Following an inspiring response from the British public, the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) have broken the record for most money raised by an online campaign in one week

The committee, which brings together 15 leading British aid charities, raised a staggering £61,997,547 in response to the conflict. The full amount was donated online to the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian appeal between the 3 and 10 March 2022. 

Since that record-breaking week, the DEC has now raised a total of over £300 million in response to the humanitarian crisis.

Refugee hugging a volunteer

As an organization, the DEC offers humanitarian response in times of crisis overseas and has a record-breaking ability to raise funds quickly.

"At the DEC we have been overwhelmed by the incredible generosity and outpouring of support from the UK public to the people of Ukraine," said Simon Beresford, Director of Fundraising and Marketing for the DEC.

"It has been heart-warming to see the inspiring fundraising efforts which are ongoing, with donations flooding in from individuals, companies, schools and arts organizations across the UK." 

"We are of course proud and delighted to have taken a part in setting a new world record. However, most importantly what this means is that with the help of the generous UK public DEC charities and their local partners can scale up to respond to help the people of Ukraine. They are working to meet both the immediate and long term needs of people affected for the months and years to come.” 

Simon Beresford, Director of Fundraising and Marketing for the DEC

Since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine, according to DEC's report, 5.3 million people have fled the country and 7.7 million civilians have left their homes.

Out of the 15 charities that compose the Disasters Emergency Committee, 13 organizations (including Age International, British Red Cross, Concern Worldwide UK and International Rescue Committee UK) are involved in responses to the Ukraine emergency, either operating within the borders or in neighbouring countries. 

These DEC charities and their local partners are working to supply food, water, shelter, medical assistance, protection and trauma care.  

Ukrainian Red Cross staff and volunteers providing food and basic necessities

According to the DEC, in the first six months, around half of the donated money will be distributed to primary healthcare services for the population and cash deliveries using a variety of approaches (mostly pre-paid cards and digital transfers) to ensure people can meet vital basic needs.

The remaining amount will be used to deliver hot meals or supermarket vouchers, safe drinking water, psychological support and to provide shelter to those in need.

Around 55% of the funds will be used across Ukraine, while the remaining money will support initiatives beyond its borders.

DEC-funded projects have been set up within Ukraine and also in Hungary, Moldova, Poland and Romania to support refugees (from providing food and water to legal advice) and train volunteers on psychological first aid.

Romanian firefighters helping Ukrainians at the border

Save the Children is providing first-aid in the form of mobile health units, trauma kits, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, nutrition support and safe drinking water.  

The British Red Cross is working through ICRC to provide primary health care and psychological support sessions in the shelters and metro stations where civilians are seeking refuge from the bombs. 

Food kits are being provided by Age International, while Concern Worldwide is supporting households and civil society groups with cash installments.

Mykhaila and her daugther at the Polish border on 8 March 2022

The most money raised by an online campaign in one week is not the first Guinness World Records title achieved by the DEC’s fifteen charities.

In 2004, following the Boxing Day Tsunami (also known as the Indian Ocean Tsunami, the third-largest tsunami ever recorded) that devastated Thailand, India and Sri Lanka, the DEC was awarded a record for the most money donated online in 24 hours. 

On that occasion, the British public responded to the appeal by donating £10,676,836 in the first 24 hours after the emergency.