9 Ways to Help Ukraine Right Now
Ukraine has been thrown into chaos as Russia continues its invasion of the country, and its citizens have borne the brunt, forced to flee or hide out in temporary shelters to avoid the attacks.
As the conflict continues, the travel industry has reacted, canceling cruises and tours that included Russia on their itineraries. But the ongoing turmoil has devastated people around the world and left them feeling desperate for help.
Several organizations have stepped up to provide on-the-ground support to the people and animals of Ukraine, both inside the country and in surrounding areas, including offering everything from basic necessities like housing and food to psychological support.
Here are a few organizations to learn more about and support to help the people of Ukraine.
Airbnb is offering free, short-term housing to up to 100,000 refugees who are fleeing Ukraine, funding the effort through the company, donations to the Airbnb.org Refugee Fund, as well as using the site's hosts. Local nonprofits are responsible for booking and coordinating stays for refugees, according to the company.
People can donate to Airbnb's refugee fund or volunteer to host someone online.
World Central Kitchen
Founded by celebrity chef José Andrés, World Central Kitchen provides meals in response to humanitarian, climate, and community crises. The organization is offering hot meals at border crossings in Poland as well as in surrounding countries where Ukrainian refugees have fled. The group is also supporting local restaurants in the Ukrainian cities of Odessa and Lviv.
The United Nations-based group provides access to basic services like water and sanitation, health care, schooling, psychosocial support, and emergency cash assistance. For the crisis in Ukraine, the group is setting up 26 Blue Dot hubs in six neighboring countries to provide assistance for fleeing families, which offer everything from psychosocial support to facilitating family tracing and reunification efforts for children who may have become separated from their families.
This Ukraine-based animal rights organization is helping rescue animals and provide support to shelters that are running out of food, money, and other resources. People can donate to help their efforts to reach shelters and the animals they support.
This human rights organization investigates potential human rights abuses and lobbies governments and companies, ensuring people follow international law. In Ukraine, the group said it has received "reports of the use of indiscriminate weapons by the Russian army."
Going forward, the group said it will monitor and investigate human rights violations as well as work to "defend individuals likely to be targeted, like human rights defenders, journalists, and LGBTI Ukrainians."
Doctors Without Borders
This organization, also known as Médecins Sans Frontières, provides medical assistance all over the world, including in conflict zones. In Ukraine, the group has distributed kits to treat the wounded in Mariupol and has provided telemedicine training for trauma care for 30 surgeons from eastern Ukraine. Additionally, the group is trying to get essential staff and supplies into Ukraine.
Doctors Without Borders is also sending teams to Poland, Moldova, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia.
Ukrainian Red Cross
The Ukrainian Red Cross has conducted widespread relief efforts, including supporting fire brigades and the State Emergency Service of Ukraine as well as providing water, food, and hygiene items as well as first aid to people in need.
Save the Children
This nonprofit focuses on helping children and their families with aid, including food, water, hygiene kits, psychosocial support, and cash assistance. The group is currently working with migrants and asylum seekers in five reception centers in Romania and is assessing the needs in Poland and Lithuania.
International Rescue Committee
This group helps people recover from disasters and rebuild their lives. The International Rescue Committee is currently on the ground in Poland and is "working to scale up the support we provide to the government and local nonprofits to address the crisis and help meet the basic needs of people fleeing the conflict."
Additionally, the group is lobbying to protect Ukrainians already in the U.S. by asking the Biden administration to provide Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Ukraine.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.