One year has passed since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, resulting in devastating consequences for the civilian population and an escalating humanitarian crisis. This conflict has triggered the largest and swiftest displacement crisis in Europe since World War II.
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has reported over 8 million recorded refugees from Ukraine scattered across Europe, with the majority seeking refuge in neighboring countries. However, a significant number of individuals remain trapped and displaced within Ukraine due to escalating violence, infrastructure destruction, and limited resources. The UNHCR estimates that 17.6 million people urgently require humanitarian assistance within Ukraine, while more than 5 million individuals are internally displaced.
To aid those in need, numerous international and local charitable organizations are tirelessly working to provide humanitarian aid, protection, and essential resources to all those affected by the conflict. Their aim is to ensure access to shelter, clean water, food, medical care, education, as well as psychological support, enabling affected individuals to rebuild their lives. Below is a list of ten reputable charities actively operating on the ground, delivering much-needed humanitarian assistance to the people of Ukraine.
#1 International Medical Corps: First There, No Matter Where
Who they are: As a global humanitarian charity, the International Medical Corps is dedicated to reliving suffering and saving lives of those who are the most in need. They were established in 1984 by a group of volunteer nurses and doctors.
The International Medical Corps’ mission is ‘’to improve the quality of life through health interventions and related activities that build local capacity in underserved communities worldwide’. They rehabilitate devastated health care systems by providing medical assistance to people facing high risks and by rapidly responding to emergency situations.
What they do: The International Medical Corps works actively in Ukraine and the neighboring countries to provide medical, mental health and protection services to thousands of people affected by the conflict.
They have eight operational centers in Ukraine and programs in Romania, Moldova, and Poland, where they provide primary and emergency medical services, mental and psychosocial support, protection of vulnerable groups such as women and children, cash and WASH services, and medicines to prevent infectious diseases.
Their impact: Since the start of the conflict in Ukraine, the International Medical Corps has provided 5.8 million people in Ukraine, Poland, and Moldova with essential supplies and health services. They delivered more than 490 tons of medical supplies, distributed more than 30 thousand hygiene packages, conducted around 4 thousand mental health consultations, delivered around 300 thousand meals, and much more.
Ways to get involved: You can support and help Ukrainian refugees and internally displaced people by donating directly through the charity’s website.
#2 International Rescue Committee
Who they are: Founded at the call of Albert Einstein in 1933, the IRC is an international humanitarian charity working in over 40 countries and communities across Europe and Americas to help people affected by humanitarian crises to recover and rebuild their lives.
The IRC impacts hundreds of thousands of people by delivering health care, educating children, and empowering individuals and communities to become self-reliant. The charity always put a special focus to address the inequalities faced by girls and women.
What they do: The IRC works in Ukraine in the areas that are most heavily affected by the conflict. They partner up with other organizations to deliver cash support to families, and distribute essential items such as sleeping bags, heaters, and blankets.
They have set up Safe Healing and Learning Spaces for children and provide legal assistance for people who lost their homes due to air strikes. They also support women and fight against gender-based violence. Last, but certainly not the least, they support health facilities with medical supplies.
Their impact: To scale up their impact, the IRC partners up with local organizations on the ground. Thanks to this, they have reached 2.7 million people in need for in-person support and online information services in Ukraine during 2022.
Until today, the IRC impacted the lives of 150 thousand people in both Ukraine and Poland with cash assistance. They also provided trainings and support to Ukrainian refugee women and their families: Tetyana, her husband and her 3-year-old daughter Zlata left their home in Severodonetsk in Ukraine, escaping heavy bombing in the early days of conflict. They fled to Dnipro, where now, with IRC’s support, Tetyana takes English classes twice a week at the IRC women center…
Ways to get involved: You can support the IRC’s work in Ukraine by making a direct donation through their website.
#3 Heart to Heart International
Who they are: HHI has been improving access to health by vulnerable populations since 1992, when they delivered 75 tons of medical supplies and equipment from America to Russia.
Since then, they have been working every day to make sure that people in need, in both the US and worldwide, receive needed medicine and direct medical care, hygiene and medical supplies. HHI’s vision is ‘’a world in which every person has access to a healthy life and every community has the capacity to make that access a reality’’.
What they do: HHI’s work entails response to disasters, distribution of medical aid and supplies to people in need, improvement of capacities of medical institutions, and support to global health initiatives through partnering up with local community-based organizations.
In Ukraine, HHI has been working since the start of the conflict delivering medicines, medical supplies and humanitarian aid. They have also installed three portable clinics, with 12 additional clinics being built.
