How the Finnish Red Cross is using donated funds in the Ukraine crisis
The Red Cross is helping people affected by the Ukraine crisis in Ukraine, its neighbouring countries and Finland.
The key objective of our aid is to meet basic needs: to offer food, water and health care to people suffering from the conflict and provide a roof over their heads for people who have fled their homes.
Millions of people have fled Ukraine, and help is needed both within Ukraine and in the countries people are fleeing to.
Funds donated to the Finnish Red Cross used for aid work
The aid of the Finnish Red Cross is a part of the International Red Cross’s work to support the aid operations of the Red Cross organisations of Ukraine and its neighbouring countries. Furthermore, donations made to the Disaster Relief Fund are used in Finland to help people fleeing Ukraine.
The donated funds:
- give financial support to the international aid operation of the Red Cross
- send aid workers to Ukraine and its neighbouring areas
- send material aid to Ukraine and its neighbouring areas
- help refugees arriving in Finland
In addition to financial aid, the Finnish Red Cross has sent accommodation and medical supplies and an entire health clinic to Ukraine.
The collected funds have also allowed us to send aid workers to the area. These include professionals in logistics, health care, psychosocial support, communications and organisational development, as well as specialists who assess the changing humanitarian situation and need for aid.
Our disaster preparedness unit focusing on logistics organises the transport, storage and distribution of material aid from the International Red Cross to Ukraine.
The Finnish Immigration Service is always responsible for funding statutory reception operations, but donations made to the Disaster Relief Fund are also used to support people arriving in Finland.
We offer them e.g. clothes, hygiene supplies, food and drink and other basic necessities as required. Donations have also been used in arranging psychosocial support.
How is the aid delivered to Ukraine and its neighbouring areas?
The Finnish Red Cross channels the funds of the Ukraine collection through the International Red Cross.
Both the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have published emergency aid appeals that the Red Cross organisations from different countries – such as the Finnish Red Cross – are funding together.
We need to create a system where people can get aid in the long term.
The International Red Cross directs the received funds to aid work in Ukraine and its neighbouring countries. The funds are used to procure e.g. food, water, hygiene and accommodation supplies, clothes and medical supplies. Furthermore, cash grants are distributed to families e.g. for grocery shopping.
People are also offered first aid and psychosocial support. The Red Cross is also helping with evacuations.
The aid is delivered as cooperation of the entire Red Cross movement: tens of thousands of volunteers, employees of the Red Cross organisations of Ukraine and its neighbouring countries and aid workers from the International Red Cross and the national Red Cross organisations.
Logisticians from the Finnish Red Cross are also playing an important role in getting the aid to its destination.
The aid operation in Ukraine is exceptionally challenging, since the number of people fleeing their homes is immense and the operation is carried out in many neighbouring countries in addition to Ukraine.
However, all funds collected in our emergency aid collection will be used to help those suffering from the conflict. The Finnish Red Cross places a special focus on health work, in particular.
Will all of the proceeds from the collection be directed solely to helping
The Disaster Relief Fund is not committed in advance to any specific target to ensure that funds can be used to provide aid in the event of accidents and crises with short notice. The Disaster Relief Fund allows us to aid those in need, be it in Finland or abroad.
However, the conflict in Ukraine caused an immense need for urgent help both in Ukraine and its neighbouring countries. That is why all one-time donations made to the Disaster Relief Fund from 24 February to 16 May will be directed to helping those suffering from the crisis in Ukraine.
Any unallocated donations made to the Disaster Relief Fund after 17 May will be directed towards helping those suffering from war and natural phenomena around the world, as usual.
You can still allocate your donation to helping those suffering from the crisis in Ukraine:
- Donate through our website
- Send the text message SPR15 to 16499 (€15)
- Through MobilePay to the number 11646
- Donate directly to our bank account: OP FI52 5000 0120 4156 73. Recipient: Finnish Red Cross. Reference: 6020.
How much of donations goes to aid work?
Our current estimate is that about 97 cents from each euro donated to the emergency aid collection go directly to aid work helping people affected by the Ukraine crisis.
Collection expenses consist of the expenses of collection methods, service providers and marketing and the salary costs of fundraising employees. Collection expenses vary by year and collection.
In this collection, we have made exceptional savings in collection expenses, as several media have taken part by offering free visibility for the collection and many banks have waived their service fees.
We won’t know the exact percentage of expenses until after the collection is over, but the costs of this collection in 2022 were very small, around 3 per cent.
The Ukraine collection gathers donations to our Disaster Relief Fund, the rules of which state that the collection expenses must not exceed 20 per cent.
Why do you not use all donated funds immediately?
As the need for aid will continue for years to come, our aid work also requires a long-term approach.
The conflict has caused immense humanitarian distress, and the need for aid grows by the day. This means that aid will be needed for a very long time even after the fighting one day comes to an end.
Not all funds donated to the Ukraine collection can be used immediately. We must first confirm what kind of help is needed most and where, and how distribution can be organised as effectively and safely as possible.
“When you have lost your livelihood and home, it is not enough to get a one-off aid package at the start of the operation. We need to be able to create a system where people can get aid in the long term,” says Marko Korhonen, Head of International Disaster Management at the Finnish Red Cross.