Explainer: What B.C. has done for Ukraine support

Around 11,000 Ukrainian refugees have settled in B.C. since the war was declared

Vancouverites held a rally on Feb. 26, 2022 in support of Ukraine after Russia invaded. (GoToVan/Flickr)

Vancouverites held a rally on Feb. 26, 2022 in support of Ukraine after Russia invaded. (GoToVan/Flickr)

On Feb. 21 2022, Russian forces moved into the separatist regions of Luhansk and Donetsk in eastern Ukraine after Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized the two regions as independent states. 

Two days later, Ukraine declared a state of nationwide emergency, which was followed by a full-scale military operation confirming the fear of a war around the world. Ukraine was attacked by land, air, and sea after the Russian president announced a “special military operation” on Feb. 24. This was followed by explosions over Ukraine and power cuts which have continued to this day. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called for help from the international community resulting in sanctions against Russia from Canada, the European Union, Japan, Taiwan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States. 

The capital city of Kyiv along with Kharkiv, Lviv, and Odesa have been hit by Russian missiles in recent days while heavy fighting continues in the Bakhmut region. A total of 48 attacks were launched on civilians in the Donetsk region with 15 cities and towns being targeted, according to Ukraine’s national police.

According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, a total of 8,317 civilians have died and 13,892 have been injured in Ukraine as of March 20. 

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, 8,113,170 Ukrainian refugees have been recorded across Europe as of March 14, and another 8 million have been displaced within Ukraine. Men between the ages of 18 to 60 are banned from leaving the country to fight the war. 

Around 11,000 Ukrainian refugees settled in B.C. since the war started. They can apply for temporary hardship assistance which offers a monthly payment amount for up to 12 months. The payment is up to $935 for a single adult and $1,770 for a family of up to four people. 

The United Way British Columbia (UWBC) offers support to refugees in the areas of housing through United for Ukraine Housing Intake, goods and services through In-kind Ukraine Donation Intake, volunteering opportunities, and financial assistance through their United for Ukraine fund

The United for Ukraine (U4U) initiative provides support to events that aim to promote Ukrainian culture. The aim of the funding is to increase awareness about Ukrainian culture and promote intergenerational interactions and bonds.

The Ukrainian Displaced Person Assistance Program (UDAP) is a community-based initiative that helps displaced Ukrainians with adaptation and integration, supports Ukrainian businesses, and increases awareness about the war.

The Holy Eucharist Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral offers assistance with resettlement, visa application, free accommodation, mental health, and employment. 

The Slavic United Network offers housing, transportation, access to government resources, welcome packages, school registrations, local employment, and help with visa applications. 

Help Ukraine Vancouver Island is an organization that helps Ukrainians with housing, events, household items, and job postings.

The Ridge Meadows Ukrainian Welcoming Committee organization helps with housing, food, translation, education, counselling, and legal advice. 

Students can provide assistance by donating used textbooks, household items, clothes, and volunteering at community organizations that provide assistance to Ukrainian refugees by filling the UWBC iVolunteer form.