Media release

Record support as UK corporate sector stands with refugees 


UK for UNHCR receives record £18 million in corporate donations to Ukraine Emergency Appeal  


29.04.22 – UK for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency’s charity partner in the UK, has raised more than £18 million in financial and gift-in-kind donations from corporations towards UNHCR’s response in Ukraine and neighbouring countries. 

More than 5 million people have now fled Ukraine and millions more have been displaced internally. In addition to those who have had to flee, an estimated 13 million people remain stranded in areas hardest hit by the war within Ukraine and are in need of urgent support 

As the humanitarian needs continue to increase, donations from the private sector are essential in enabling UNHCR to scale up its relief efforts. 

Since UK for UNHCR’s Ukraine Emergency appeal launched, corporate donors have shown their support and solidarity in a number of ways, including direct cash donations, employee fundraising, payroll giving, product donations and customer-facing campaigns, from established and new partners. 

As refugees continue to flee across the border to Poland, Romania, Moldova, Hungary and other neighbouring countries, contributions from the private sector have already enabled UNHCR to scale up its lifesaving work in these countries and inside Ukraine.  

For example, airlifts and truck convoys swiftly delivered essential items, such as high thermal blankets and baby kits, and specialist staff are on the ground providing protection services such as psychosocial support and targeted care to the most vulnerable, including unaccompanied and separated children. UNHCR has also established an emergency cash assistance programmes in Poland, Moldova and Romania, giving enrolled refugees an emergency cash grant to help them buy essentials such as medicine, food or children’s items. 

Estelle Hollingsworth, Virgin Atlantic Foundation trustee and Chief People Officer for Virgin Atlantic said: “We stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine caught up in this senseless war. Thanks to generous donations from our people and customers to the Virgin Atlantic Foundation, we’re able to support UNHCR’s important work in the region, providing lifesaving protection to families and children forced to flee Ukraine. Our people have rallied together in their fundraising efforts, organising charity football matches, bake sales, raffles and more. We’re proud to partner with UNCHR both during this time of crisis, and also for the long-term supporting refugees beyond this emergency.” 

Alex Gerko, Founder & co-CEO, XTX Markets, said: “We are proud to partner with UNHCR. The war in Ukraine has already created 5m refugees, mainly women and children, and UNHCR is doing an incredible job in protecting them, providing immediate cash assistance and helping them to reach safety.” 

Jo Daniels, Head of Partnerships, Marks & Spencer, said: “At M&S, we are doing everything we can to support the people of Ukraine. UNHCR has been a key partner for M&S and we’re delighted that our donation of £500,000 and 12,000 units of coats and thermals will help with their humanitarian response. This is part of a wider £1.5m package of support that M&S is mobilising for the people of Ukraine. We would like to thank UNHCR for their important work at this critical time.” 

Emma Cherniavsky, Chief Executive, UK for UNHCR, said: “We are so grateful to the corporations that are supporting UNHCR’s work in Ukraine and with refugees from the country. The scale of the crisis is staggering, and support like this from the private sector means that we can act quickly to deliver life-saving aid now, and commit to staying for as long as we’re needed.”  

Generous private sector donors to UK for UNHCR include:  

Arm, Aesop Foundation, Alexander McQueen, Arnold Clark, Arup, Atom Bank, Avanti Communications, Baker McKenzie, Capital Group, CBRE,, Deloitte, DLA Piper, EDF, Experian, Facepunch Studios, FARFETCH, First Sentier Investors, Herbert Smith Freehills, Inchcape plc, Just Eat, Kellogg’s, Marks & Spencer, Macfarlanes, Micropathology Ltd, National Grid, Next, Oliver Bonas, Papa John’s, Slaughter and May, Suzuki GB PLC, Swarovski Foundation, The Restaurant Group, Unilever, Uniqlo UK, Virgin Atlantic Foundation, Virgin Red, Wise, WPP, XTX Markets. 

As well as supporting the Ukraine crisis, a number of UK for UNHCR partners are ensuring that refugees and crises currently outside the media spotlight also continue to receive support, such as the Swarovski Foundation, which has also committed to funding for ‘invisible emergencies’, and the Virgin Atlantic Foundation, which is supporting refugee children’s education in India. 

In times of crisis, UNHCR is committed to staying and delivering – the war in Ukraine is no different.  UNHCR is continuing to deliver aid whenever and wherever viable, but this would not be possible without the generous support of the private sector.   


Notes for editors: 

About UK for UNHCR 

UK for UNHCR is the UN Refugee Agency’s national charity partner for the UK, building solidarity, fostering partnerships and raising funds in the UK to help deliver global humanitarian relief for refugees through UNHCR’s work.  

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, leads international action to protect people forced to flee their homes because of conflict and persecution. It delivers life-saving assistance like shelter, food and water, helps safeguard fundamental human rights, and develops solutions that ensure people have a safe place to call home where they can build a better future. UNHCR also works to ensure that stateless people are granted a nationality. 

UK for UNHCR is a registered charity in England and Wales (registered charity number 1183415). 


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