Their impact: Since 1992, HIH has delivered humanitarian assistance in more than 130 countries worth 2.4 billion dollars and logged in more than 1 million volunteer hours.
In Ukraine, they have delivered 35 million of dollars’ worth in medicines, medical supplies and humanitarian aid.
Ways to get involved: You can support HIH in delivering life-saving medicine, portable medical clinics, medical supplies, and humanitarian aid to support people affected by the conflict in Ukraine by donating directly through their website.
#4 Action Against Hunger UK: Until the World is Free From Hunger
Who they are: Action Against Hunger UK is an international humanitarian charity fighting hunger globally-in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. They work alongside other six members in France, Germany, USA, Canada, and India. They also have an office in Italy.
The charity uses science, innovation, and practical knowledge to respond to global hunger. As a humanitarian charity, Action Against Hunger always responds to disasters, conflicts, and emergencies.
What they do: Action Against Hunger works in western Ukraine by supporting mobile health clinics, establishing mental health support services, and providing families with cash assistance to buy food and household items. In Donbas and other parts of eastern Ukraine, the charity is providing food, hygiene kits, medicines and mental health support together with partner organizations.
The charity also supports Ukrainian refugees in Romania, Poland and Moldova, where they provide them with hot meals daily, food parcels and hygiene kits. In Poland, the Action Against hunger works to ensure that the needs of people crossing the border are met at the reception centers.
Their impact: In 2022, Action Against Hunger responded to 55 emergencies in 51 countries, including Ukraine. Their life-saving programs reached nearly 25 million people worldwide!
Ways to get involved: If you want to support the Action Against Hunger in their activities in Ukraine, you can contribute by donating directly through their website.
#5 Concern Worldwide
Who they are: Concern Worldwide is an international charity that strives to achieve a world free from poverty, oppression and fear. Over the last 50 years, they have been working to deliver aid to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people.
Currently, the Concern Worldwide operates across 25 countries worldwide, undertaking different activities-from rapid emergency response to innovative development programs. Their mission, vision and all of their work are defined by one goal- ending extreme poverty, whatever it takes.
What they do: In partnership with German NGO Welthungerhilfe and Italian humanitarian organization Cesvi, the Concern Worldwide operates the Joint Emergency Response in Ukraine (JERU).
Through JERU, the charities provide food, hygiene kits and equipment for accommodation services. They also deliver cash through the still operating banking systems. The central parts of the program are psycho-social support and protection activities. In 2023, the primary goal of JERU will be to support people settled in temporary accommodation and to provide them with essentials.
Their impact: Concern Worldwide reached nearly 50 thousand people in Ukraine through JERU program, providing them with the basic needs such as food, shelter, and hygiene. They also reached nearly 15 thousand people with cash assistance.
Around 2 thousand people were provided with psycho-social support, with 17 psychologists and social workers who received training on the conflict-related trauma. They also distributed 3 thousand hygiene kits, 1.510 baby kits and 484 adults’ special needs hygiene kits.
Ways to get involved: You can join the Concern Worldwide’s mission in ending poverty globally and in Ukraine by donating directly through their website.
Who they are: With 75 years of experience, CARE International is a global confederation fighting poverty and social injustice. They have been working to provide long lasting solutions to poverty and responding to emergencies and disasters. They focus on empowering women and girls.
To achieve their goals, Care International partners up and works side by side with communities to find the root causes of poverty and come up with innovative solutions to eradicate them.
What they do: CARE International has been working in Ukraine since the start of the conflict, as well as in Poland, Romania, and Moldova to support and host refugees. They provide immediate aid and relief through shelter, food, essential items, water, cash, and psychosocial support.
They also support partner charities, such as Charity Foundation Stabilization Support Services and the International Renaissance Foundation, as well as 4 Ukrainian women’s rights organizations that support women and other groups at risk in the conflict areas in Ukraine.
Their impact: In 2022, CARE International distributed food to 605 thousand people in Ukraine, provided 214 thousand people with basic hygiene kits and water, and gave shelter to 43 thousand people.
Ways to get involved: You can support CARE International’s work in Ukraine by donating directly through their website.
#7 ActionAid International
Who they are: ActionAid International is a global federation of ActionAid charities working around the world to end poverty and injustice. Their work falls into four broad areas-women, politics and economics, land and climate, and emergencies. However, there is one thread that runs through all that work-women’s rights-on which the charity always puts a special focus.
ActionAid’s vision is ‘’a just, fair, and sustainable world, in which everybody enjoys the right to a life of dignity, and freedom from poverty and oppression’’. Their goal, therefore, is to achieve eradicate poverty, and to achieve social justice and gender equality.
