After weeks of mounting tensions, Russia launched a wide-ranging attack on Ukraine Thursday as civilians tried to flee.
Many world leaders are warning the invasion could lead to the biggest conflict in Europe since World War II. Ukraine officials said Thursday that dozens of people have been killed, and hundreds injured, in the “full-scale war,” as Ukrainian forces are battling Russian forces on multiple fronts.
Ukraine has appealed to global leaders for defense assistance and help protecting its airspace. Private citizens and journalists are posting on social media to get the word out on how people can help the Ukrainian army and its citizens, along with the independent Ukrainian English-language news outlet The Kyiv Independent, which has put together some resources for readers to learn more about the crisis as well as verified charities seeking support.
Even before this crisis, according to the U.N. refugee agency USA for UNHCR, conflict in the country has left more than 2 million residents displaced and struggling to survive. The agency predicts nearly 3 million people in the country will require humanitarian assistance this year.
Those fleeing for their lives, the agency said, will need immediate shelter and protection.
Here are a few ways to help:
USA for UNHCR
What they do: The agency is on the ground providing long-term and rapid crisis response, by giving supplies such as blankets, sleeping mats, clothing and more, as well as shelter. They also provide cash assistance to individuals and families.
What you can do: UNHCR manages multiple emergencies at the same time around the world. They have set up a restricted donation fund to help Ukraine: Monetary donations can be made by visiting: give.unrefugees.org/220224ukr_emer_d_4983
Ukrainian Association of Washington
What they do: UAWS leads cultural and education initiatives to promote Ukraine in Washington state. Currently, the group is organizing rallies and events to bring attention to the Ukraine crisis.
What you can do: The group is collecting monetary donations to provide humanitarian aid to Ukraine. For more information, visit: uaws.org.
International Committee of the Red Cross
What they do: ICRC and the Ukrainian Red Cross Society provide mental health and educational services, food initiatives and infrastructure repair.
What you can do: Monetary donations help hospitals, schools and community centers, and engineers and doctors as they help people access clean water and repair homes damaged by war. Donate through PayPal or with a credit card on the ICRC website: icrc.org/en/donate.
What they do: UNICEF is working across eastern Ukraine to scale up programs aimed to assist children, including trucking in safe water to conflict-affected areas, and hygiene and emergency education supplies. The organization’s mobile teams also provide psychosocial services to children traumatized by chronic insecurity.
What you can do: UNICEF is currently seeking $66.4 million to provide these services, including emergency cash assistance, for up to 7.5 million children. Donations can be made through PayPal, credit card, a Google Pay account or with a bank transfer on the site: unicefusa.org/HelpUkraine.
United Help Ukraine
What they do: UHU is a nonprofit that distributes donations, food and medical supplies to displaced people in Ukraine, those affected by Russia’s invasion and to families of soldiers who were wounded or killed.
What you can do: Monetary donations can be made through PayPal or with a credit card on their website: unitedhelpukraine.org.
This post will be updated.
Material from The Associated Press is included in this report.