03 March 2022

Celebrities star in TV and radio appeal to help Ukrainian refugees

03 March 2022

Actors Kit Harington, David Tennant and Adrian Lester will appear on TV and radio channels supporting an urgent Ukraine humanitarian campaign launched on Thursday.

The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) launched the appeal to raise funds to help people fleeing the conflict after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an invasion a week ago.

Trigger Point star Lester, 53, appeared in a film which aired on the BBC following its news programme on Thursday evening.

In the appeal, he said: “Its been a horrific week for the people of Ukraine.

“We have watched on our screens the air strikes, shelling and bombardment take their toll on men, women and children.

“People are queueing at borders, hungry, exhausted, often separated from loved ones, many bring only what they can carry and are unequipped to face freezing temperatures.

“Others still in Ukraine have had to leave home to take shelter from the bombardment, living under curfew with little chance to buy food or get cash.

“Many homes are now destroyed or unsafe to live in. It is estimated if this situation continues more than seven million Ukrainians could be displaced.

“It is easy to feel powerless in the face of so much catastrophic human need, but you can help.”

Lester added that many of the charities involved in the DEC were already working in Ukraine or neighbouring countries, “preparing to scale up their operations.”

Harington, best known for playing Jon Snow in HBO fantasy series Games Of Thrones, will also appear on ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky supporting the campaign.

Tennant, 50, who played Doctor Who between 2005 and 2010, will be voicing an appeal which will be broadcast on the radio.

As violence continues to rage across Ukraine, more than one million people have left their homes and sought refuge in neighbouring European Countries, according to the latest figures from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

UNHCR spokeswoman Shabia Mantoo this week predicted it would be the “biggest refugee crisis this century” as people continued to cross borders into Poland, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Moldova.

The joint fundraising appeal brings together 15 UK aid charities to help raise funds which will be distributed to charities responding on the ground, providing people with food, water and shelter.

On Twitter, the DEC thanked the Queen for making a “generous donation” to support the humanitarian appeal.

On Thursday, Saleh Saeed, chief executive of the DEC, said: “I could never have envisaged launching a humanitarian appeal in the heart of Europe in 2022.

“But tragically, that’s exactly where we find ourselves.

“The last time we launched an appeal in Europe was for Kosovo, more than 20 years ago.

“We thought never again. We were wrong.”

Every pound donated by the UK public will be matched by the Government through its Aid Match scheme, up to the value of £20 million.

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