March 8, 2022
Learn more about how to support the organizations providing relief to those impacted in Ukraine
On February 24, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of Ukraine by Russian Armed Forces. Since the start of the conflict, over 1.5 million Ukrainian refugees have continued to flee to neighboring countries, while the citizens still within Ukraine remain caught in the middle of escalating Russian attacks. According to the UNHCR, the UN’s agency that oversees refugees, the world is witnessing “the fastest growing refugee crisis since World War II.” Since the start of this conflict, local, national, and international nonprofits, governments, and businesses are stepping in to offer support to Ukraine and the Ukrainian people.
Ways to Support
Below is a list of entities that are providing critical assistance and services in Poland and other European countries that are receiving and supporting refugees coming from Ukraine. To support the efforts of these entities, click on the links that will direct you to the relevant donation pages.
Note: Listed alphabetically by organization name
Airlink – Airlink is hosting a coordination call with NGOs to assess their response programs, and the airlift and logistics needs to deliver critical aid and responders into the region. As is Airlink's practice, local relief partnerships are essential for NGOs, particularly as an important part of the last mile delivery and distribution. Airlink is already assessing logistical and transportation challenges bringing help to support Ukraine from across Europe, and from US, Canada, and sources in Asia-Pacific; and working with their airline partners for ways to address them. They will fly people and supplies into adjacent areas where air space remains open.
Americares – Since 1986, Americares has been supporting the health sector in Eastern Europe delivering more than $1 billion in aid to support people affected by poverty and crisis. Since 1992, they have provided more than $120 million in aid to Ukrainians. They are working in three areas: 1) Medicine Security supporting the international sourcing and distribution of critically needed medicine and medical supplies to partners in Ukraine and countries across Eastern Europe; 2) Emergency Medical Teams by launching mobile medical teams to support the provision of primary health and mental health services; and 3) Mental Health and Psychosocial Support services that provide access to basic mental health services for individuals experiencing distress.
CARE USA – CARE’s focus is on meeting the immediate needs of those impacted and displaced by the conflict, particularly women and the elderly. They are closely monitoring the increased vulnerabilities for gender-based violence, exploitation, discrimination, and poor access to vital health services.
Catholic Relief Services (CRS) – Catholic Relief Services is preparing teams to respond to the urgent humanitarian needs across the region—including evacuation, food, and safe shelter—while taking every precaution to ensure the safety of their staff. Caritas Ukraine is in the country and is responding to needs through its 17 diocesan offices across Ukraine to meet the urgent needs of displaced families, including setting up field kitchens to provide food; reception services for displaced families in transit at Caritas offices, train stations and other locations; transportation of displaced families to friends, families and local social services; evacuation centers providing shelter, food and psychosocial support for displaced families; and evacuating vulnerable children in conflict areas to safe zones. CRS is also helping Caritas Moldova and Caritas Romania prepare for potential waves of displaced people, mapping out a likely initial response and conducting assessment and planning sessions with its network near Ukraine’s borders.
CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort) – CORE has a team in Poland to assess refugees coming across the Ukraine/Poland border, working alongside other peer organizations to help meet the needs of refugees who are fleeing into Poland since that is the easiest country to reach from Kyiv. CORE usually prioritizes cash assistance to help with resettlement costs, as well as hygiene kits and thermal blankets.
Direct Relief – Direct Relief has been in touch with the Ukrainian Ministry of Health, the Ukrainian Embassy, and in-country non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to assess needs within Ukraine. As recently as last week, Direct Relief sent a shipment of medicines and supplies into Ukraine, and they are hoping that supply chain channels will remain open for additional deliveries. Given the number of refugee camps being set up in Moldova, Poland and elsewhere, Direct Relief will be looking to support health services in the camps. Direct Relief has made available its inventory in the U.S. and in its Netherlands warehouse to be available to send as needed and in response to this crisis.
Doctors Without Borders - Doctors Without Borders is an independent and impartial organization committed to providing medical humanitarian assistance to people affected by the war no matter who they are or where they are. Doctors Without Borders has had a longstanding presence in Ukraine, including in regions of eastern Ukraine that have been affected by armed conflict since 2014. They have teams in Ukraine, Poland, Moldova, Hungary, Slovakia, Russia, and Belarus. They are in contact with Ukrainian hospitals that are receiving trauma patients wounded in the fighting, and are providing medical supplies and are sending in experienced emergency and specialist medical staff.
