The war in Ukraine is intensifying at an alarming rate, with the Russian invasion leading to massive violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, massive migration, death, violence, and destruction. Prospera International Network of Women Funds, the global network of feminist funds, is gravely concerned about the current situation that is endangering the safety of all Ukrainians and particularly women, girls, trans, non-binary persons and marginalized communities. The current conflict, which has displaced over 1.5 million people in a matter of days, is causing an urgent humanitarian crisis. Systemic racism is rampant, with people of color being systematically stopped and unable to migrate to neighboring countries. Prospera INWF supports anti-racist, anti-colonial gender justice activism around the world and mobilizes action in the funding communities that we are a part of to secure that feminist activists, groups, organizations, movements, and human rights defenders are protected, safe, and able to continue their work, including in situations of multiple crises.
We join our members from the Ukrainian Women’s Fund*, FemFund Poland*, the Bulgarian Fund for Women*, Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights*, and all feminist activists and movements around the world to #StopTheWar and ensure funding reaches feminist groups, as well as immediate humanitarian aid to the people of Ukraine and neighboring countries.
The dwindling humanitarian setting begs for urgent response by feminist and women-led movements and humanitarian actors. Unfortunately, the increased volatility of the crisis, security concerns, lack of safe access for humanitarian workers and movement restrictions, the situation poses main challenges for aid workers to provide basic provisions such as food, water, shelter, and health care into villages and towns outside of the major cities and along the borders. Special attention needs to be paid to the regions that are being attacked by the Russians – Kyiv, Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Zapirizhzhya, Sumy. The majority of the population in these areas are vulnerable groups including the older generation, people living with disabilities and low income families. Due to limited mobility and means to travel, they are unable to travel to the regions that are relatively safe. Urgent response to the situation that is deteriorating by the day needs to be a priority – delivering life-saving services and supplies to survivors. Prospera INWF members are supporting local organizations and frontline activists with critical resources during this time. They are quickly and effectively responding, mobilizing resources and amplifying the lived realities of Ukrainians, especially women, girls, trans and non-binary persons.
We call on governments, the philanthropic community, and individuals to direct funding immediately to the Ukrainian Women’s Fund** and to support the efforts of funds in Poland and Bulgaria (FemFund and Bulgarian Fund for Women)** to respond to the needs of women, children and marginalized groups that are seeking safety in neighboring countries.
For Rapid Response Funds, Urgent Response Fund for Ukraine to respond to requests from activists and groups, especially in the remote parts of Ukraine seeking:
• Basic food and hygiene needs
• Access to safe, reliable, and alternative means of communications ranging from safe mobile internet, VPNs, and portable devicesSupport with emergency evacuations and relocations
• Legal, financial, and medical support
• Support to increase the capacity of shelters for women, children, and other persons
We also call on all humanitarian organizations, including International Humanitarian NGOs, the International Committee for the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, and all United Nations Agencies to work with local organizations and groups to channel immediate humanitarian relief inside Ukraine.
As a feminist funding movement, we draw on our strength and solidarity during these unprecedented times. It is our collective responsibility and commitment to resource feminist activism by listening to, taking the lead from those who know where, and how to fund.