urge people to continue donating as the need is great and the response needed is likely to run into months and years. Please help now.”