HIAS Inc. - Originally established in 2001 to assist Jewish migrants emigrating from Ukraine to the United States, HIAS is supporting refugees fleeing Ukraine through its partnership with UNHCR and the government of Ukraine, and Right to Protection (R2P), an independent Ukrainian NGO based in Kyiv with offices across Ukraine, (including in government-controlled areas of Donbas, East Ukraine). R2P provides legal assistance as well as monitors and advocates for improvements in the legal and regulatory framework affecting internally displaced people (IDPs); conflict-affected persons residing in or near non-government-controlled territories; refugees; asylum seekers; and stateless persons. HIAS supports R2P’s monitoring of the situation to ensure the rights and safety of the displaced, legal assistance, and advocacy for the creation of a comprehensive legal framework for them.
International Medical Corps (IMC) - IMC has been active in Ukraine since 2014, providing health services following the collapse of eastern Ukraine’s health system in the midst of that conflict. IMC and their Ukraine team have taken immediate measures to ensure the safety of staff in the country and are already preparing to deploy mobile medical teams to provide essential emergency and primary health services; mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) services, which are critical for conflict-affected communities; and COVID-19 awareness and prevention services to help keep displaced people safe from the pandemic.
International Rescue Committee (IRC) - The IRC is working to quickly mobilize resources that will provide life-saving support to civilians forced to flee their homes. Their teams are already on the ground in Poland and working with their local partners in both Poland and Ukraine, providing food, blankets, medical supplies and other emergency assistance for refugees.
Internews - Internews is responding to the invasion of Ukraine and the resulting impact on journalists, media professionals, and the media sector in the country, providing journalists and independent media outlets with the resources to ensure their safety and ability to continue working amidst the Russian invasion. Internews will prioritize ensuring partner journalists’ safety and will support relocation when necessary.
The Jewish Federations of North America – There are an estimated 200,000 Jews living in Ukraine who have been profoundly affected by the political and economic instability that have wracked the country. Thousands are trapped in conflict zones in the east, and thousands more have fled the fighting. The Jewish Federations of North America is working to provide humanitarian assistance in Ukraine to those who are unable to flee, including support for refugees with critical needs and services, as well as facilitating the safe emigration to Israel for Ukrainian Jews.
Malteser International Americas (Order of Malta Worldwide Relief) - The Order of Malta has been active in Ukraine since the 1990s. In close cooperation, Malteser Ukraine, Malteser Germany and Malteser International provide psychosocial support for displaced people, and supports refugees, as well as poor disadvantaged people, with hot meals in their soup kitchens. Aid efforts for displaced people are being supported by an aid transport of medical material and field kitchens dispatched via Malteser Germany.
Matthew 25: Ministries - Matthew 25: Ministries works with partners throughout the year to provide humanitarian aid to Ukraine and other areas within the Commonwealth of Independent States, an association of sovereign states formed following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. Matthew 25: is shipping humanitarian aid and conflict relief to Ukraine for distribution to refugees and are working with their network of partners in Ukraine to provide additional shipments including personal care supplies, first aid supplies, paper products, and clothing to assist people who have been displaced.
Mercy Corps - All over the world, Mercy Corps works alongside communities to help families affected by disasters, conflict, and climate change. Mercy Corps is on the ground in Ukraine, Romania, and Poland, providing funding to local organizations that know their community needs best and working to meet urgent humanitarian needs. Given their decades of experience responding to communities facing displacement and conflict, they expect the greatest humanitarian needs to be food, shelter and other essential items, water and sanitation services, and cash. They anticipate providing emergency cash assistance as well as supporting local organizations that know their community needs best.
Project C.U.R.E – Project C.U.R.E. is the world’s largest distributor of donated medical supplies, equipment, and services to doctors and nurses serving the sick and dying in more than 135 countries. Project C.U.R.E is coordinating with Ukrainian Aid groups, both domestic and abroad, to deliver medical equipment and supplies via surrounding countries to bring medical relief to Ukrainian hospitals, as well as support for countries receiving refugees. Continued funding is urgently needed for air freight and ocean containers of emergency disaster relief to these regions.
Project Hope – Project HOPE has been working in Ukraine since 2007 to meet the health and community needs around HIV and Tuberculosis. Project Hope is mobilizing their initial humanitarian response by sending Interagency Health Kits (IEHKs) that contain approximately 1 ton of medical supplies each that will support up to 10,000 people for three months. Their initial response is focused on providing health and humanitarian assistance to internally displaced persons within Ukraine, as well as those refugees in neighboring countries fleeing the ongoing invasion. The team is in Poland and will also have staff in Moldova and are one of five organizations identified in UNHCR’s Ukraine Regional Refugee Response Plan.
