The global campaign "Stand Up for Ukraine" has raised EUR 9.1 billion euro for refugee relief, the EC President announced during the meeting in Poland's capital city, adding that the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) earmarked another EUR 1 billion for refugees fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The global pledging event for Ukrainian refugees has thus raised EUR 10.1 billion in total, the head of the European Union's executive, Ursula von der Leyen, announced.
"It's the question whether democracy will be stronger, or it's autocracy that will dominate," Ursula von der Leyen said in her speech, stressing that Ukrainians are fighting for universal values, in addition to their country's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Polish head of state Andrzej Duda said: "Above all, we are sending a message to every single Ukrainian in the cities and villages under siege, a message of hope to the brave Ukrainian soldiers, heroes defending their country against the aggressor."
Addressing the gathering via a video link, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said: "Russian leadership failed to account for one fact - the fact that it attacks the other largest country in the world, Ukraine, the largest by its courage."
"We are not afraid of massive missile strikes, Russian aircrafts and never-ending tank columns," President Zelensky said in his speech.
The Warsaw meeting was also addressed by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
"This is a moment where the world needs to come together, stand up for Ukraine, and stand up for our values and principles, remembering that everyone deserves to be safe," he said, in a video message, encouraging "all to continue to stand up for Ukraine."
Social media rally "Stand Up for Ukraine"
The "Stand Up for Ukraine" event took place in the Polish capital on 9 April, "in recognition of Poland's essential role in supporting refugees fleeing the invasion of Ukraine," the European Commission said in a press release.
More than 4.4 million refugees have fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion began on Frebruary 24, according to UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.
Poland has taken in more than 2.6 million refugees fleeing Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the Polish Border Guard agency reported on Saturday.
The Warsaw event was the concluding stage of a broader social media campaign launched by the European Commission and the Government in Canada, in partnership with international advocacy organisation Global Citizen.
The aim of the campaign, a social media rally held on April 8, was to raise funding to support refugees fleeing Ukraine and internally displaced people in the country.
Source: IAR, unhcr.og