Ukraine aid appeal raises £120m in five days to support those who have 'had their lives torn apart'

An aid appeal to support those affected by the conflict in Ukraine has raised £120 million in just five days, with "generous donations" made by the Queen, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge among others. Credit: AP/Press Association Images

An appeal raising money to provide aid to people fleeing Ukraine has reached £120 million in just five days.

The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) said it had seen a “generous response” to the fundraiser, which was launched last Thursday, with donations made by the Queen, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge amongst others.

The total is currently at £120 million and includes £25 million matched by the UK government.

The DEC, which is made up of 15 leading UK aid charities aiming to raise funds quickly and efficiently at times of crisis overseas, said the cash donations mean that member charities which are receiving the donations can “scale up” their response to meet people’s urgent needs.

It added the charities would also be able to support people in rebuilding their lives over the months and years to come.

Madara Hettiarachchi, DEC director of programmes and accountability, said: “This incredible support will help meet people’s urgent needs today and help them rebuild their lives into tomorrow.

“Every person who has donated, fundraised and helped to spread the word can be proud to be supporting people who have had their lives torn apart by this devastating conflict.”

Saleh Saeed, DEC chief executive, speaking at a press conference to launch the drive last week Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA

Celebrities involved in highlighting the appeal include Game Of Thrones star Kit Harington, Trigger Point actor Adrian Lester, Hot Fuzz actor Simon Pegg, Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville and Doctor Who star David Tennant.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), more than two million Ukrainians have fled to nearby European countries following Russia’s invasion into the nation on February 24, prompting a war.

Poland has seen the bulk number of refugees cross its border, with around 1.2 million arrivals.

The evacuation of Ukrainians from areas under Russian attack has begun in at least one city, after a safe route was opened on Tuesday.

Russian plans for evacuation corridors have been met with scepticism, following repeated broken ceasefires by the invading forces.

However on Tuesday, buses packed with people fleeing shelling in the eastern city of Sumy were seen processing along a snowy road out of the city,  but it was not clear how long the effort would last.

You can donate to the DEC appeal here.