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Answer by Anonuma3

Hi everyone. I'm currently working directly on the humanitarian response to the situation in Ukraine. 

  • Please donate money, not goods. Currently, the delivery of essential goods like medical supplies is being hindered because of private donations from the public, which are clogging up already restricted supply chains. In humanitarian crises like this one, donating money is almost always more effective than donating goods.
  • Consider donating to other humanitarian crises. The Ukraine crisis is actually comparatively well-funded - the last I heard, $1.5bn of the UN's $1.7bn appeal had been pledged. This is a much higher rate of funding than most humanitarian appeals achieve. But the $1.5bn that has been pledged will come from elsewhere in the global system, and will likely be taken from other ongoing humanitarian crises. Those ongoing crises are already being made worse by the war in Ukraine: the global economic impacts are expected to push more people into poverty, and Ukraine and Russia are both major grain exporters so we can expect to see food insecurity increase worldwide. And ultimately, Ukrainian refugees are likely less vulnerable than, say, people in need in Yemen or DRC. You might also want to lobby your government to pay more attention to these neglected crises.
  • Donate to organisations countering Russian disinformation. There is a lot of this coming out in the western media, as well as in Russia, so do be sceptical of things that you read in the news. Anything seeking to fact check news reports, or to inform and empower Russian citizens, seem likes it would have a positive impact.
  • Do your research on secondary impacts. Sanctions, for example, can be extremely effective, but they can also have a lot of dangerous secondary impacts, geopolitically and on individuals (for example, a ban on grain exports from Russia would have huge humanitarian consequences worldwide). Funding arms would be extremely dangerous if those arms fell into Russian hands. Governments introducing sanctions or providing lethal aid to Ukraine are putting huge amounts of effort and expertise into working out how to do so effectively; it's unlikely that members of the public will be better informed on those issues.