Nearly three million people have fled Ukraine since Russia invaded the country on February 24.
The head of the France's new interministerial crisis unit dedicated to supporting Ukrainians fleeing the conflict has predicted that between 50,000 to 100,000 displaced people from Ukraine will travel to France in the coming weeks.
Marlène Schiappa, France’s Minister Delegate in charge of Citizenship, has said that so far over 17,000 Ukrainians have found accommodation in France.
A la demande du Président de la République, j'ai présenté ce matin en Conseil des ministres les travaux de la Cellule interministerielle de crise chargée de l'accueil des personnes venant d'Ukraine et notre action avec @GDarmanin. + de 17000 personnes déjà accueillies. #Ukraine— MarleneSchiappa (@MarleneSchiappa) March 16, 2022
How can I open my home in France to a displaced person?
There are now several ways to sign up to host a person or family displaced by the war. There are international, national and local processes for this.
Je m'engage pour l'Ukraine - This is the French government’s official platform, made in partnership with Réfugiés.info, that people can use to get involved in supporting Ukraine, including by offering to host displaced people. The website is currently all in French, but there are plans to translate it to English. At this link, you can offer to provide accommodation, donate money, donate goods or offer translation services (Ukrainian / Russian / French). Please note that in order to use this site you must have a France Connect sign in.
Ukraine Take Shelter - This is an independent platform connecting Ukrainian refugees with potential hosts and housing. The website is in English.
Solidarité Accueil Réfugiés Ukrainiens - This platform was created by French developer Sébastien Champalaume and is available in French, English and Ukrainian. The idea is to put hosts in contact with Ukrainian refugees.
J’accueille, by SINGA - Singa is an international organisation present in seven countries, including France. They have launched a page called J’accueille (I welcome), where you can sign up to host a person or donate money. That page is in French, but you can see more information about Singa’s Ukraine efforts in English here.
OPERATION ARK - A grassroots Facebooked group (English language) based in Normandy. A small group of people are involved in bringing Ukrainian refugees back to France and finding them accommodation in the north of France. The team are also raising funds to send aid and return to the Ukraine border to transport more people to France.
Airbnb - For those who rent out their property on Airbnb, you can instead offer it to a displaced person through their ‘host a refugee’ initiative.
Local mairies - Many cities and towns around France are organising this type of help individually, and some have created online forms you can fill out to offer your accommodation, for example Toulouse, Bordeaux. Other cities have set up a dedicated email address for this, for example Caen: email@example.com
The city asks those emailing in to include the following details:
- Type of accommodation (flat, house, etc.)
- Disabled access (normes PMR): Yes or No
- Status of the owner: company, individual, municipality
- Further information on the owner: Name, address, contact details, number of people who can be accommodated, dates you can host
The city of Lille has also set up an email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. It asks to provide all necessary information, so using a similar format to what is demanded by the city of Caen would cover that.
Many other mairies are asking people to use the official government site for this process, Je m'engage pour l'Ukraine, which you can find at this link.
If you are hosting someone from Ukraine at your property in France and wish to share your experience and provide details for others on how you found the process, let us know at email@example.com
How can I donate money / aid or lend a hand?
JeVeuxAider - This is an official French government site where you can sign up to volunteer to help associations, charities or groups. There is a page dedicated to Ukraine. This website is all in French.
SupportUkraine.co - This is a platform that outlines what supplies are currently most needed in Ukraine. It also gives links to fundraisers that are particularly useful right now, such as this Polish one. Additionally, this site also lists national and international charities and associations that are directly helping Ukraine right now. If you are thinking of donating money or aid, the charities listed on this website are a good place to start. It includes: SOS Ukraina, Red Cross, Save the Children, World Central Kitchen, United Help Ukraine, etc.
Aid Legion - Set up by Ukrainian entrepreneurs, this charity positions itself as a link between large international groups and local associations. It is working to provide military and medical equipment to those in need in Ukraine.
France Bleu’s network of local initiatives - This article (in French) groups hundreds of different local initiatives set up around France to help Ukraine. Note that many local authorities are asking only for specific goods as they have already received many donations. It is worth checking what is needed with your local mairie before donating.
Collectif Bourgogne Ukraine - Set up by students from Sciences Po and the University of Burgundy, this website (in French) lists ways to help Ukraine from Bourgogne, eastern France. It includes what materials are most needed, and a list of where you can drop off these items. It also has links to international charities that you can donate to.
Fundraiser by Richard Charles - British man Mark Charles, who lives in France, has organised a 44-tonne truck to deliver aid to Ukraine from the Manche department (Normandy). His son, Richard, has also launched this fundraiser to support this.
Normandy/Ukraine Support - A Facebook group set up by a British woman living in Normandy who is hosting Ukrainians at her home. The page is a network where people in the region can connect and get involved in local initiatives to support Ukraine and Ukrainians.
Where can I find news about demonstrations in France?
How do I get Ukrainian news in English?
The Kyiv Independent - This is a Ukrainian news site in English, providing regular and on-the-ground updates.
A journalist for the news site, Jakub Parusinski, has set up a fundraising campaign to help support Ukrainian media in general, which you can find here. He also has a separate campaign to support the Kyiv Independent directly, which you can find here.
If you know of any ways to support Ukraine from France that we have not included here, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org