Queen makes ‘generous donation’ in support of appeal for help to Ukraine

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The palace has declined to disclose the amount given, but the DEC described it as “generous” (Image: Reuters/AFP/Getty)

Queen Elizabeth has made an undisclosed donation to Ukraine’s Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) to help civilians affected by the conflict.

The palace did not announce the donation and declined to say how much it was, but the charity has publicly thanked the monarch for her “generosity” in “continuing to support her work”.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have also reportedly made a private donation.

The Royal Family’s contribution is seen as a significant boost to the charity appeal, bringing it to a wider audience and encouraging others to donate what they can.

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The DEC, made up of 15 charities, on Thursday launched its Ukraine fundraiser to provide emergency relief to those who have fled their homes after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an invasion a week ago.

The war in Ukraine has already created an estimated one million refugees, with experts predicting as many as four million could be displaced as the crisis deepens.

At a press conference announcing the appeal, a senior member of Ukraine’s Red Cross described how the nation’s capital faces shelling so heavy that air raid sirens go off every 15 minutes.

Olena Stokoz, deputy general director of the humanitarian charity, outlined the current situation in Kyiv while hiding in her home.

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LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 07: Queen Elizabeth II looks at the baton of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games during the relay baton for Birmingham 2022, the XXII. Commonwealth Games at Buckingham Palace on October 7, 2021 in London, England. The baton will carry a message from Queen Elizabeth II during the relay, which begins at Buckingham Palace in London, before 7,500 bearers carry the baton on a 90,000-mile journey to all 72 Commonwealth nations and territories over 294 days. The Queen and Earl of Wessex are Patron and Vice Patron respectively of the Commonwealth Games Federation. (Photo by Steve Parsons - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The royal family’s contribution is seen as a significant boost to the charity appeal (Image: Getty)

Ms Stokoz said: “There is very heavy shelling going on every second… three kilometers away from me.

“A few minutes ago a rocket hit civilian houses, so I’m a little scared.

“The situation here and in all parts of Ukraine is very dangerous.

“The most difficult areas, the hottest places in Ukraine are in the east, north, south and, of course, in Kyiv.

“We have rocket attacks on civilians everywhere and many people have to stay in ill-prepared shelters almost 24 hours a day as we have air raid sirens every 15 minutes.

“People have to stay there without electricity, food, water, medicine, war clothes and other facilities.

“Other groups of people are trying to leave their homes and migrate to either safer places inside or outside of Ukraine.”

A woman carries a small child as people from Ukraine arrive at the border crossing in Medyka, Poland, on Friday March 4, 2022. More than 1 million people have fled Ukraine after invading Russia in the fastest refugee exodus this century, the United Nations said Thursday. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)

A woman carries a small child as people from Ukraine arrive at the border crossing in Medyka, Poland (Image: AP)

A woman looks at relatives and presses her palms against a window of a train bound for Lviv on the platform in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

The war has created a million refugees in just one week of conflict (Image: AP)

The DEC appeal aims to raise funds to be distributed to charities working on the ground in Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland, giving people food, water and shelter.

A target was not set by the charity as DEC chief executive Saleh Saeed said she was “absolutely grateful for every single pound donated,” adding, “The more money we raise, the more people we can reach.”

Every pound donated by the UK public is matched by the government through its Aid Match scheme, up to a value of £20million.

Mr Saeed said: “Many of us could never have imagined launching a humanitarian appeal in the heart of Europe in 2022.

“Tragically, that’s where we are today.

“The DEC’s last appeal in Europe was over 20 years ago for Kosovo.

“At the time we thought ‘never again’.

“Unfortunately we were wrong.”

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Mr Saeed said most of those fleeing were women and children who were “forced to leave their homes and loved ones to seek refuge in neighboring countries”.

He added: “There are reports of long queues at the border of up to 60 hours in freezing conditions.

“The unfolding crisis is appalling and heartbreaking.

“But there is something we can all do to bring hope.

“Please donate and help us raise funds and support hundreds of thousands of people who are already on the run.”

He added that the best way for people to help is to donate to the DEC and other similar fundraising efforts, as there is “a lot of help in the area” but funds are needed to buy it.

Stanislav, 40, says goodbye to his son David, 2, and his wife Anna, 35, on a train bound for Lviv at Kyiv railway station, Ukraine, Thursday March 3. 2022. Stanislav stays to fight while his family leaves the country to seek refuge in a neighboring country. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

War tears families apart as some stay behind to fight while others flee (Image: AP)

People who left Ukraine wait for a bus that will take them to the Przemysl train station at the border crossing in Medyka, Poland, Friday March 4, 2022. More than 1 million people have fled Ukraine after the Russian invasion in the fastest refugee exodus this century, the United Nations said on Thursday. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)

People who left Ukraine wait for a bus to take them to Przemysl train station, at the border crossing in Medyka, Poland (Image: AP)

It comes amid reports of food shortages in many besieged areas, with Kyiv’s ambassador to Britain warning this week that Putin could seek to starve cities to crush Ukraine’s resolve.

The mayor of Mariupol – a strategic port city in the south – says Russian troops have cut off electricity, water, food and heating.

And the mayor of Kherson, whom Moscow allegedly captured, warned yesterday that “people will perish” if there are no humanitarian corridors for the safe delivery of food and medicine.

Russian and Ukrainian negotiators made limited progress in ceasefire talks yesterday, but both agreed on the need for humanitarian corridors for civilians after aid organizations including the International Red Cross (ICRC) called.

A spokesman for the charity, Matthew Morris, said Metro.co.uk yesterday that the humanitarian need of the people is “huge and getting worse every day”.

He said: “There are gas and water shortages across the country. Supply lines are blocked.

“We see a great need for insulin. We are preparing supplies and hope to be able to meet this need.

“The situation in Mariupol is deteriorating. We are preparing additional medical supplies to send to Kyiv if security allows.

“We’re receiving a flood of calls from people desperate for safety. People often hide underground for hours, unable to go outside for fear of shelling.

“Many Ukrainians have no water, no electricity and minimal telephone connections. Groceries and necessities are hard to find.

“We have heard from people who have been injured and are seeking help, including those who are in great psychological distress.”

A Ukrainian service member walks by near a school building that was destroyed by shelling in Zhytomyr, Ukraine, March 4, 2022 as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues. REUTERS/Viacheslav Ratynskyi

A Ukrainian soldier walks near a school building destroyed by shelling (Image: Reuters)

Rescuers work amid the rubble of a school building destroyed by shelling as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues March 4, 2022 in Zhytomyr, Ukraine. REUTERS/Viacheslav Ratynskyi

Ukraine’s humanitarian needs are getting worse every day (Image: Reuters)

Meanwhile, Andrew Morley, president and chief executive of humanitarian organization World Vision International, described scenes of despair after visiting border crossings in Romania and Moldova earlier this week.

He said: “Thousands of refugees are pouring in, taking up to three days to cross the border.

“In Ukraine, all the children I saw crossing the border were crying.

“When I looked into their eyes, I also saw fear.

“They were lost, they were scared and now when I close my eyes their tears are still there.

“To make matters worse, conflicts can still be heard across the border.

“This is a constant reminder of the terrors they are fleeing.”

Television appeals, presented by actors Adrian Lester and Kit Harington, will air and radio appeals, voiced by David Tennant, will air Thursday.

To donate to the DEC’s appeal, visit:

https://metro.co.uk/2022/03/04/queen-makes-generous-donation-to-support-ukraine-aid-appeal-16214596/ Queen makes 'generous donation' in support of appeal for help to Ukraine

Justin Scacco

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