Ukraine: Red Cross Committed to Addressing Challenges as Conflict Continues (2023)

Six months of conflict in Ukraine has left behind insurmountable suffering and destruction. Millions of people, many of whom are women, children, older people and those with disabilities, have fled, leaving everything behind. These families are in limbo as they try to figure out their next move — starting over in a new place or returning to uncertainty or possibly danger. During this time, Red Cross teams have been there to answer the call — providing essential humanitarian aid to those who need it most during these challenging and uncertain times.

Global Red Cross Response

Around the clock, global Red Cross teams continue providing critical service to the people of Ukraine. In the past six months, the Red Cross has ensured that:

  • 5 million people received relief assistance for basic needs
  • 718,000 people reached with health interventions
  • $64.8 million in multipurpose cash assistance has been distributed to more than 626,000 people
  • 66,500 people reached with protection, gender and inclusion activities
  • 8 million people benefiting from improved access to water
  • 367,000 people have received mental health and psychosocial support

Our collective response includes the following:

  • More than 100,000 volunteers are involved in the operation
  • 48 National Societies involved in the operation
  • 770 rapid deployments of international expertise coming to support the response

Needs Remain as Conflict Continues

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People are facing uncertainty as the conflict continues. The numbers are staggering — 6 million people are internally displaced; 10 million people have fled Ukraine; and 15 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. The residual effects of the conflict – mental health challenges, wage losses, family separation – impact both those who have fled and those who remain.

Although there has been unimaginable suffering, we have also witnessed the true power of humanity at a time when people need it most. Across Ukraine and surrounding countries where people have fled, the global Red Cross network has been working around the clock to address the needs of those impacted. With the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and 47 National Societies rallying to support the Ukraine humanitarian crisis, it has truly been a global response. Red Cross teams have provided essential humanitarian aid, healthcare, cash and voucher assistance, water and sanitation services and even assisted with voluntary evacuations.

Looking Forward and Addressing Future Challenges

Red Cross teams have helped millions of people who need it most in Ukraine, the seven bordering countries — Poland, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Moldova, Belarus, and Russia — and 17 other countries across Europe and beyond. In the first few urgent months since the escalation, the Red Cross has focused on providing rapid relief supplies including food, clothing, and hygiene supplies; cash and voucher assistance; health and care, including mental health and psychosocial support; first aid; child-friendly spaces and protection services. As the conflict continues, Red Cross teams are now scaling up with the growing humanitarian needs with cash and voucher assistance — giving people the power and dignity to cover what they need it most.

In Ukraine, health systems are buckling under the pressure and people require long term mental health support. Critical medical supplies are becoming increasingly scarce. Limited health-care capacity coupled with a lack of safe drinking water in some areas is increasing the risk of outbreaks. In neighboring countries, health systems are also struggling with the increased demand. IFRC is providing critical health, including clinics at the border, mobile health teams in Ukraine and first aid posts across several countries. It is essential that those impacted also receive early and consistent mental health support.

Going forward, Red Cross teams are working to ensure that they respond to the needs of displaced people and host communities. The influx of people can put an additional strain on housing, health care, jobs and schools, which has the potential to lead to tension in host communities. Programs that promote social inclusion — including language courses and job training — can help people feel more settled in their new communities and enable them to contribute to their local economies. Additionally, providing cash assistance and supplies to host families can also help alleviate some of the additional strain placed on them.

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As the seasons change, Red Cross teams are preparing for the cold winter months ahead to ensure those impacted are safe and warm. With colder temperatures on the way, many of the humanitarian needs will become more pronounced. People will need warm shelter, clothing, fuel and insulation and support for additional heating costs. Red Cross teams are already planning alongside local partners and authorities to ensure we are ready to support those impacted through the winter months.

As the conflict continues, more people may be forced to flee, while others may struggle to meet even their most basic needs. And even if the conflict were to end tomorrow, it will take years to repair the damage to cities, homes, families and people. The Red Cross stands ready to answer the call and help the most vulnerable impacted by this crisis.

