Want to Support War Victims in Ukraine? Here's How You Can Help

Humanitarian organizations are working to help Ukrainians affected by the Russian intervention

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As the Russian invasion of Ukraine unfolded, international humanitarian nonprofits mobilized to help Ukrainians in a country that remains in the grip of war.

On Feb. 24, Ukrainians woke up to a full-scale assault on their homeland following airstrikes under the direction of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Russian troops have continued to capture the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital city Kyiv. The United Nations human rights office said about 2 million people have fled Ukraine, most of them women and children.

As world leaders condemned the intervention and nations squeeze Russia with crippling economic sanctions, Zelenskyy said in a tweet that “Now, more than ever, we need concrete support.”

For those wondering how you can support, here are some verified groups that accept donations for medical supplies, humanitarian aid and on-ground volunteers.

More than 1 million people have evacuated Ukraine, and some refugees have been killed by Russian military strikes that hit common evacuation routes. That has renewed calls for humanitarian corridors out of Ukrainian cities. Meanwhile Ukraine's western neighbor, Poland, is seeing huge crowds at community centers and train stations near the border. As these crowds grow bigger, officials' plans to help can only extend so far, NBC News' Jay Gray reports.

Organizations Providing Medical Supplies and Humanitarian Aid

Razom for Ukraine - Razom, which means “together” in Ukrainian, is a volunteer charity organization that was founded in 2014 to support Ukrainians after Russia annexed Crimea.

GlobalGiving Ukraine Relief Fund - GlobalGiving is using all donations to support humanitarian assistance to impacted communities in Ukraine, as well as the surrounding regions where refugees have fled. Donating to the cause will provide basic necessities such as shelter, food, clean water, including health, psychosocial support, access to education and economic assistance and more.

Americares - Americares’ emergency response teams are in Poland to distribute aid and support health services of affected families. Volunteer medical personnels are also on standby to provide surge support in neighboring countries. Donations help deliver medicine, medical supplies and cover other emergency hospital services.

International Medical Corps - The California-based nonprofit is on the ground in Ukraine providing medical care, mental health support and protection services to those impacted by the conflict. It is also expanding its relief efforts in neighboring countries to help refugees.

Project HOPE - The group is on the ground in Ukraine and in surrounding countries, actively delivering medical supplies and other urgent humanitarian assistance.

Project C.U.R.E. - The Denver-based nonprofit provides humanitarian aid including emergency relief beds and surgical supplies like gowns, gloves and drapes. It has complied a list of needed medical supplies on its website.

Heart to Heart - The organization has been on the ground in Romania fulfilling requests from eight different aid groups for medicine, medical supplies and hygiene kits. Heart to Heart has a history of helping Ukraine; in 1994 it sent $6 million worth of medicine and humanitarian aid to the country.

World Central Kitchen - Founded in 2010 by Chef José Andrés, World Central Kitchen has been on the frontline providing meals in response to humanitarian, climate and community crises while building resilient food systems with locally-led solutions. World Central Kitchen is currently working to serve thousands of fresh meals for families who have fled Ukraine, as well as those who remain in the country.

Organizations Helping Children Affected by War

UNICEF - UNICEF mainly supports children and families caught in conflict in Ukraine. The agency provides educational support, psychosocial support, emergency supplies as well as access to safe water. The organization announced it has scaled up its programs following the invasion. Catherine Russell, UNICEF executive director, said the intensifying violence in Ukraine posed immediate threats to the lives and wellbeing of the country’s 7.5 million children.

Save the Children - The London-based organization works to provide life-saving aid to children around the world, including 400,000 children “caught in the crossfire of this adult war” in Ukraine who already required assistance.

Voices of the Children - This nonprofit helps provide psychological and psychosocial support to children in Ukraine affected by the consequences of armed conflict.

World Vision - This child-focused international group is providing support for Ukrainian refugees who cross into Romania. Aid workers assess long-term needs of the displaced families, find accommodations, provide food and phone cards and help with transportation. World Vision also organizes protective and caring programs for children.

Organizations Helping Refugees

Catholic Relief Services - The Catholic agency is deploying staff and resources to support local church partners in Ukraine, Romania, Moldova and Poland. The help includes food distribution, transportation services, support for people who arrived at different transport hubs and reception centers.

International Rescue Committee - The refugee organization works to help evacuate regular families out of conflicted areas – including Ukraine. The IRC said this “full-scale war” will result in a humanitarian catastrophe, leading to deaths of innocent people, destruction of infrastructure and massive displacement.

Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society - Founded in 1881, HIAS is a global Jewish organization that was initiated to assist Jews fleeing pogroms in Russia and Eastern Europe. By the 2000s, HIAS expanded its network to assist non-Jewish refugees who were in imminent danger. According to their website, HIAS is now closely monitoring the situation in Ukraine and neighboring countries and is responding with emergency humanitarian assistance to those who are displaced.

How do you really know your donations are going to make a difference? Here are some ways to make sure your money is going toward a good cause. 

This list will develop as the Russia-Ukraine crisis continues to unfold

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