Barely two weeks ago, a military invasion took place in Ukraine which has already seen 2 million people flee their homes. Heavy shelling and airstrikes across the country have had a devastating effect on the infrastructure of the country and the lives of ordinary people - people just like us.
The surrounding countries of Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and Romania have been swamped by women, children, the elderly and disabled, all seeking refuge at this time of war. Further afield, other European countries, (including the UK) are now also starting to see the arrival of desperate families often with little more than a suitcase and a mobile phone.
As you will be aware, the NCOA has no political affiliation and has never provided charity support beyond small and specific groups within the UK & NI. However, what has happened and is continuing to happen to the people of Ukraine, is both shocking and unbelievable in the so called ‘safe’ and developed European continent. Whilst the UK Government (& others) currently provide military equipment and financial sanctions against Russia, the humanitarian crisis is overwhelming limited and unprepared resources. In country, supplies of food, water and medical supplies are disappearing fast.
Whilst many of us have watched the invasion and subsequent war unfold, it has raised many questions on how we in the UK might help, in the most constructive and effective way. The plethora of charities and fund-raising channels which have now appeared, seems to make that decision less than straightforward at a time when decisiveness and swift action is required.
The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) was formed in 1963 to deliver a coordinated Charity response to overseas disasters. It pools together the combined resources of 15 major charities to deliver a rapid response and integrated distribution network which can quickly and effectively respond where and when needed. Last week, the DEC 2022 Ukraine appeal, raised £55million in a single day.
On Monday 7th March the NCOA National Executive unanimously decided that on behalf of our members we would like to provide direct financial support in response to the humanitarian crisis rapidly unfolding on our European door step. Having already donated £1 per member, we have also opened a Just Giving page which will see any donations from our members paid directly to the DEC to enable the money to be used effectively and quickly - where it is needed most.
If you would like to get involved by contributing to the fund, please use this link to donate - anonymously if need be. www.justgiving.com/NationalCrimeOfficersAssociation
Simon Boon - NCOA General Secretary