Role of the American Red Cross
Since the conflict escalated in February, the American Red Cross has contributed over $53 million to Ukraine crisis relief efforts. This includes over $40 million to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to support the most vital humanitarian needs of those affected, including food, shelter, critical care items and first aid.

The American Red Cross has also contributed $2 million to the ICRC to support their life-saving efforts within Ukraine. Additional contributions include $8.8 million to the Danish Red Cross and $1.9 million to the Romanian Red Cross for relief efforts within Ukraine to provide food and non-perishable food items, first aid kits, blankets and hygiene kits to people displaced within Ukraine.

The American Red Cross has committed an additional $12.5 million to partners on the ground — including World Central Kitchen, CORE and International Medical Corps — to provide food, shelter, aid and medical supplies within Ukraine and other impacted countries.

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The American Red Cross has deployed 26 international crisis responders to Poland, Moldova, Hungary and Romania to provide humanitarian relief in support of the international Red Cross operation helping families who fled their homes. These highly trained crisis responders—who are lending skills such as information management, cash assistance programming, GIS systems, communications and crisis leadership — are supporting on-the-ground relief efforts alongside local teams, including the Polish Red Cross, Moldovan Red Cross and Romanian Red Cross.

Additionally, in line with its work supporting military families, the American Red Cross has sent 50 trained staff to Europe to support emergency communication needs of U.S. military members so they can stay in touch with family members back home. The Red Cross Hero Care Network is a Congressionally-chartered program that connects service members and their families in times of need. Red Crossers are also distributing comfort kits containing hygiene items and other necessities to service members and U.S. State Department staff.

Can I Volunteer or Donate Goods?

In countries around the world, Red Cross and Red Crescent organizations have their own staff and volunteers who are trained to respond to large-scale disaster operations. The American Red Cross sends highly specialized and experienced professionals with technical skills and expertise abroad only after the Red Cross or Red Crescent team requests assistance. Those not already on the Red Cross’s international disaster roster will not have the opportunity to deploy at this time. We encourage you to connect with your local Red Cross chapter for future opportunities or to visit redcross.org/volunteer for more information.

While we are grateful for the outpouring of support, it’s important to know that neither the American Red Cross, nor our global Red Cross partners, are accepting the donation of in-kind goods such as food, clothing, blankets or toys at this time. These items can be difficult to manage on the ground and divert resources from our mission. Other charitable organizations are better suited to manage such donations.

International Humanitarian Law

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ICRC called on authorities to adhere to international humanitarian law and to protect civilians and infrastructure delivering essential services, including power and water facilities, schools and hospitals. In Ukraine, over 200 health facilities and 1,635 educational facilities have been damaged or destroyed. Peter Maurer, president of the ICRC, requested protection for humanitarian action so that aid agencies can maintain access to civilians. ICRC has also called for parties to agree to terms so safe passage of civilians is possible.

Protecting Red Cross Workers

The Red Cross emblem is strictly regulated under humanitarian law. In armed conflict, it may be used by medical staff and facilities, including army medics and vehicles. It may also be used by Red Cross and Red Crescent workers, vehicles, facilities and the humanitarian relief they bring.
Resources for People Affected by the Conflict

  • The ICRC has published a list of resources for people needing urgent help in Ukraine, including medical care, evacuation support, mental health support, shelter and safety tips.
  • The IFRC Psychosocial Center also has resources for talking to children about war.
  • For people fleeing the war in Ukraine, the European Union (EU) lists a comprehensive guide including rights when crossing the border into an EU country, eligibility for temporary protection and applying for international protection, as well as the rights of travel inside the European Union.


How to Find a Missing Loved One

If you are trying to locate or get in touch with a U.S. citizen, please contact the U.S. Department of State Overseas Citizens Services Office online or call 1-888-407-4747. However, if you are looking for a family member who is not a U.S. citizen but is located in either Ukraine or Russia, the Red Cross may be able to reconnect you through our Restoring Family Links program.

