While the invasion of Ukraine continues, World Jewish Relief is providing humanitarian support across the country, as well as working with refugees in Poland, Moldova and the UK.
Having worked in Ukraine for around 30 years, and with a network of 29 local partners across the country, we are well placed to provide expert assistance in this most difficult of times.
You can find the answers to any questions you might have about the humanitarian situation in Ukraine, our developing response, or Ukrainian refugees.
What can I do to help Ukraine?
Please donate to our Ukraine Crisis Appeal today.
Whilst we appreciate offers to donate goods and services, the single best way to help people in Ukraine right now is to donate cash – it allows us to get our partners exactly what they need, as fast as possible.
If you have already donated, or don't feel that you are able to contribute, then you can still make a big impact by sharing the appeal with family and friends.
How can I help?
Can I donate goods like clothes and blankets?
We are always so grateful for offers of help in times of emergency.
However, although we hugely appreciate offers of donating items like blankets and clothing, fielding these requests can slow down our response. We do not have the resources to transport goods to Ukraine.
If you have goods to donate, please do not contact our office, as we are not able to help. Please keep an eye out for community initiatives that are accepting goods.
How can I offer to host Ukrainian refugees?
We are one of the UK governments approved providers on the Homes for Ukraine Scheme. We are focusing on carefully matching those Ukrainians who want to come here with the appropriate sponsors. Our priority is to ensure this is as successful as possible for all involved. We are aware that the situation is complex, and the sponsorship model is not ideal. We are working closely alongside local councils and other agencies to manage the process carefully and support Ukrainian arrivals to the best of our ability.
The community’s response in wanting to welcome and support Ukrainian refugees has been phenomenal. We are still looking for more hosts; we receive requests every day from Ukrainians looking for sponsors. If you would like to register to be a host, find out more about the processes World Jewish have put in place or the type of accommodation we are looking for, you can do so here.
If you have further questions about the Homes for Ukraine scheme, you can find the answers on the government website.
I will soon have a Ukrainian refugee arriving, what do I need to think about next?
This is a quick guide to services you may need in your first week in the UK. - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/welcome-a-guide-for-ukrainians-arriving-in-the-uk/week-one-guidance-for-ukrainians-arriving-in-the-uk
Our Crisis Response
What has World Jewish Relief done in Ukraine?
We are working to distribute humanitarian aid across Ukraine. In total, we are currently working across 89 towns and cities in Ukraine, through our network of local partners.
We have supplied over 3.4 tons of medication and over 75,000 food packages through our humanitarian corridor.
So far, our support has reached over 100,000 people with a particular focus on the most vulnerable groups.
How will the Ukraine Crisis Appeal funds be spent?
Our partners and clients are sheltering in basements, terrified. No one can plan ahead in a context filled with panic and so much uncertainty. We can only ensure that for now, whilst partners can still access foreign currency transfers, they have the funds available to respond to the most urgent needs as they arise.
We are prioritising food, cash, medical, material, and psychological support for the worst affected.
We have established a major supply corridor which is enabling us to ship large quantities of humanitarian aid into the east of Ukraine, to be distributed from there by partners in Lviv. This includes food packages, medical and hygiene supplies. So far, we have shipped over 350 tons of humanitarian aid into Ukraine.
We have also funded buses from Kyiv, Odesa and Zaparozhye to evacuate some of the most vulnerable members of the Jewish community.
Our partners are also reaching places that others cannot - we were some of the first to get humanitarian aid into the liberated towns of Bucha and Irpin, Borydanka and Chernihiv.
In neighbouring countries:
We are working with our local partners in Moldova and Poland as they support Ukrainian families who have fled to these countries. We are meeting the families' basic needs by providing food, water, PPE and accomodation. We are also helping our partners to scale up their abilities to work with Ukrainian refugees who are beginning to settle in neighbouring countries.
In the UK:
Whilst the vast majority of Ukrainians who have fled are displaced internally, or in neighbouring countries, we are also poised to assist any who come to the UK.
We are working on using our expertise in Ukraine and with refugees in the UK to assist with the Government's new 'Homes for Ukraine' scheme. Find out more about the scheme here.
We are also now welcoming Ukrainian refugees onto our Specialist Training and Employment Programme.
How many Jews live in Ukraine?
When the Soviet Union fell in 1989, 2 million Jews remained in Ukraine. Today, There are between 200,000 and 250,000 Jews in the country. The largest Jewish communities are in Odesa, Kyiv, Kharkiv and Dnipro.
How does World Jewish Relief work with them?
Through 29 partners, our programmes actively reach more than 13,000 of the most vulnerable Ukrainian Jewish community members each year, helping people to find sustainable employment and to live their older years in dignity, with their welfare needs met.
Since 2014 we have assisted those affected by the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, within and beyond the Jewish community, including internally displaced people who have had to uproot their lives and rebuild them elsewhere.
Do you support Ukrainians outside the Jewish community?
During the 2014 conflict we provided humanitarian relief to people worst affected by the fighting in Eastern Ukraine, irrespective of religion. We doing so again now. In addition, many of our partners that would normally operate within the Jewish community have expanded their reach, and we are making sure funds are available for them to help anyone they can, within and beyond the Jewish community.
However, we are working closely with the Government to support their Homes for Ukraine Scheme. We are also scaling up our Refugee employment programmes here in the UK in order to offer them to Ukrainians who are arriving.
Are you helping Jews leave to go to Israel?
The Israeli Government/Jewish Agency take the lead on providing routes to Israel and we and our partners cooperate closely with them and with the American Joint Distribution Committee to facilitate this. Despite the conflict, many Ukrainians and Ukrainian Jews are still reluctant to leave the country, as it has always been their home. Our priority is to do our utmost to assist those who will inevitably have to stay in Ukraine, and to support refugees in the surrounding countries where we have partners - for example Moldova and Poland, and here in the UK.