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How to help Ukrainians affected by Russian invasion

March 3, 2022 GMT
Volunteers Slavko Oleinik, of Framingham, Mass., left, and Victor Pishuk, of Newton, Mass., right, place medical supplies in boxes for shipment to Ukraine, Wednesday, March 2, 2022, in Woburn, Mass.  Amid the conflict triggered in Ukraine by the Russian invasion, many aid organizations are raising funds to help those impacted by the conflict.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Volunteers Slavko Oleinik, of Framingham, Mass., left, and Victor Pishuk, of Newton, Mass., right, place medical supplies in boxes for shipment to Ukraine, Wednesday, March 2, 2022, in Woburn, Mass.  Amid the conflict triggered in Ukraine by the Russian invasion, many aid organizations are raising funds to help those impacted by the conflict.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Volunteers Slavko Oleinik, of Framingham, Mass., left, and Victor Pishuk, of Newton, Mass., right, place medical supplies in boxes for shipment to Ukraine, Wednesday, March 2, 2022, in Woburn, Mass.  Amid the conflict triggered in Ukraine by the Russian invasion, many aid organizations are raising funds to help those impacted by the conflict.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Volunteers Slavko Oleinik, of Framingham, Mass., left, and Victor Pishuk, of Newton, Mass., right, place medical supplies in boxes for shipment to Ukraine, Wednesday, March 2, 2022, in Woburn, Mass. Amid the conflict triggered in Ukraine by the Russian invasion, many aid organizations are raising funds to help those impacted by the conflict. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Volunteers Slavko Oleinik, of Framingham, Mass., left, and Victor Pishuk, of Newton, Mass., right, place medical supplies in boxes for shipment to Ukraine, Wednesday, March 2, 2022, in Woburn, Mass. Amid the conflict triggered in Ukraine by the Russian invasion, many aid organizations are raising funds to help those impacted by the conflict. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

More than 1 million people have fled Ukraine, and at least 160,000 have been displaced inside the country as fighting continues between Russian and Ukrainian forces in Europe’s largest ground war since World War II.

The United Nations issued an appeal this week for $1.7 billion to help with aid efforts, estimating that 12 million people in Ukraine and 4 million refugees could need relief and protection in the coming months.

Donations are flowing into aid organizations on the ground, and those trying to help Ukrainians who’ve fled into neighboring countries. The Ukrainian government and an organization helping with the war effort are also getting support through cryptocurrency donations, though analysts warn scammers are attempting to take advantage of the crisis.

“Typically, the recommendation that I give is to give with your heart, but also give with your head,” said Kevin Scally, the chief relationship officer at Charity Navigator, which evaluates the financial health and transparency of charities nationwide. “I would also recommend that Americans strongly consider supporting a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.”

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“These are the only organizations where your gift is actually tax deductible,” Scally, said, adding it’s also important for donors to make sure they’re “supporting organizations that are efficient and effective with a strong commitment to financial health, accountability and transparency.”

To that end, here is a non-exhaustive list of nonprofits categorized by Charity Navigator as “ highly-rated ” charities involved in humanitarian relief for Ukraine:

Direct Relief

The organization said on its website it’s working with Ukraine’s Ministry of Health and other partners to provide medical backpacks used by first responders to treat injuries, as well as other critical supplies - including tourniquets, stitches, antibiotics, oxygen supplies and other forms of medical aid.

Donors to Direct Relief can direct their gifts to the Ukraine crisis, important for those looking to help Ukraine through international organizations conducting operations in many countries.

“There are a lot of organizations that are going to be making appeals at this point,” Scally said. Donors who want to help Ukraine should look for a dedicated donation fund for the crisis, or ask the organization if their donation is going to relief efforts or to generally support the nonprofit, he added.

Save the Children

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The international aid organization has been working in Ukraine since 2004. It’s currently asking for donations to help provide food, water, cash assistance, hygiene kits and other support for children and families impacted by the Russian invasion. The organization has also established a dedicated fund for Ukraine.

Americares

Americares, a global health-focused humanitarian organization headquartered in Connecticut, said it has sent an emergency response team to Krakow, a Polish city near the Czech Republic border.

“We’re focused on meeting the health needs of families caught in the violence and those fleeing Ukraine,” said Americares Vice President of Emergency Programs Kate Dischino on a statement posted on the organization’s website.

The organization says it is “prepared to deliver medicine, medical supplies, emergency funding and relief items to the region and has activated its roster of staff and volunteer medical professionals in the event they are needed to provide surge support in neighboring countries.”

The organization, which is currently asking for donations, says its medical teams provide emergency treatments for injuries, mental health support and other things.

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