Stars join 'Stand Up for Ukraine' campaign
Many of the world's top artists, entertainers, athletes, and advocates will join in a global social media rally on Friday to raise billions in aid for humanitarian efforts in Ukraine and support refugees worldwide.
"Stand Up for Ukraine" will see music stars such as Billie Eilish, Madonna, Celine Dion, Katy Perry, Elton John, Stevie Wonder and Bruce Springsteen appealing for donations and other forms of support for those affected inside Ukraine, as well as for the millions of refugees who have fled the country.
According to the non-governmental organization Global Citizen, multiple-Grammy Award winner Jon Batiste, Miley Cyrus, Billy Joel, The Weeknd, U2, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and German singer Herbert Grönemeyer are also planning to take part.
It's not just limited to stars, however: Anyone can join this global social media rally today by creating and uploading a video asking world leaders to take action on the global refugee crisis.
This move comes in response to a new video from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which he called on the international community to help those affected by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
"I ask you to support Ukraine, to support Ukrainians with the 'Stand Up for Ukraine' motto," he said.
"I'm inviting everybody: musicians, actors, athletes, businessmen, politicians, everybody. Everyone who wants to join this movement and 'Stand Up for Ukraine.'"
Dire 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 many civilians, with entire cities rendered uninhabitable through the destruction of apartment blocks, key infrastructure and health care facilities.
Furthermore, many vulnerable people — the elderly, children and people with disabilities — are forced to remain in Ukraine, unable to flee the country.
Rally participants will encourage citizens to call on governments, institutions, corporations and individuals to donate to humanitarian efforts for Ukraine, as well as for refugees from other conflicts, such as Yemen, South Sudan and Afghanistan.
Raising billions for Ukrainian and other refugees worldwide
The global social media rally comes on the eve of a pledging event in Warsaw scheduled for Saturday, April 9, convened by EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Together, the "Stand Up for Ukraine" social media rally and pledging event are seeking to raise billions of dollars to bolster the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees' system, which currently requires approximately $10 billion in funding to support not just those affected by the war in Ukraine, but also the more than 100 million forcibly displaced people in more than 133 countries and territories around the globe.
Referring to the current Ukrainian crisis, von der Leyen quoted UNICEF, saying that a Ukrainian child has become a refugee almost every single second since Russia invaded the country.
She added that the European Union is catering to the needs of the millions of refugees it hosts, but will further step up its efforts.
"Together, we can give them a safe home and bring some light in their lives at this dark hour."
For more information about "Stand Up for Ukraine" or on how to pledge help, visit www.forukraine.com.