Media release

UK for UNHCR launches urgent Ukraine Emergency appeal

Yuliya was a school teacher before the war, living in the Chernihiv region. After the invasion began, her family home was in an occupied zone and was destroyed by shelling. She and her son spent three months trying to survive without regular access to power or running water, before finally escaping to Kyiv. It took almost ten hours – before the war it would have taken around 45 minutes. Eventually they fled to Romania where Yuliya had friends. Photo: UK for UNHCR / Ioana Epure

24.02.22 – For immediate release 

As the situation for civilians in Ukraine deteriorates rapidly, UK for UNHCR has launched an urgent appeal for funds so that UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, can continue delivering essential support for displaced people across the country and the region. 

Immediate needs include shelter and relief items for those fleeing their homes, as well as specialist protection, such as psychological support. 

There are reports that ongoing military action has caused casualties and forced more civilians to flee their homes to seek safety. At the end of 2021 there were already almost three million people in Ukraine in need of humanitarian support, including more than 850,000 people displaced by conflict, 5,000 refugees from other countries and 35,000 stateless people.  

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, stated: “We have already seen reports of casualties and people starting to flee their homes to seek safety… The humanitarian consequences on civilian populations will be devastating. There are no winners in war but countless lives will be torn apart.” 

UNHCR teams and partners in Ukraine have been providing critical relief items and shelter to people forced to flee. They are now working with the authorities in Ukraine and in neighbouring countries to scale up assistance as needed. 

However, as more people require immediate relief, UNHCR teams need support urgently.  

Emma Cherniavsky, Chief Executive of UK for UNHCR, said: “This is a dark day for Ukraine but UNHCR teams continue to work around the clock to support displaced civilians. The most critical needs right now include shelter and basic relief items for people fleeing their homes – we urgently appeal to the British public to support these humanitarian efforts.”  

The UN Refugee Agency has been working in Ukraine since 1994 and will continue to help those displaced by conflict wherever necessary and possible.  

People can donate and find out more at   

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

Notes to Editor 

Read the latest statement from UNHCR here: About UK for UNHCR 

UK for UNHCR is the UN Refugee Agency’s national 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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