Global Friends of Ukraine held its official launch at the House of Commons in London on 23 October. It was attended by over 100 distinguished guests, including British MPs and Lords, Government officials, professionals, investors, leading experts, musicians and writers.

The reception was hosted by John Whittingdale MP, Director of the British Ukrainian Society and Chairman of the British-Ukraine All-Party Parliamentary Group, who also became Patron of Global Friends of Ukraine. Addressing the audience he said: “We will continue to give all support to the people of Ukraine and their rights to determine their own future.”

The Founder of Global Friends of Ukraine, Maria Tymofienko, explained the aims and goals, structure and projects of the new organisation. “I set up Global Friends of Ukraine to facilitate and co-ordinate projects and to work closely with the Government and NGOs in Ukraine to channel and deliver international support to where it is most needed. We must turn Ukraine’s strong international support into practical steps and positive action,” Ms Tymofienko said.

Global Friends of Ukraine (GFU) is a UK-registered organisation bringing together the many friends of Ukraine from around the world – people from all walks of life – who share a common concern for the current situation in Ukraine and who want to offer their help and support.

GFU provides access to expert, technical and financial assistance through its networks, internationally and in Ukraine, while also channelling and directing support into practical ways to help Ukraine.

GFU is run by a team of experts who allocate their time on a pro-bono basis and manage projects via a series of Task Forces helping Ukraine in the immediate security, economic and energy crises that it is facing, as well as supporting reform programmes for the long-term development of the country.

Media Task Force forms an objective opinion of Ukraine and builds a positive image of the country abroad through advocacy and communications.

Economics Task Force supports economic reforms in Ukraine to improve the environment for national and foreign businesses, diversification of markets and promotion of Ukrainian products abroad, as well as providing expert advice in the field of energy security and integration with EU markets.

Legal Task Force provides advice on drafting new laws and implementing constitutional reform, assistance in international courts (for instance IDPs class action in the European Court of Human Rights), anti-corruption laws, etc.

Capacity Building Task Force helps to establish and train democratic institutions, including political parties, NGOs and governmental institutions, to strengthen Ukraine’s civic society and democratic political system.

Victims of War Task Force assists those affected by current instability, including internally displaced people (IDPs) and those injured in the conflict, by providing medical supplies, equipment, expertise in post-traumatic disorder to rehabilitation war centres in Ukraine.

Culture Task Force promotes Ukrainian traditions, culture, arts and sports globally.

Holodomor Task Force campaigns for the Holodomor famine of 1932-33 that killed millions of Ukrainians to be recognised worldwide as genocide.

To learn more about Global Friends of Ukraine, please visit http://globalfriendsukraine.org/