Save the Children – Save the Children estimates that 7.5 million children are at risk of severe emotional distress and displacement. They are working with local partner organizations to expand their reach and support to Ukrainian families impacted by the crisis. Save the Children is prioritizing life-saving assistance such as food, water, cash transfers and safe places for children as people flee the conflict amid freezing temperatures and brutal conditions.
UNICEF USA - UNICEF, together with partners, is at the forefront of the humanitarian response and continues to reach vulnerable children and families affected by protracted conflict with essential services. UNICEF is working in the areas of health, water and sanitation, social protection, supply and logistics, child protection, and education. In government-controlled areas, UNICEF’s work with partners is being implemented with some disruptions due to the deteriorating security situation. In non-government-controlled areas, interventions are interrupted due to frequent shelling. UNICEF has staff in Donetsk, Luhansk, Kramatorsk, Mariupol, and Kyiv.
United Sikhs – United Sikhs is a U.N. affiliated, international, non-profit humanitarian relief, education, human development and advocacy organization that aims to empower those in need, especially disadvantaged and minority communities around the world. United Sikhs’ volunteers are on the ground in Poland, collecting and providing emergency medical aid requested by the Ukrainian government, setting up heated tents for refugees and providing relief supplies and food. United Sikhs’ International Advocacy team is in touch and corresponding with multiple nations including Ukraine, Romania, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary to help support refugees fleeing the war.
USA for UNHCR The UN Refugee Agency – UNHCR is working with the authorities, UN, and other partners in Ukraine, and is ready to provide humanitarian assistance wherever necessary and possible. UNHCR is also working with governments in neighboring countries, calling on them to keep borders open to those seeking safety and protection. UNHCR is the lead agency in Poland as this is a refugee response and they are working closely with the government.
Water Mission - Water Mission is responding to the crisis in Ukraine by sending a team of four rapid responders tasked with assessing the safe water, sanitation, and hygiene needs of thousands of people fleeing to neighboring countries. Water Mission is prepared to provide emergency safe water to displaced populations as the situation in Ukraine evolves. The assessment team is actively connecting with other humanitarian organizations in the region to address the safe water needs of displaced people who are rapidly arriving in neighboring countries seeking food, water, and shelter.
World Central Kitchen – World Central Kitchen is serving thousands of fresh meals to Ukrainian families fleeing home as well as those who remain in the country. Working at a 24-hour pedestrian border crossing in southern Poland, World Central Kitchen began serving hot, nourishing meals within hours of the initial invasion and are now set up at eight border crossings across the country. Additionally, they are supporting local restaurants preparing meals in eight Ukrainian cities including in Odessa, Lviv, and Kyiv. Teams are also on the ground in Romania, Moldova, Hungary, and arriving soon to Slovakia to see how they can best support refugees in those communities.
The following are philanthropic funds that have been established to support the immediate needs of Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees, but also to help address the longer term resettlement, recovery, and rebuilding efforts.
The Center for Disaster Philanthropy - has launched a Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Response fund that will focus on addressing humanitarian needs that arise, particularly among the most vulnerable, marginalized and at-risk internally-displaced peoples (IDPs) and refugees. CDP is also in contact with, and can grant to, Ukrainian and other international organizations that are not 501(c)3 entities.
GlobalGiving Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund - GlobalGiving has been responding to disasters and supporting emergency aid and long-term relief programs since 2004, facilitating more than $100M in disaster donations. All donations to the Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund will support humanitarian assistance in impacted communities in Ukraine and surrounding regions where Ukrainian refugees have fled. GlobalGiving's local partners are bringing relief to terrified and displaced communities, and they need resources to continue their life-saving work.
Note for CFT fund holders: If you are interested in supporting these relief efforts or others from your fund, your CFT contact is available at your convenience to discuss opportunities and ways to give.
Log in to the CFT donor portal to make a grant recommendation
Our friends at the Council on Foundations have compiled additional information on funds and agencies working to support Ukraine that our philanthropic peers have identified.
Note: Communities Foundation of Texas has not independently researched these organizations. If you have a fund with CFT, your portfolio manager would be happy to request additional due diligence from our philanthropy department regarding any organizations in these lists that might be of interest to you.
View the list of resources from the Council on Foundations