What they do: ActionAid works to provide protection and emergency support for Ukrainian refugees in Poland, Moldova, and Romania.
They partner up with local organization to help girls and women, as well as young people, to restore both physical and mental well-being through psycho-social programs. Also, together with their partners, ActionAid provides legal counseling and safe housing, education, and training so that refugees could lead dignified lives and reduce the effects of the conflict.
Their impact: ActionAid, through their local partners, gives Ukrainian refugees to an opportunity to acquire new skills and rebuild their lives. When she realized she needed to leave her home in Ukraine and evacuate her children to the safety, Olha knew it was not possible because she did not know how to drive. However, now that she is in the safe place with her family, Olha is learning how to drive with the support of ActionAid and one of the local charities…
Ways to get involved: If you want to support the causes ActionAid is working for in Ukraine, you can donate directly through their website.
#8 Save the Children
Who they are: Save the Children is a global children’s humanitarian charity working across 118 countries to support children and their families in the time of emergency, deliver innovative development programs, and to ensure that children are given a chance to build a bright future.
Since their founding over 100 years ago, the charity impacted the lives of over 1 billion children. They work every day to give children a healthy start in life, as well as an opportunity to learn while protecting them from the harm.
What they do: Save the Children has been actively delivering humanitarian assistance to children in Ukraine since 2014, supporting their access to education, providing cash grants and psychosocial help to families, and distributing hygiene and winter kits.
Now, the charity is also supporting refugee families across Europe, assisting them to access services they need. To help the families fleeing Ukraine, Save the Children set up Child Friendly Spaces in train stations, border crossings and refugee centers across Europe. Their teams are present right on the ground, at the border points with Ukraine, to immediately respond to the needs of children and their families crossing the borders.
Their impact: Through their activities, Save the Children provided over 27 million dollars of cash assistance to refugee families from Ukraine. In one year, over 100 thousand people received this form of help. They also have supported 50 schools and 83 Digital Learning Centers across Ukraine and Europe, so that children could keep up with their education.
Ways to get involved: You can donate to save the lives of children in countries around the world and in Ukraine.
#9 Catholic Relief Services
Who they are: Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is a faith-based international humanitarian charity that ‘’carries out the commitment of the Bishops of the US to assist the poor and vulnerable overseas’’. Their aim is to uphold the dignity of human life, and to foster charity and justice while embodying Catholic moral and social teachings.
CRS responds to emergencies and cooperates with local, national, and international Catholic institutions and other charities to assist all people in need, regardless of their faith, race, or nationality.
What they do: By supporting Caritas in Ukraine, CRS provides displaced people with food, shelter, hygiene items, cash, safe transportation, evacuation to safe zones, and psychosocial support. CRS is also helping Caritas in Moldova and Romania to prepare for the new waves of displaced people by conducting assessments and planning sessions near the border with Ukraine.
Their impact: Since the start of the conflict in Ukraine, CRS’s humanitarian assistance reached more than 1.4 million people with food, shelter, and mental health support. To respond to the needs of people fleeing the conflict, CRS has mobilized over 160 centers with thousands of employees and volunteers who provide customized care to families.
Ways to get involved: With your donation to CRS, families in Ukraine and the neighboring countries receive essential items for their livelihoods.
#10 World Central Kitchen: Food is a Universal Human Right
Who they are: WCK was founded in 2010 by chef Jose Andres, after a big earthquake devastated Haiti. After working alongside communities to meet their needs, he founded WCK to respond to emergencies and to be first on the front providing meals to people affected by humanitarian crises.
By mobilizing the Chef Relief Team when a disaster strikes and when there is an emergency, WCK is amongst the first responders to the needs of affected populations. Besides providing meals for people in need, WCK also works to advance human and environmental health, offer access to culinary trainings, create jobs, and improve food security for the people they serve.
What they do: At the start of the conflict in Ukraine, WCK was working at a 24-hour pedestrian border crossing in southern Poland serving hot meals. Very soon, they mobilized their teams of chefs in Ukraine, Hungary, Slovakia, Moldova, Romania, Spain, and Germany. Right now, they focus their efforts on providing fresh meals and food kits across Ukraine, reaching hundreds of cities including recently liberated towns, areas still under fire, and communities hosting refugees.
Their impact: Daily, WCK distributes thousands of hot nourishing meals through 9 thousand of their distribution sites across Ukraine. In one year, from February 2022 to February 2023, WCK served more 210 million meals and distributed 175 million pounds of food in meal kits.
Ways to get involved: By working on the ground with networks of local restaurants, food trucks, and emergency kitchen, WCK serves comforting meals to those in need. You can support them by donating directly through their website.