Media release

UK for UNHCR appeals for urgent funds for Ukraine crisis 

People fleeing Ukraine cross the border into Slovakia at the Vysné Nemecke crossing point.

02.03.22 – For immediate release 

Information correct as of 2pm 02/03/2022

With more than 874,000 people fleeing Ukraine to escape military action – a number that may rise to 4 million – and the number of people inside Ukraine needing relief and protection expected to reach 12 million, UK for UNHCR is urging people to donate to its Ukraine Emergency appeal now.  

Since the military offensive broke out in Ukraine last week, people in the UK have been showing incredible support, from offering essential basics such as food, blankets and toiletries, to donating generously and encouraging their families and friends to join them.  

With the situation set to become Europe’s largest refugee crisis this century and more civilians seeking safety in neighbouring countries such as Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Moldova, UK for UNHCR – the UN Refugee agency’s charity partner in the UK – is stressing the urgent need for donations.  

Emma Cherniavsky, Chief Executive of UK for UNHCR, said: “The speed of developments in Ukraine has been staggering. Hundreds of thousands of people have fled, seeking safety – and the numbers are increasing hour by hour.  

“Despite ongoing security challenges, relief is getting through. UNHCR has been working in Ukraine for more than 25 years, and has stocks of supplies for distribution wherever necessary and possible.  

“In neighbouring countries, essential relief items such as shelter, sleeping bags, sanitary items and baby kits, are being distributed alongside provision of emergency shelter and protection services.  

“The response and solidarity from the British public so far has been phenomenal. As more and more civilians need support, more funds are urgently needed – if you are able to, please donate at”  

Already some collection points at reception centres in Poland – where authorities register refugees and provide them with accommodation and assistance – are overflowing with donated items 

Emma Cherniavsky added: “Right now, financial support is essential as it’s helping to get supplies already in the area out to the people who need it most – and quickly. It also helps us to provide small emergency grants for the most vulnerable displaced people.” 

Since 1994, UNHCR has worked in Ukraine alongside local authorities, partners and community organisations in the area, providing assistance to the almost 3 million people who were already reliant on humanitarian assistance; including 850,000 internally displaced Ukrainians and 5,000 refugees from others countries.  

The UN estimates that 12 million people inside Ukraine will need relief and protection as the crisis intensifies, while more than four million refugees from Ukraine may need support in bordering countries in the coming months. 

Immediate needs for those fleeing their homes include shelter, sanitation, food, water, health services and access to education, as well as psychological support.  

People can donate and find out more at   

– Ends – 

For media interviews or further information please contact Sara Guy, [email protected], 0208 183 0121. 

Notes to Editor 

Latest statistics 

What UNHCR is doing 

In Ukraine:  

  • Despite the challenges of a volatile situation, security concerns, lack of safe access for humanitarian workers and movement restrictions, UNHCR continues to deliver relief when safe to do so. 
  • Teams in Ukraine are providing assistance and protection activities, such as working with internally displaced community leaders to assess humanitarian needs and identify safe sites for people who have fled their homes.  
  • UNHCR has been in Ukraine for more than 25 years and is committed to staying and delivering support, wherever it is safe to do so. 

In neighbouring countries: 

  • People are facing queues of up to 20–60 hours at some border crossings from Ukraine. 
  • UNHCR staff and partners are working with authorities to help establish reception and transit centres for new arrivals. 
  • In Moldova, UNHCR is distributing essential relief items, including sleeping bags, hygiene items and baby kits. 
  • UNHCR and its partners are offering psychological support and legal advice services in Poland and Romania.  

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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