In the five weeks since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began on Feb. 24, more than 4 million people have been forced to flee the country. Meanwhile, people internally displaced throughout Ukraine have been subjected to a constant state of terror due to Russian military forces targeting their homes, hospitals, and essential infrastructure, all while restricting humanitarian aid efforts.
In times of conflict and crisis, individuals and families struggle to find sources of shelter, food, health care, and other basic necessities. Refugees from Ukraine have poured into neighboring countries such as Poland, Romania, and Hungary to access the essentials, but these nations are struggling to meet the demand.
That's why the Stand Up for Ukraine campaign — which includes a global social media rally on April 8 and a pledging event on April 9 — aims to mobilize billions of dollars to address the crisis in Ukraine as well as support people who are on the move in every part of the world.
The displacement of Ukrainians has compounded the global refugee crisis, in which 82.4 million people had already been forced to leave their homes due to conflict, violence, persecution, or human rights violations. As a result, overextended and underfunded humanitarian initiatives are in dire need of support to address the needs of refugees everywhere.
Ongoing conflicts in Yemen, Syria, and the Horn of Africa have caused alarmingly high levels of poverty and hunger in addition to displacement. More than half of the population of Afghanistan depends on humanitarian assistance to survive, for example, even as nearly 2.5 million refugees have left the country.
Humanitarian organizations have long lacked the funds to properly address these crises, but the arrival of COVID-19 has worsened the problem. Many high-income nations devoting resources to address the pandemic’s effects on their populations have cut their contributions to essential aid and left humanitarian efforts strapped for support.
As Russia’s war continues to add more refugees to the global total, Global Citizens everywhere are calling for billions of dollars in aid through the Stand Up for Ukraine campaign.
Here’s what you should know about Stand Up for Ukraine.
3 Key Things to Know About Stand Up for Ukraine and the Global Refugee Crisis
More than 4 million refugees have fled Ukraine since Feb. 24, and nearly one child from Ukraine has become a refugee every minute.
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, reported a funding gap of approximately $10 billion to address the global refugee crisis across 133 countries and territories.
The Stand Up for Ukraine campaign, including a global social media rally on April 8 and a pledging event on April 9, aims to drive billions of dollars to support humanitarian efforts for Ukraine and refugees from conflicts worldwide.
What Is Stand Up for Ukraine?
In response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in his country, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on the international community in a March 26 video address to “Stand Up for Ukraine” and help those impacted by Russia’s invasion.
In response, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in partnership with Global Citizen, announced the Stand Up for Ukraine pledging event. Scheduled for April 9 in Warsaw, Poland, the event will be an opportunity for world leaders and corporations to step up humanitarian funding for vulnerable civilians impacted by the conflict and for other global humanitarian priorities. The location of Warsaw is in "recognition of Poland's essential role in supporting refugees fleeing the invasion of Ukraine," according to a statement from the European Commission.
Financial commitments made on April 9 will go toward UN groups like Education Cannot Wait, the World Health Organization, UN Women, and more, as well as to GlobalGiving’s Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund, which supports more than 30 grassroots organizations in the region.
“So much is needed still — and the brave people of Ukraine deserve solidarity from citizens and governments around the globe,” von der Leyen said. “Together, we can give them a safe home and bring some light in their lives at this dark hour.”
The summit will be the culmination of a global social media rally supported by Global Citizen taking place the day before, on April 8, in which some of the world’s most incredible musicians, athletes, activists, and more will urge governments, institutions, corporations, and individuals to help fund humanitarian efforts in Ukraine and other regions of the world.
“I'm inviting everybody: musicians, actors, athletes, businessmen, politicians, everybody,” Zelenskyy said in his video address. “Everyone who wants to join this movement and ‘Stand Up for Ukraine.'”
Who Has Joined the Campaign So Far?
As one of the world’s largest digital rallies, Stand Up for Ukraine invites participants to take to social media on April 8 and demand that no refugee is left behind, no matter their origin country.
Many advocates on the front lines of the crisis have posted videos of support with the hashtag #StandUpForUkraine, sharing their firsthand experiences and urging leaders to do more.
Dozens of artists, entertainers, athletes, and advocates will also join the rally on April 8.
