Many of the world’s top performers, entertainers, athletes and advocates joined a global social media rally on Friday to raise billions in aid for humanitarian efforts in Ukraine and support refugees around the world.
“Stand Up for Ukraine” has seen music stars such as Billie Eilish, Madonna, Celine Dion, Katy Perry, Elton John, Stevie Wonder and Bruce Springsteen appeal for donations and other forms of support for people affected in Ukraine – as well as for the millions of refugees who have fled the country.
According to the non-governmental organization Global Citizen, multiple Grammy winner Jon Batiste, Miley Cyrus, Billy Joel, The Weeknd, U2, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and German singer Herbert Grönemeyer were also planning to attend.
However, it was not limited to stars: anyone could join this global social media gathering today by creating and uploading a video calling on world leaders to take action on the global refugee crisis.
The move came in response to a new video by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in which he called on the international community to help those affected by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“I ask you to support Ukraine, to support Ukrainians with the motto ‘Stand up for Ukraine’,” he said.
“I invite everyone: musicians, actors, athletes, business people, politicians, everyone. Anyone who wants to join this movement and ‘Stand Up for Ukraine’.”
Disastrous consequences of war
More than 12 million Ukrainians are currently in need of emergency aid – food, water, shelter and health care – following the Russian invasion of their country on February 24.
Russia’s relentless bombing campaign has since killed scores of civilians, rendering entire cities uninhabitable through the destruction of buildings, key infrastructure and healthcare facilities.
In addition, many vulnerable people – the elderly, children and people with disabilities – are forced to stay in Ukraine, unable to flee the country.
Participants in Stand up for Ukraine are encouraging citizens to call on governments, institutions, businesses and individuals to donate to humanitarian efforts for Ukraine, as well as for refugees from other conflicts in Yemen, South Sudan South and in Afghanistan.
Raising billions for Ukrainian refugees and other refugees around the world
The global social media rally has raised more than 9.1 billion euros ($9.9 billion) for people fleeing war around the world.
It came on the eve of a commitment event in Warsaw on Saturday April 9, convened by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The two fundraising campaigns therefore succeeded in raising the approximately $10 billion needed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for people fleeing Ukraine, as well as the approximately 100 million forcibly displaced people in more than 133 countries and territories around the world.
Referring to the current Ukrainian crisis, von der Leyen quoted UNICEF, saying that a Ukrainian child has become a refugee almost every second since Russia invaded the country.
She added that the European Union is responding to the needs of the millions of refugees it hosts, but that it will further intensify its efforts.
“Together we can give them a safe home and bring some light into their lives in this dark hour.”
For more information on “Stand up for Ukraine” or how to pledge help, visit www.forukraine.com.
This text was updated on April 9 and 10.