Russia’s war on Ukraine has resulted in some 10 million Ukrainians that have been displaced from their homes and some 2000 dead civilians, including over 100 children. This week, gruesome images from Bucha and other towns near Kyiv have shown the world the brutality of Russian aggression and its devastating impact on everyday Ukrainians.

As the worst humanitarian catastrophe since World War II reaches another stage, Help Ukraine 22, a project of the US-based Committee for Open Democracy (COD), has been assisting Ukrainians in need since the first day of the war. Our 3-pronged approach of rescue, relief and resupply is filling gaps in assistance on a daily basis that some other organisations are not placed to meet. Our approach blends direct humanitarian assistance from our team on the ground combined with focused grants to effective and grass-roots Ukrainian NGOs.

In an interview with US media this week, Tom Nolan and Bruce Barcelo, initiators of Help Ukraine 22 and representatives of COD, talked about what’s driving the effort and what Help Ukraine 22 is aiming to achieve for Ukrainians in need.

Help Ukraine 22 isn’t supporting this effort from afar. Our network inside Ukraine gets needed humanitarian aid and medicines into Ukrainian hands. Our logistics supply chain allows regular shipments from Poland into Ukraine and helps to bring highly vulnerable evacuees out to safety.


Some highlights of our work so far include:

- Supported the humanitarian needs of more than 130,000 Ukrainians, especially the most vulnerable such as women and children, the elderly and the disabled;
- With $500,000 in support, activated some 50 community-based projects across 10 of Ukraine’s 12 oblasts that are providing food, medical supplies, generators, shelter, counselling, and other services and material to those most in need inside Ukraine;
- Successfully rescued more than 150 persons from high-risk areas of Ukraine;
- Helped some 4000 people through a tele-health network of more than 250 of Ukraine’s top medical professionals.

However, the work has only started and the needs are growing as everyday of war passes. As the war on Ukraine may shift toward the country’s east in the upcoming period, Help Ukraine 22 is ensuring that there is increased humanitarian and evacuation capability in that critical region, as well as elsewhere. Our rapid response, agile aid and grass-roots model will again be stepping up.

Just yesterday, through the work Help Ukraine 22 and two partner organizations in eastern Ukraine, 78 people in Bakhmut were evacuated from imminent violence, including special needs children and their families. They are now safe in Dnipro with one of our partners.

Below are five of the 16 projects initiated and funded in the last week alone. Names and exact locations are redacted to protect our partners.

While spending less than 10% of what it raises on admin,
Help Ukraine 22 is:

- Improving its humanitarian fulfillment and coordination capacity through an innovative on-line platform that matches those with help to give to those who need help in Ukraine (and we welcome other NGOs, suppliers and potential recipients of aid on to this platform);

- Upgrading its direct delivery capability with the purchase of more vehicles and a dedicated drivers as enabled by our donors;

- Expanding its international network of skilled volunteers and adding to our expert team from Ukraine, USA, Canada and Australia, many of whom are ex-military;

- Scoping new projects such as the provision of mental health support services inside Ukraine;

- Initiated a monitoring and evaluation platform to capture the results of the work of our NGO partners, and;

- Working closely with United States to Ukraine logistics company MEEST to solve the problem of stranded supplies by raising funds to cover shipping costs for supplies that have been received without the funds for shipping.

28 April 2022
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