REFUGEES IN UKRAINE AND AROUND THE WORLD need our help now. Join us and @GlblCtzn as we #StandUpforUkraine and stand up for those displaced globally – because everyone deserves safe and humane living conditions: https://t.co/zz07shpTrypic.twitter.com/afGms6NWSk— Angelique Kidjo (@angeliquekidjo) March 28, 2022
Those who have announced their support of Stand Up for Ukraine include: Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye, Adam Durica, Adam Lambert, Aitana, Alanis Morissette, Alejandro Sanz, Alex Len, Alexandra Stan, Angélique Kidjo, Annie Lennox, Antykila, Arlo Parks, Ashlee Simpson, Au/Ra, Axelle Red, Barenaked Ladies, Bastille, Becky Lynch, Bevy Smith, Billie Eilish, Billy Joel, Billy Porter, Bridget Moynahan, Bruce Springsteen, Carole King, Celine Dion, Chris Isaak, Chris Rock, Chris Tomlin, Christine and the Queens, Connie Britton, Dave Matthews, Daymond John, Demi Lovato, Dora Jar, Drew McIntyre, Dylan Dunlap, Ellen DeGeneres, Ellie Goulding, Elton John and David Furnish, Evan Ross, Fall Out Boy, Finn Bälor, FINNEAS, Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, Gelila Assefa Puck, Gloria Steinem, Green Day, Herbert Grönemeyer, Hozier, Hugh Jackman and Deborra-lee Furness, Igo, Isha Sesay, Jamala, Jesse McCartney, Jon Batiste, Jon Bon Jovi, Jonas Brothers, Juanes, Julian Lennon, Kacey Musgraves, Kalush, Katy Perry, Kesha, KD Lang, Lennon Stella, Leon Bridges, Lola Lennox, Little Big, Luis Fonsi, Luke Combs, Madonna, MÅNESKIN, Masha Efrosinina, Max Kilman, Metallica, Michael Blackson, Miley Cyrus, Mirai, Miyavi, Nicky Jam, Nigel Barker, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Noah Cyrus, Nuno Bettencourt, Ozzy Osbourne, Padma Lakshmi, Panic! At The Disco, Pearl Jam, Pharrell Williams, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Rachel Brosnahan, Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rita Ora, Rufus Wainwright, Ryan Tedder, Sarsa, Seth ‘Freakin’ Rollins, Shaquille O’Neal, SOFI TUKKER, Stevie Nicks, Stevie Wonder, Sviatoslav “Svi” Mykhailiuk, Tame Impala, Third Eye Blind, U2, Ukulele U, Usher, Vito Bambino, Vitaly Potapenko, Weezer, Within Temptation, Young Leosia, Zucchero, and 5 Seconds of Summer. The NBA, NBPA, NHL Alumni Association, and WWE have also announced support.
The campaign is also supported by Andrej Plenković, Prime Minister of Croatia; Mette Frederiksen, Prime Minister of Denmark; Janez Janša, Prime Minister of Slovenia; Alexander De Croo, Prime Minister of Belgium; Jonas Gahr Støre, Prime Minister of Norway; and Magdalena Andersson, Prime Minister of Sweden.
How Can Global Citizens Get Involved?
Addressing the war in Ukraine and its impact on the global refugee crisis will require the willpower of world leaders and business leaders to make impactful financial commitments, but we also need individuals to raise their voices.
Join the Social Media Rally on April 8
On April 8, take part in one of the largest digital events on social media and inspire world leaders to provide urgent refugee relief. We’ll need as many people as possible to participate in the lead-up to the pledging event so that the world’s most powerful cannot turn their backs on those in need.
Take the pledge right now to join the Stand Up for Ukraine rally, and we’ll send you updates on how you can participate.
And then on April 8, share the messages of advocates around the world on social media, and upload and post your own video message using the hashtag #StandUpForUkraine. Learn how to make your own video here.
Take Action Now for Ukraine and Refugees Everywhere
From attending a protest to learning about how Russia’s invasion is impacting world hunger, you can take action with Global Citizen to Stand Up for Ukraine in various ways.
For example, you can raise your voice about the plight of refugees around the world, call on world leaders to support Ukraine and accept refugees fleeing the country, and send an email to big medical suppliers to provide emergency equipment for mothers in Ukraine.
Donate to Organizations Supporting Ukraine
In addition to attending the social media rally and taking action online, the private sector, philanthropists, and individuals can donate to GlobalGiving’s Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund. The fund supports GlobalGiving's network of over 30 grassroots NGOs supplying food, clean water, health care, education, and other forms of assistance to impacted communities in Ukraine and surrounding regions.
We’ve also put together a running list of ways you can support Ukraine, which includes ideas on how to spread information and assist vulnerable populations.
Contributions to humanitarian efforts in Ukraine must be made in addition to existing pledges to help refugees in other parts of the world. As aid initiatives continue to face a lack of funding for their activities, the world must finally do their part to address global crises.
Now is the time for Global Citizens to band together and demand that world leaders take action. For more information about the Stand Up for Ukraine social media rally and pledging event, visit ForUkraine.com.