In neighboring countries where Ukrainians have fled, the Red Cross is distributing SIM cards for cell phones, so people can get in touch with their loved ones. Some family members have maintained contact with each other, but the situation is rapidly changing. As of now, most have maintained their own family connections via cell phones, but it is important to note that the telecommunication systems in the region have been affected. The ICRC and Ukraine Red Cross will continue to work together to help reconnect families, despite considerable challenges on the ground.

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How can I learn more about the Red Cross response?

ICRC and IFRC have a comprehensive list of resources, including maps, press releases, videos, photos and stories, further expanding upon Red Cross efforts in the region. For more information about the American Red Cross support, visit redcross.org/Ukraine.

FAQs

Is the Red Cross helping in the Ukraine crisis? ›

With our Red Cross and Red Crescent partners, we have led in the delivery of more than $900 million of cash assistance globally to people in need over the past two years. This experience continues to help people affected by the crisis in Ukraine.

What are Red Cross doing to help Ukraine? ›

Since the conflict began, Red Cross teams have been working around the clock, and your donations have provided people with essential emergency support, including food, water, medical care and shelter.

What are some challenges for the Red Cross in supplying aid to Ukrainians? ›

The key challenges in delivering humanitarian aid include logistical limitations and disrupted supply chains. Unsolicited in-kind donations for Ukraine remain a challenge for the Red Cross Societies on the ground to handle, exacerbating capacity to store, transport and distribute it.

Is there a Red Cross appeal for Ukraine? ›

The Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal

Help us provide healthcare, emotional support and essentials like food and fuel to people in Ukraine.

Is the Red Cross a good charity to donate to Ukraine? ›

Quick Facts: The Red Cross has provided on-the-ground support to more than one million people affected in Ukraine and surrounding countries. The Red Cross has distributed 1,000 tons of aid such as food, bedding, blankets, tents, and hygiene items to people in Ukraine.

What is the best way to support Ukraine? ›

Other ways to help:
  1. ⛑️ Send Humanitarian Supplies.
  2. ✊ Join a protest in your city.
  3. 🏠 Host Ukrainians.
  4. 💼 Hire Ukrainians.
  5. 🤝 Volunteer or help professionally.
  6. 💵 Donate.

Who is helping Ukraine the most? ›

The United States has provided the most military assistance to Ukraine, having provided $16.8B since February 2022. Many NATO allies, such as Germany and Sweden, have reversed past policies against providing offensive military aid in order to support Ukraine.

How much has been donated to Ukraine through Red Cross? ›

To date, the Canadian Red Cross Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal has raised $191 million which includes the matching contribution from the Government of Canada. Here in Canada and overseas, the Red Cross stands ready to help people before, during and after a disaster.

What are the two challenges that Red Cross has experienced? ›

The American Red Cross faces many ethical risks and challenges. Some are common challenges for any organization of its size, such as executive compensation, preventing and handling employee misconduct, and considering all stakeholders in its operating model.

What effects has the Red Cross had on the world? ›

The American Red Cross teamed up with organizations to deliver food, water, medical care, polio & measles vaccinations, and helped countries to rebuild safer, healthier, and more resilient.

Which is the best charity to donate to for Ukraine? ›

The best charities for supporting Ukraine are United24, Razom for Ukraine, and the Prytula Foundation. These charities work on the frontlines in Ukraine, delivering life-saving services to people affected by the ongoing conflict. They also raise funds to support local Ukrainian relief programs.

What is the best way to donate to Ukraine appeal? ›

Sending money to Ukraine

You can now send money to friends and family in Ukraine without any transfer fees when sending money directly to a bank account via MoneyGram in branch. Any donations received after 31 August 2022 could go to DEC's emergency fund. Customer Service number 01204 770 822. Reg Charity No.

How much has been donated to Red Cross Ukraine appeal? ›

£389 MILLION RAISED!

