On 24 February 2022, Russia launched its second invasion of Ukraine. Tens of thousands of Ukrainian civilians and soldiers have died from Russia’s unjust war. 14 million Ukrainians are also displaced. Meanwhile, over 33,000 Russian soldiers have perished. Despite the devastation and destruction caused by the war, the invasion continues without an end.
The international community responded quickly to the Russian incursion. Over the past five months, several countries have sent billions of dollars in humanitarian, medical, financial, and defense aid to Ukraine. Global organizations, large corporations, small businesses, and local communities have actively worked to help Ukraine.
Seeking methods to better inform the world about the financial assistance received to help the country, the Ukrainian government launched a program that tracks international donations. UNITED24, or U24 for short, is an initiative started by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in May 2022. Funds received through this program are transferred to the National Bank of Ukraine, and these donations are allocated by Ukraine’s various ministries. These funds are then distributed into three areas.
The Defence and Demining effort seeks to purchase weapons, helmets, bulletproof vests, demining equipment, and other defense materials so that they can be used by Ukrainian soldiers and volunteers defending the country. The Medical Aid portion of U24 aims to provide Ukrainians with medicines, medical equipment, medical vehicles, and funds to restore health care facilities impacted by Russia’s invasion. Finally, the Rebuild Ukraine program seeks to rebuild Ukraine’s critical infrastructure facilities damaged and destroyed by the war.
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Healthcare, and Ministry of Infrastructure will oversee the funds allocated to the three initiatives. Mykhailo Fedorov, the Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine and the Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, was appointed by the Ukrainian government to lead the program.
The U24 team also releases daily fund reports to “ensure the efficiency and transparency” of the contributions it receives. To date, U24 has raised nearly $59 million in charitable payments from donors residing in 72 countries. International consulting company Deloitte announced that it would assist the Ukrainian government with this initiative.
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President Zelenskyy has also recruited some high-profile Ukrainians to promote this program. During the initial launch of U24 in May 2022, President Zelenskyy named former Ukrainian footballer Andriy Shevchenko as the first U24 ambassador. In June 2022, tennis player Elina Svitolina was named as the program’s second ambassador. President Zelenskyy hopes to name additional popular figures as ambassadors.
Overall, as Russia continues its unnecessary invasion of Ukraine, prominent individuals in Ukrainian society have taken the initiative to inform the world about Russia’s atrocities and how the international community can help Ukraine during its time of need. One of these examples is U24. The initiative seeks to provide defense aid to Ukraine’s current combatants defending the country, give medical assistance to soldiers and civilians in need, and help rebuild Ukraine once the war is over. The program is yet another way for the international community to help Ukraine, and the Ukrainian government is doing everything it can to ensure transparency of the initiative.
U24 was “launched to support Ukraine,” President Zelenskyy said when discussing the launch of the program. “Only together do we have the potential to stop the war that Russia as started.”
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