Since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, more than 10 million people in the country have been forcibly displaced — leading to the fastest growing refugee crisis in Europe since World War II. More than 4 million refugees have fled into the surrounding region, while millions more are displaced throughout Ukraine itself.
As bombs continue to fall on cities and neighborhoods, more and more civilians are forced to flee their homes, adding to a crisis affecting an estimated 100 million forcibly displaced people worldwide. Vital humanitarian organizations are struggling to provide much-needed aid and relief due to lack of funds and support.
As part of the Stand Up for Ukraine campaign, Global Citizen and 77 organizations, businesses, and institutions published an open letter to world leaders on Friday, calling for governments, philanthropists, artists, and businesses to support humanitarian relief efforts for refugees from Ukraine and conflicts around the world.
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has reported a $10 billion funding gap of to address the global refugee crisis. Displacement caused by war, persecution, climate change, and human rights violations require immediate attention, but without the necessary funding, emergency aid organizations are unable to deliver the food, health care, and protection that is so urgently needed.
“That’s why we are calling on governments, philanthropists, artists, and businesses to join us and #StandUpForUkraine,” the letter states. “Billions of dollars must be committed in order to fund current refugee efforts in Ukraine and globally, and it is our hope that you will show your support by committing to the humanitarian agencies, organizations on the ground and to local authorities at the frontline that need it the most.”
You can read the full letter here (and pasted in full, below).
What does the open letter hope to achieve?
More than 6.5 million people are displaced within Ukraine, while more than 4 million refugees have fled across borders, according to data from the UNHCR. An estimated 12 million people are currently in need of assistance as a result of the conflict.
The open letter and Stand Up for Ukraine campaign aim to mobilize billions of dollars for refugee relief and ensure the most vulnerable — such as women, children, the elderly, and people with disabilities — are not overlooked or left behind.
The letter not only addresses Ukraine’s refugee crisis, but it also urges the international community not to shirk its responsibilities for refugees worldwide.
“We also must ensure that commitments made are new and additional to already existing spending, so as to not generate or exacerbate other crises in the process of responding to the needs of Ukraine and its neighbors,” the letter says. “We must stand together in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and for all refugees and internally displaced people across the world.”
Who has signed the letter so far?
Aable, aable Lending Services AG, Accelerate Global, LLC, Action for Sustainable Development, American Security Project, Arctic Basecamp, Association « Russie-Libertés », Athena Impact, Australians for Mental Health, Balaklava Blues, Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, Benevity, Blind Media Inc., Charlie Dent, CIVICUS, Co-founder AfterWEVote, DevryBV Sustainable Strategies, Direct Relief, Donor Tracker, Douglas Alexander, Senior Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, e^2=equitable energy, EcoVision, Elijah Interfaith Institute, European Food Banks Federation, Focus 2030, Folk Songs of Ukraine, Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia, Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Global Campaign for Education-US, Global Citizens Youth Advocate, Global Solidarity Fund, Globesight, Green Element Group, Hadley Impact Consulting, Heartland Initiative, Inc., I Support Ukraine, International Chamber of Commerce, International Medical Corps, International STEM Council, IsraAID, Jara, KD Leadership Strategies, KM Strategies Group, Kulturehaus, Let’s Help, Lot 20 Coffee, Minderoo Foundation, Namati, Natural Resources Defense Council, Nettwerk Music Group, Nigeria Civil Society Coalition on Sustainable Development, One Global Democracy, ONU FEMMES FRANCE, Oshun Partnership, Pallottine Missionary Foundation, Salvatti.pl, PhilanthropyWorks, Public Movement Faith, Hope, Love, Ramesh Ferris Global Health, Advocate & Canadian Polio Survivor, Razom for Ukraine, Refugee Talent, Rotary International, SDG Advising LLC, Shule Foundation, Inc., Social Projects Center of Future, Stand With Ukraine, The Africa 80 Foundation, The Caux Round Table for Moral Capitalism, THE GLOBAL KID: The World’s 1st VR/AR Political Comic Book, The Marigold Foundation - Malta, The National Alliance for Rare Diseases Support- Malta, The ONE Campaign, Tonya McCusker AM, Tribeca Enterprise, U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, Ukrainian Red Cross Society, Zywiec Development Foundation, and ФемРозмови.
What is Stand Up For Ukraine?
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy began the call to Stand Up For Ukraine on March 26 in a video address, which implored politicians, business leaders, actors, musicians, and more to show their support for Ukraine. In response, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in partnership with Global Citizen, announced a pledging event on Saturday, April 9, in Warsaw, Poland. The event will be an opportunity for world leaders, philanthropists, and corporations to close the funding gap and bring aid to refugees around the world.
“A Ukrainian child has become a refugee every second since the start of the war. The world must stand up for them. The European Union is catering for the needs of the millions of refugees it hosts. And we will further step up,” von der Leyen said in a statement. “But so much is needed — and the brave people of Ukraine deserve solidarity from citizens and governments around the globe. Together, we can give them a safe home and bring some light in their lives at this dark hour.”
Ahead of the pledging event, a global social media rally is taking place on Friday, April 8, amplifying the voices of advocates and further calling on world leaders to pledge financial support on Saturday. Musicians, artists, actors, and activists are taking to Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube to show their support with the hashtag #StandUpForUkraine.
Learn more about the social media rally and pledging event, and how you can get involved, by visiting ForUkraine.com.
Dear World Leaders,
We have all witnessed the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding with the war in Ukraine over the last month. The human cost has been devastating, destroying lives and leading to mass displacement. It is estimated that around 12 million people currently need assistance as a result of the war in Ukraine. More than 6.5 million have been displaced internally, and more than 4 million people have left Ukraine since the invasion started, seeking refuge in neighboring countries, in what UNHCR has called the largest refugee crisis in Europe since World War II.
Even before the Ukranian refugee crisis, humanitarian agencies and organizations were already facing great strain– globally, more than 100 million people have been forced to flee their homes and yet relief efforts remain woefully underfunded. Urgent aid for global refugee support is needed.
That’s why, we are calling on governments, philanthropists, artists, and businesses to join us and #StandUpForUkraine. Billions of dollars must be committed in order to fund current refugee efforts in Ukraine and globally, and it is our hope that you will show your support by committing to the humanitarian agencies, organizations on the ground and to local authorities at the frontline that need it the most. We also must ensure that commitments made are new and additional to already existing spending, so as to not generate or exacerbate other crises in the process of responding to the needs of Ukraine and its neighbors. We must stand together in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and for all refugees and internally displaced people across the world.
Will you #StandUpForUkraine?