A historic movement for a historic humanitarian crisis. How the world pledged USD$10.1 billion for the Ukraine.

On 8 April, hundreds of thousands of global citizens came together to ‘Stand Up for Ukraine’. Their voices and actions secured US$10.1 billion in grants and loans to assist more than 4.4 million refugees who have fled the Ukraine and the 6.5 million people displaced within the country. 

The who and why 

In light of the ongoing humanitarian crisis in his country, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on the international community in a 26 March video address to ‘Stand Up for Ukraine’ and help those impacted by Russia’s invasion.  

In response, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in partnership with international advocacy organisation Global Citizen, announced the Stand Up for Ukraine pledging event. 

(L-R) A message from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is played as Isha Sesay, journalist, Andrzej Duda, President of the Republic of Poland, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, Hugh Evans, CEO & Co-founder, Global Citizen, and Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada (on screen) speak onstage during Stand Up For Ukraine on 9 April, 2022 in Warsaw, Poland. (Photo by Brian Dowling/Getty Images for Global Citizen)

Continuing on from the social media rally, the pledging event took place in Warsaw, Poland, chosen in “recognition of Poland’s essential role in supporting refugees fleeing the invasion of Ukraine,” according to a statement from the European Commission. 

The campaign  

Global Citizen “connects Global Citizens and artists to call on world leaders, corporate leaders, and philanthropists to do their part”. The Stand Up for Ukraine campaign was no exception.  

In a nutshell, the campaign mobilised global support for humanitarian aid in the Ukraine and global refugee relief on April 8 and 9. ‘Global Citizens’ were encouraged to advocate in a major digital campaign on social media by sharing why they support the Ukraine and refugees everywhere. 

The campaign was multifaceted – alongside an open letter to world leaders, it asked supporters (‘Global Citizens’) to take an online pledge to join the social media rally, share their messages of support with the hashtag #StandUpForUkraine, share an urgent plea from the Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy on Twitter, and donate.

Participation was also possible via the Global Citizen mobile app. (By downloading the app, Global Citizens learn about the systemic causes of extreme poverty, take action on those issues, and earn rewards, which can be redeemed for tickets to concerts, events, and experiences all over the world). 

Supporters were given helpful resources and tools, including instructions about how to make a video for social media and suggested actions: “You can raise your voice about the plight of refugees around the world, call on world leaders to support Ukraine and accept refugees fleeing the country, and send an email to big medical suppliers to provide emergency equipment for mothers in Ukraine.”. 

The Global Citizen website also features “30 meaningful ways you can help Ukraine” and a moving campaign video about the crisis and call to action.  

Celebrity support 

The list of artists, athletes and entertainers throwing their support behind the campaign is long and included Billie Eilish, Elton John, Hugh Jackman and Deborra-lee Furness, Katy Perry, Madonna and Oprah Winfrey. 

A-lister participation included the creation of videos shared on celebrity social media accounts. IHeartMedia, a longstanding partner of Global Citizen, shared calls to action and public service announcements on iHeartRadio and showcased artists who posted special performances or recorded calls to action on their social media channels. 

The mandate for government 

The campaign called for pledges to be new and additional to any support committed prior to the campaign, and to not result in cuts to existing development programs. “Governments should not use existing Official Development Assistance (ODA) budgets to cover costs of welcoming refugees at home, which is unacceptable and counterproductive in the long term,” Global Citizen said. 

“This is especially important given the more than 80 million people who are currently displaced around the world. Governments must significantly increase development and humanitarian spending NOW to jointly address the multiple humanitarian, climate, and hunger crises across the world.”  

Global Citizen advocates for all commitments pledged as part of Stand Up for Ukraine to be given without discrimination on the basis of the nationalities of potential beneficiaries in the crisis-affected region. 

The campaign secured a complex combination of pledges, including funds to Ukrainian authorities, UN Agencies, nonprofit and grassroots organisations (such as Education Cannot Wait, the World Health Organisation, UN Women, and more), refugee resettlement costs, and several loans and guarantees. Some commitments related to refugee resettlement include funds EU member states have allocated to welcome refugees. Their implementation and the final amount of funds spent will depend on the number of refugees resettled. The total pledged figure is split between US$4.6 billion in grants and US$5.5 billion in loans. 

Global Citizen believes it is a fundamental responsibility for any organisation giving a platform to governments, businesses, and decision makers to ensure that their promises are kept. That is why they will monitor and track the pledges made during the campaign, reporting back on progress and calling for action when more needs to be done. 

New government and European Commission pledges and in-kind contributions

Government support pledged for the Ukraine and refugees in Europe (in USD):

  • European Commission – $1.1 billion  
  • Canada – $80 million 
  • Belgium – $904 million 
  • Croatia – $111 million 
  • Czech Republic – $222 million 
  • Estonia – $111,000 
  • Finland – $778 million 
  • Ireland – $58 million  
  • Italy – $400 million  
  • Malta – $55,000  
  • Slovakia – $595 million 
  • Sweden – $333 million 
  • Qatar – $5 million 

What was Australia’s response? We reiterated our existing contribution of AUD$65 million in humanitarian support to the people of Ukraine, as well as a donation of coal supply for Ukraine’s energy security. 

New corporate financial commitments 

Contributing to humanitarian relief efforts in Ukraine and around the world in response to the campaign are:  

  • Blue Bottle Coffee 
  • Bridgewater Associates 
  • Cisco 
  • The Coca-Cola Company 
  • Continental Development Corporation 
  • Crush Music  
  • CSL Behring 
  • DocuSign 
  • Farmamundi Foundation 
  • Google 
  • Nestlé 
  • Nespresso 
  • Twitter 
  • Verizon 
  • The Foundation at Sanofi 
  • Seadream Family Foundation 
  • Sun Life 

Announcements of loans (in USD)  

  • Council of Europe Development Bank – $1.1 billion in loans 
  • European Investment Bank – $4.4 billion in loans (which still requires approval by the board of directors). 

Additionally, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development confirmed it will allocate $1.1 billion out of a previously announced (9 March) package of $2.25 billion, specifically for projects in municipalities impacted by the crisis. 

Public donations (in USD) 

Over $500,000 was donated to GlobalGiving’s Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund by almost 5000 people in 66 different countries. The total of that campaign now stands at AUD$38,908,073 of a AUD$46,809,479 target.  

The impact 

The Global Citizen website features a summary impact statement with a link to a more detailed breakdown of impact.  

 Impact was also communicated via a series of social media posts with infographics. 

Join us

 “Join us for humanity to win,” said Volodymyr Zelensky in the campaign video. Join they did and let’s hope this historic campaign inspires more support for refugees across the world.  

About Global Citizen  

Global Citizen is the world’s largest movement of action takers and impact makers dedicated to ending extreme poverty NOW. They post, tweet, message, vote, sign, and call to inspire those who can make things happen — government leaders, businesses, philanthropists, artists, and citizens — together improving lives. For more information, visiwww.globalcitizen.org and follow @GlblCtzn. 

For more information about “Stand Up for Ukraine,” visit www.forUkraine.com 

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