How UNITED24 is supporting Ukrainians two years into the war

205 ambulances have been purchased with funds raised via UNITED24
205 ambulances have been purchased with funds raised via UNITED24
Ben Murphy
by Ben Murphy
20 March 2024

UNITED24 (U24) is Ukraine’s official fundraising platform, launched by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on May 5, 2022 – it is uniting people from 110 countries in their support of Ukraine.

Richard Branson met with President Zelenskyy in Kviv in early 2023 and joined the U24 team as a fundraising platform ambassador.

In 22 months of activity, supportive donors, companies, and governments have worked together to collect over $600 million – money that’s been transferred into five key programs within the Ukrainian ministries: medical aid, rebuild Ukraine, humanitarian demining, education and science, and defence. From ambulances to medical equipment, power generators to the repair of houses, schools, and hospitals, UNITED24 is helping in many ways.

On September 17, 2023, U24 organised a charitable dinner at Virgin Hotels NYC, together with Virgin Unite and Richard Branson. The event gathered entrepreneurs from across the world, as well as four other U24’s ambassadors including astronaut Scott Kelly, actors Liev Schreiber and Ivanna Sakhno, and one of Ukraine’s all-time best athletes, Andriy Shevchenko. The event raised $635,000 for a school reconstruction in Kyiv Oblast.

Since Russia started shelling Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure, hundreds of schools have been destroyed. The rebuilding of schools, and the building of bomb shelters, are now some of U24’s key priorities.

Richard Branson and the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Richard Branson and the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy

To support this work British actor, Mark Strong, has raised money for a bomb shelter for a school in Uman. Mark joined U24 soon after partaking in Game4Ukraine charity football match in London – a successful initiative to help rebuild Ukrainian schools.

60 football legends and other celebrities, led by U24’s Andriy Shevchenko and Oleksandr Zinchenko, played a friendly game at Stamford Bridge in London, on August 5, 2023. It brought together over 30,000 spectators, 1,100,000 online viewers, 100,000,000 hits across all media, raising over $1,700,000 USD towards the reconstruction of the Mykhailo-Kotsiubynsky school.

Game4Ukraine
Game4Ukraine

U24 adapts to urgent needs when necessary so when the Russian military recently blew up Kakhovka HPP, leading to a huge ecological disaster, U24 responded with the largest global fundraiser – helping rescuers in the flooded Kherson region, raising $5,5 million. Funds were used to purchase equipment needed for clearing debris, motorised pumps, boats, and all-terrain vehicles for the State Emergency Service. Over 320,000 people from 55 countries and many Ukrainian businesses joined that fundraiser.

Another ongoing and urgent need is for additional ambulances (for both frontline medics and hospitals) as Russian invaders continue to destroy and capture them at a devastating rate.

All-terrain rescue is used by teams of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine #UNITED24
All-terrain rescue is used by teams of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine. These crucial vehicles were used in efforts to manage the aftermath of the terrorist attack at Kakhovka HPP

While the current level of support to Ukraine via UNITED24 is impressive, it’s not enough for a country that has found itself fighting against a much bigger and wealthier enemy. Every donated dollar means more lives saved, more inches of territory liberated, more people being able to return to their homes.

A Ukraine victory will mean the victory of democratic principles and rule of law, while a defeat will mean any tyrant can claim other countries' territories, as long as they have stronger force. As President Zelenskyy has said: “Your money is not charity - it is an investment in the global security and democracy that we handle in the most responsible way.”

Find out more about UNITED24 and how you can support the initiative.