We have all been deeply troubled by the ongoing and escalating war in Ukraine. The humanitarian impact is severe, with one million people fleeing the country and in dire need of emergency aid.
The United Nations estimates that number could grow to as many as 5 million people being displaced. Innocent people have lost their lives and families are being torn apart by war and violence.
As an organisation who has peace as a cornerstone of our global mission. We stand with the people of Ukraine.
In response to the deepening humanitarian crisis, Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland are releasing the following update with information on how Rotary members can support.
The Rotary Foundation
The Rotary Foundation (TRF) has confirmed that all funds received in its Disaster Response Fund by 30 April 2022 will qualify for use in support of the Ukrainian relief efforts. This is in response to Rotary members requests around the world to contribute funds to support relief efforts.
For Rotary GB&I this means that donations can be made to the Rotary Foundation of the United Kingdom’s (RFUK) Disaster Response Fund. This allows for the addition of 25% Gift Aid on eligible donations, meaning every £1 donated becomes £1.25.
The Trustees of RFUK work directly with the Trustees of TRF ensuring that the contributions received will be added to The Rotary Foundation’s global Disaster Response Fund.
Further details on the TRF Disaster Response Fund, including details on applying for district grants and using unspent District Designated Funds (DDF) to support the relief efforts, can be found in Rotary International’s statement here.
Although the Disaster Response Fund will be the main avenue for Rotary Foundation support, Rotary and Rotaract clubs are also encouraged to create their own responses to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. Additional means of support are also listed below.
A taskforce for Rotary GB&I has been created to provide a Rotary co-ordinated approach to the current Ukraine crisis, especially to displaced people both leaving and within the Ukraine and communicate to Rotarians throughout UK and Ireland.
The taskforce’s current recommendation is for Districts to hold and distribute any funds raised, using an existing account for club’s donations including crowdfunding. The Taskforce would need to work with Districts to release funds for the work of ICC and The Fellowship of Healthcare Professionals until the funds can be transferred. The ICC has established the links with host Districts and Rotary Clubs. The strong recommendation from RI and the Task force is that funds are not transferred directly into any banks in Ukraine. Humanitarian Aid is flowing into Ukraine at present from neighbouring counties and so clearly support for them will be support for Ukraine.
National Coordinator James Onions is working with all other ICC nations with close relationships with Ukraine, and the lead in Ukraine, Tata Gick. They are supporting local services for sick and injured people, with Rotary members stationed at nation borders 24 hours a day providing essential supplies and shelter for displaced people.
Rotary Fellowship of Healthcare Professionals
Rotarian John Philip is leading work to activate the Fellowships network of volunteers to assist with medical items. The medical situation in Ukraine is dire and rapidly changing, with critical shortages.
ShelterBox, our project partner in disaster response, is in communication with Rotary members in Eastern Europe. They are also sending a team to the region to understand the type of aid and emergency shelter that is required. More information is available on their website.
Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC)
The Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC) has also established an emergency Ukraine appeal. DEC charities and their local partners are in Ukraine and in neighbouring countries providing food, water, shelter and medical assistance.
Public donations to the DEC appeal are matched 1-to-1 by the UK Government, up to the value of £20 million.
As with all crises, Rotarians and clubs’ first response is always “what can we do to help?” We know that many clubs will be out in their community over the coming days and weeks to raise money to support those in need.
We have therefore created a set of resources to assist in your efforts, which can be downloaded here.
The pack contains:
- A3 poster (this can also be stuck on A-Boards)
- A4 fundraising/collection bucket wrap
- A5 fundraising/collection tin wrap
- Landscape and square digital assets