Thanks to your support vital aid has reached hundreds of thousands of people.

Is the Red Cross a good charity? ›

One of the leading watchdog organizations, Charity Navigator, gives the Red Cross its highest rating — four stars — for accountability and transparency, and three out of four stars overall.

Who donated the most for Ukraine? ›

€1.216 billion for all others, not accounting for the €1 billion European Peace Facility). It is equally striking that the small country of Estonia offered more military aid to Ukraine than all of the large EU economies, according to our data,” the institute said.

Is Red Cross still matching donations to Ukraine? ›

The Government of Canada will match every donation made by individual Canadians to the Canadian Red Cross between February 24, 2022, and March 18, 2022, up to a maximum of $10 million (CAD). Donations will support those impacted by ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

How do I support someone from Ukraine? ›

You can sponsor them if they were living in Ukraine by 31 December 2021 - or they're a child born after 31 December 2021. It's worth them applying even if they weren't living in Ukraine by 31 December 2021 - the Home Office will consider their application.

How can we help Ukraine refugees? ›

Make a donation - send help now

With teams across the country, UNHCR is providing protection and humanitarian assistance, including emergency shelter, relief items such as blankets, and protection such as psychological support. Donations are urgently needed to help refugees from Ukraine and displaced people.

Why do we support Ukraine? ›

The United States reaffirms its unwavering support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, extending to its territorial waters. The U.S.-Ukraine relationship serves as a cornerstone for security, democracy, and human rights in Ukraine and the broader region.

How much has NATO Given Ukraine? ›

More US aid

"We've provided Ukraine with nearly $7 billion in security assistance since I took office.

How much aid has the United States given to Ukraine? ›

To meet Ukraine's evolving battlefield requirements, the United States will continue to work with its Allies and partners to provide Ukraine with key capabilities. In total, the United States has committed more than $18.2 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since January 2021.

What is America doing to help Ukraine? ›

The U.S. government has responded to the Russian Federation's brutal war against Ukraine by delivering $8.5 billion in direct budget support to the Government of Ukraine to help maintain critical government services, such as paying salaries of first responders, meeting pension obligations, and maintaining hospitals.

Is the Red Cross helping Ukraine refugees? ›

We have some 700 staff working in 10 locations across Ukraine to deliver relief items to the displaced, provide medicines and supplies to health care facilities, restore water supply for millions of people, and other lifesaving activities.

What is the main idea of the Red Cross? ›

The Red Cross, born of a desire to bring assistance without discrimination to the wounded on the battlefield, endeavors—in its international and national capacity—to prevent and alleviate human suffering wherever it may be found. Its purpose is to protect life and health and to ensure respect for the human being.

What is the main aim of the Red Cross? ›

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement was born of a desire to bring assistance without discrimination to the wounded on the battlefield. The Movement endeavours, in its international and national capacity, to prevent and alleviate human suffering wherever it may be found.

What are the 7 principles of Red Cross? ›

All Red Cross programs and activities are guided by the Fundamental Principles of Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality, Independence, Voluntary Service, Unity and Universality.

Is the Red Cross important today? ›

We do this every day because the Red Cross is needed - every day. Each day, thousands of people – people just like you – provide compassionate care to those in need. Our network of generous donors, volunteers and employees share a mission of preventing and relieving suffering, here at home and around the world.

What are the benefits of Red Cross? ›

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families.

How much people has the Red Cross helped? ›

We're part of a worldwide Movement

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is a global humanitarian network of 80 million people that helps those facing disaster, conflict and health and social problems.

How can I help Ukraine without money? ›

How to help the people of Ukraine right now
  1. Donate to the International Committee of the Red Cross Ukraine Emergency Fund. ...
  2. Donate to Save the Children's Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund. ...
  3. Donate to Doctors Without Borders. ...
  4. Donate to British-Ukrainian Aid. ...
  5. Support vetted local charities. ...
  6. Help refugees via the UN.
24 Aug 2022

Does Salvation Army Donate to Ukraine? ›

The Salvation Army is providing food parcels, hygiene supplies, clothes, blankets and other assistance in Batumi and Tbilisi.

