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Friday, May 27, 2022

Ukraine fundraiser hits £85m as charities say money needed more than goods | Disasters Emergency Committee

More than £85m has been raised to provide aid in Ukraine, in an “absolutely incredible” show of support from the UK public.

But the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) has urged people to donate money rather than goods to help those affected by the conflict.

The DEC, made up of 15 leading UK charities, thanked everyone who has contributed so far and said the message from aid workers at Ukraine’s borders and inside the invaded nation is that money is needed rather than donated items.

Giving an update on the progress of its emergency appeal on Saturday, the DEC said: “We are seeing an absolutely incredible response from the public to this appeal, which has now raised over £85m. We are grateful to everyone who is giving, organising events and helping to spread the word.

“Our member charities are at the borders and inside Ukraine responding to the huge and growing humanitarian crisis. They are telling us that what they need is funding rather than donated items.”

'I can't believe this is happening': the refugees trying to escape Ukraine – video
‘I can’t believe this is happening’: the refugees trying to escape Ukraine – video

The committee said “generous donations” had been made to the appeal by the Queen, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge among others, and the latest total includes £25m from the UK government.

The chief executive of the DEC, Saleh Saeed, urged people to donate money because “trying to transport goods from here, the UK, thousands of miles to Ukraine will take a long time and may not be necessarily what people need when it arrives”.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast on Saturday morning, Saeed said: “What we would advise is the things that people collect today here in the UK are not necessarily what people need tomorrow.”

He added that he would urge people to “donate cash through a reputable charity”.

The DEC has warned that support for Ukraine is likely to be needed for “months and years” and urged people to keep donating.

The appeal has gained considerable traction and been highlighted by various celebrities, including Trigger Point actor Adrian Lester, Game Of Thrones’ Kit Harington and the former Doctor Who David Tennant.

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