This list of nonprofit first-responders, while not exhaustive, represents reputable organizations responding to disasters.
Crisis in Ukraine
More than a million people have fled the country, according to the United Nations, and nearly hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians are facing lack of food, water, and electricity. Listed below are verified resources you can utilize to support the people of Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees.
- Direct Relief is one of the world's largest distributors of donated medical supplies. Over the past six months, it has provided Ukraine with $26 million in medical aid. The Ukrainian Ministry of Health recently sent Direct Relief a list of needed items, such as emergency medical packs, which the organization is working to acquire and deliver.
- Ukrainian Medical Association of North America is providing critical medical and humanitarian aid to Ukraine by working closely with UMANA branches in the United States and Canada. They are also collaborating with select charitable organizations who are already on the ground in Ukraine and surrounding countries to address the serious shortage of medical supplies in many hospitals and health facilities, including access to trauma care.
- Save the Children has been providing education, food, water, and cash grants to Ukrainians since 2014. Over the past year, Save the Children prepared for escalating conflict in Ukraine by helping local organizations stock up on hygiene kits and winter clothes. Since the crisis began, they've helped to distribute those supplies and have provided protective services for unaccompanied minors who are fleeing the country.
- Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) are working to prepare kits of medical equipment and medicines from their logistical bases, notably in Brussels and Bordeaux, which will transit through neighboring countries before entering Ukraine. They are also purchasing goods and materials in Poland to prepare kits for some local associations that have alerted them of a number of essential inputs that they lack.
- International Medical Corps has provided medical services and prescription medicine to eastern Ukrainians since 2014. To meet the needs of those displaced by the conflict, the organization plans to increase its presence in the country, focusing in particular on mental health care and access to food and water.
- Ukrainian Red Cross is using donations to directly help those affected with things like blood donations, collecting food and hygiene items, and helping injured civilians.
- The UN Refugee Agency is providing humanitarian assistance on the ground in Ukraine as well as working with neighboring countries to keep borders open for refugees. Donations provide them with shelter, food, water, blankets, and medical supplies. *Donations are being matched up to $1 million.
- Malteser International is helping secure everyday supplies for refugees, such as medicines, cots, blankets, food, and cash. You can donate here.
- CARE has set up a Ukraine Crisis Fund to rush urgently needed water, food, hygiene kits, and ongoing support for Ukrainian families. An emergency gift supports CARE’s Ukraine Crisis Fund, which aims to reach 4 million with immediate aid and recovery, food, water, hygiene kits, psychosocial support, and cash assistance — prioritizing women and girls, families, and the elderly.
- UNICEF is on the ground in eastern Ukraine, and their emergency response teams and partners are ramping up efforts to deliver safe water to families in communities where water systems are barely functioning. They are providing health care, nutrition and education support where services are severely lacking or have shut down entirely. And they are focusing on protecting children from violence, exploitation and abuse in the face of increased threats of gender-based violence and the risk of harm from mines and other explosive remnants of war.
Global Disaster Relief
There are many professional relief organizations who employ highly trained experts to respond to global natural disasters and humanitarian crises. While several organizations will consider applications from qualified medical professionals wishing to contribute as volunteers, unrestricted financial donations are usually the fastest and most effective way to help.
- International Medical Corps is working to relieve the suffering of those impacted by war, natural disaster and disease by delivering vital healthcare services that focus on training, helping devastated populations return to self-reliance.
- Medicines Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders provides acute aid and medical care in situations of armed conflict, natural disasters, neglected people and refugee and IDP crises.
- CARE International is a leading humanitarian organization that responds to global emergencies and works to mitigate risk for future disasters.
- Oxfam America is a global organization working to right the wrongs of poverty, hunger and injustice. As one of 17 members of the international Oxfam confederation, they work with people in more than 90 countries to create lasting solutions. Oxfam saves lives, develops long-term solutions to poverty and campaigns for social change.
- Save the Children invests in childhood, every day, in times of crisis and for our future. In the United States and around the world, they give children a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. By transforming children's lives now, they change the course of their future and ours.
Other Ways to Help
Humanity Road delivers disaster preparedness and response information to the global mobile public before, during and after a disaster. Providing aid information helps individuals survive, sustain and reunite with each other and with their pets. Humanity Road strives to close the disaster communications gap through process improvement, collaboration, partnerships, education and training.