How to help Ukrainians



    I received this text by email yesterday from Jacek Wawer, a very good philosopher of physics from Poland, whom I've known when he was visiting Geneva through the sciex program, an academic exchange founded by the "cohesion billion" (Kohäsionsmilliarde) quite some time ago. We have not been in much contact since then, but I trust him and believe that he has good reasons to say what he does. Here is what he says.

    Thanks for reading, and for acting accordingly.

    Philipp Blum



    Dear Friends!

    I hope this message finds you well!

    In Krakow, where I currently live, the humanitarian crisis taking place in Ukraine is very visible. Over a million refugees have already crossed the Polish border, and many times more are expected to arrive shortly. Many of them travel to or through my city. As horrible as their circumstance is, the situation of those who are on the other side of the border is much worse, and they require immediate and extensive help. Numerous people here in Poland have rushed to offer help, which is very needed, but individuals aren't always as effective as experienced organizations, especially in face of the greatest humanitarian catastrophe in Europe since WWII.

    You might be bombarded, as I am, with requests for help. Most of them are certainly legitimate, but some people seem to take advantage of the current situation and people's willingness to help. I write to vouch for the Polish Humanitarian Action. They are active since 1992 (when they were helping people harmed by the conflict in the Balkans) and ever since, the organization and its leader - Janina Ochojska - have earned the utmost trust due to their dedication, transparency, and courage. They've been helping people in, among other places, Yemen, Iraq, and Sudan. Importantly, they were also present in Ukraine before the war started, so they have established contacts and the know-how to reach the people in need. I believe that supporting them is an efficient way to help those who require this the most.

    You can find more details (including their account numbers) here:

    If you know someone who is looking for a way to help, please share this information with them.

    I'm sorry to write to you at such a dire time. It has been far too long since I have been in touch with many of you, and I apologize for my negligence. Since my daughters joined us in recent years, they became the center of my attention (and consumed all of my spare time and energy). I hope to see you in the near, and more fortunate future!

    Yours truly,