What happens when you donate to Ukraine? ›

Your donation goes where it is needed most.

Money raised will enable the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement to respond to humanitarian needs generated by almost eight years of conflict, as well as preparedness and response efforts due to heightened tensions in Ukraine.

How much does the Red Cross CEO get paid? ›

For the past 11 years, Gail McGovern has served as president and CEO of the American Red Cross, and in 2018, she was paid $694,000, which reflects her leadership of the country's largest humanitarian organization.

How much money donated to the Red Cross actually goes to charity? ›

Program Percentage: 91% The percentage of American Red Cross's cash budget it spends on programs relative to overhead (fundraising, management, and general expenses).

How does Red Cross help the poor? ›

We have youth support services in Queensland, New South Wales, Tasmania, Adelaide and Perth, which help young people with work, education and life matters. We have community hubs in several locations, where people can get a meal or a shower, access services or find out what's available to help them.

What is the best charity to donate to for Ukraine? ›

The best charities for supporting Ukraine are United24, Razom for Ukraine, and the Prytula Foundation. These charities work on the frontlines in Ukraine, delivering life-saving services to people affected by the ongoing conflict. They also raise funds to support local Ukrainian relief programs.

What organizations are helping Ukraine right now? ›

Donate to the Red Cross
  • UNICEF.
  • United Way's United for Ukraine Fund.
  • International Rescue Committee.
  • Save the Children.
  • World Central Kitchen.
  • Nova Ukraine.
  • CARE.
  • Center for Disaster Philanthropy.
1 Apr 2022

What is the best way to donate to Ukraine crisis? ›

The Polish Red Cross has provided humanitarian aid to over 800,000 refugees since the start of the war, including sending essential supplies such as equipment for hospitals, food, blankets and clothes across the border into Ukraine. Donate to the Polish Red Cross here.

Who donates the most to Ukraine? ›

The United States has provided the most military assistance to Ukraine, having provided $16.8B since February 2022. Many NATO allies, such as Germany and Sweden, have reversed past policies against providing offensive military aid in order to support Ukraine.

Who is donating the most to Ukraine? ›

At $22 million, the IKEA Foundation provided the largest contribution to a $200 million funding announcement for the UN Refugee Agency. Other donors to this commitment include private companies ranging from Adidas to Cisco, as well as the actors Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively.

Is Red Cross Helping Ukraine refugees? ›

The Global Response

Helping refugees connect with missing loved ones. As fighting in Ukraine continues, the American Red Cross has contributed $10 million dollars to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to help alleviate the suffering caused by this devastating crisis.

Who is helping the most in Ukraine? ›

In absolute terms, the largest supporter as of October 3 - by a very large margin - was the United States, with a total of €52.3 billion made up of €27.6 billion in military aid, €9.5 billion humanitarian aid and €15.2 billion in financial aid.

What is the main charity helping Ukraine? ›

Hundreds of thousands of people lack food, water, heat, electricity, and medical care. Civilians in Ukraine urgently need respite from violence and humanitarian aid. The Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal has reached more than 5 million people with life-saving aid, within Ukraine and neighbouring countries.

What percentage of Red Cross donations go to Ukraine? ›

As of June 3rd 2022, Ukrainian Red Cross had received C$26.1m from Red Cross4, only 2.1% of donations.

How are donations helping Ukraine? ›

With funds raised through the appeal they are supplying essential items like food, water and shelter for displaced families and medical support to health facilities including incubators for babies in Ukrainian hospitals.

Videos

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5. The war in Ukraine: Meet the people resisting the Russian invasion | Four Corners documentary | ABC
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6. Feb. 2022 Issue of the International Review of the Red Cross: “Counterterrorism, Sanctions and War”
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