As the humanitarian crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues to grow in urgency, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Saturday the “Stand Up for Ukraine” pledging event, taking place on Saturday, April 9, in Warsaw, Poland. The event aims to mobilize significant funding to help vulnerable civilians impacted by the conflict and to support refugees everywhere.
Ahead of the event, a global social media rally supported by Global Citizen will take place on Friday, April 8, in response to a new video from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in which he called on the international community to help people affected by the invasion.
The rally will encourage citizens to call on governments, institutions, corporations, and individuals to donate to humanitarian efforts for Ukraine and refugees from conflicts worldwide, such as Yemen, South Sudan, and Afghanistan.
Dozens of artists, entertainers, athletes, and advocates will join the rally, including 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.
Together, the Stand Up for Ukraine pledging event and rally seek to raise billions of dollars to bolster the United Nations’ flash funding appeal to assist the more than 3.7 million refugees who have fled Ukraine, the 6.5 million people displaced within the country, and other global humanitarian priorities.
“A Ukrainian child has become a refugee almost every single second since the start of the war,” von der Leyen said in a statement. “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.
“But so much is needed still — and the brave people of Ukraine deserve solidarity from citizens and governments around the globe,” she added. “Together, we can give them a safe home and bring some light in their lives at this dark hour.”
More than 12 million people are currently in need of emergency aid — food, water, shelter, health care, and more — as a result of the war. Russia’s relentless bombing campaign has killed more than 1,900 civilians and made entire cities unlivable through the destruction of apartment blocks, key infrastructure, and health care facilities.
"Today, our message to the Ukrainian people is this: We are standing with you," Trudeau said. "Whether you need food, water, shelter, or medical aid — we are rallying the world to continue to have your backs and provide critical assistance where it is needed most. When we all work together, we can achieve the best outcomes for those displaced by Putin's illegal and unjustifiable invasion of Ukraine.”
The consequences will only worsen as the conflict drags on and the Russian army seeks to overwhelm additional parts of Ukraine. In his video message, Zelenskyy further described the impact of the war.
“Millions of Ukrainians had their own home, had their own dreams, had their own quiet place, had their own world they could close from others or open it to everyone,” he said. “They had their own home until Russian missiles, bombs, shells came in. Until the invaders have come, and have destroyed and burned down absolutely everything.
“City after city, village after village, thousands of houses ruined, thousands of destroyed apartments,” he added. “Hundreds of cities and towns are annihilated, some are erased to ashes, burned down completely.”
The UN is leading efforts for a ceasefire, and Zelenskyy has been urging Russian President Vladimir Putin to negotiate an end to the conflict — but little progress has been made so far.
Zelenskyy urged people around the world to support the pledging event and social media rally.
“I ask you to support Ukraine, to support Ukrainians with the ‘Stand Up for Ukraine’ motto,” he said.
“I'm inviting everybody: musicians, actors, athletes, businessmen, politicians, everybody. Everyone who wants to join this movement and ‘Stand Up for Ukraine.’”
The surge of refugees from Ukraine adds to a larger crisis worldwide. Globally, 82.4 million people are displaced, and there’s a $10 billion gap in funding for their support.
Stand Up for Ukraine aims to mobilize funds to assist with this funding gap to ensure all refugees, everywhere, receive the aid they need.
“History has shown us that conflict and poverty are closely interconnected, resulting in the weakening of the rule of law, a collapse in economic development, and often catastrophic humanitarian situations,” said Hugh Evans, CEO of Global Citizen. “There is no doubt that the conflict in Ukraine has led to a humanitarian crisis — members of Global Citizen saw this ourselves at the Ukrainian-Polish border.
“More than 3 million refugees have fled their homes, with millions more likely on their way,” he said. “Global Citizen has a history of responding rapidly to humanitarian crises, and this is no different. We’re calling for an immediate end to this crisis, and the provision of immediate financing to support refugee relief efforts not just in Ukraine but around the world.”
For more information about the Stand Up for Ukraine pledging event and social media rally, you can visit ForUkraine.com.
Editor's note: This story was updated on April 5 to include newly announced artists and organizations supporting Stand Up for Ukraine.