When Russia began its invasion of Ukraine in the early hours of 24 February, the reaction around the world was one of horror. Pretty quickly, people started asking a very important question: what can I do to help those affected?
One charitable institution playing a vital role here is the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC). Established in 1963, the DEC is an umbrella organisation of UK aid charities that helps coordinate and manage aid appeals in response to humanitarian crises around the world.
The DEC has raised more than £150 million as part of its Ukraine campaign – more than £1 million an hour for every hour the campaign has been active. These donations go through highly reputable charities, with established connections in Ukraine and proven track records on delivering effective relief.
Coutts’ parent company, NatWest Group, pledged to match donations by clients and staff to the DEC up to £2.5 million. And, thanks to the generosity of those who donated, that amount has already been reached – with clients and staff raising more than £6 million in total so far. Anyone who hasn’t donated yet can of course still do so.
If you want to donate to the DEC, you can visit their donations page here.
Other charities are also playing vital roles of course. The British Red Cross, UNHCR, Help Ukraine, Depaul International, International Rescue Committee, Save the Children, World Central Kitchen, Unicef, and Age International are also active on the ground, and are welcoming donations.
Coutts Institute Director Victoria Papworth said: “Of course, in times of crisis the government can act quickly, but no one can act as quickly as an individual pledging their money to a mass appeal.”
She added that it’s worth remembering that the invasion has caused a refugee crisis, so those who want to help might consider additional donations to that particular cause.
“We will be offering suggestions to clients in the coming weeks on how to support the refugee charities resettling the three million people who have fled the country, around half of which are estimated to be children,” she said.