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Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis

Ukrainian refugees, including many children and women, arrive by trains at Przemyśl station in Poland.

Photo credit: Valerio Muscella

Photo credit: Valerio Muscella


One year of war, one year of battle-hardened humanitarian response

About the Humanitarian Crisis in Ukraine

In the weeks after the onset of conflict in Ukraine in February 2022, the country’s humanitarian situation has surpassed even the worst-case predicted scenarios. Neighboring countries are seeing huge refugee influxes, largely women and children. More than 18 million people, 90% of whom are women and children, have left Ukraine in search of safety. 5.4 million are internally displaced.

Even prior to the invasion, years of conflict in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of eastern Ukraine had left 2.9 million people in need of humanitarian assistance and displaced 1.5 million people from their homes. For Ukrainian refugees and internally displaced people, the most immediate needs include food, clean water, shelter. and protection from violence, including gender-based violence. In addition to the ongoing conflict, other major challenges for displaced families include freezing weather, COVID-19 concerns, and access to healthcare, especially for women and the elderly.

Poland is a primary destination for people fleeing the conflict, and the Polish government has set up reception centers and hospitals near crossing points on the 300-mile border. Romania has nearly 2 million refugees. Other neighboring countries receiving refugees include Moldova, Hungary, Slovakia, and Belarus.

A man in a bright orange vest stands by an orange sign that reads,
Photo credit: Raegan Hodge/CARE

How to Help Ukraine – What CARE is Doing

CARE has launched a humanitarian appeal to support the most vulnerable Ukrainians, particularly women-headed households and the elderly. Our goal is to provide life-saving assistance to 4 million people who have been impacted by the conflict.

CARE’s response is regional and leverages partnerships in affected countries. In Poland, CARE is working with multiple agencies including Polish Humanitarian Aid (PAH), Polish Centre for International Aid (PCPM), and Ukrainian House. In Ukraine, CARE is working with Charity Foundation Stabilization Support Services (CFSSS), International Renaissance Foundation (IRF), and People in Need (PIN). In Romania, CARE is working with SERA, Federation of Child Protection NGOs (FONC), and Red Cross. In Slovenia, CARE is working with Red Cross.

Our first priority is meeting the immediate needs of affected families through the distribution of critical food and water supplies, as well as hygiene kits, cash assistance and psychosocial support. In addition, CARE has spearheaded a cash-for work program that employs Ukrainian teachers in Polish schools to keep Ukrainian children in school.

We thank you for considering a generous gift to support these efforts.

*Last updated February 2023

Our latest Ukraine updates

Ukraine Crisis Update: September 18, 2023

This issue spotlights Dave Gahan and Martin Gore, members of musical group Depeche Mode, who recently partnered with CARE to raise funds on their tour. Plus, a focus on Irina Ozhehova, who recently joined CARE Ukraine as a Rapid Response Officer after volunteering to help people in the region for over a decade.

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Ukraine Crisis Update: March 21, 2023

As the anniversary of the Ukraine conflict passes, two Ukrainian women reflect on the past year and their new lives in Poland.

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Ukraine Crisis Update: February 20, 2023

One year into the crisis, CARE and our partners have reached nearly one million people, with efforts spanning Ukraine, Georgia, Germany, Moldova, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia.

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Ukraine Crisis Update: January 20, 2023

Our January update tells the stories of Masha, a three-year-old who fled Ukraine with her parents, and three volunteers from the Ukraine House, a cultural center in Przemyśl, Poland that was converted into an emergency shelter.

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Ukraine Crisis Update: December 19, 2022

Ukraine saw this season's first snow, just days after new attacks on energy infrastructure caused widespread blackouts and disruption of heating and water supplies.

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Ukraine Crisis Update: November 21, 2022

As winter approaches, more Ukrainians are once again surging to the Poland border. This November 21 update explores how CARE is responding, and features a mother's story of life with her children after fleeing Ukraine.

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Ukraine Crisis Update: October 17, 2022

The October 17 newsletter explores how Ukrainian refugees have stayed connected to their humanity and culture during war, and provides an update on refugee teachers seeking employment in Poland.

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Ukraine Crisis Update: September 19, 2022

Since the crisis began in February 2022, CARE and its 56 implementing partners have reached almost half a million people across Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Georgia, and Germany. In this September 19 newsletter, CARE shares stories from volunteers.

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Ukraine Crisis Update: August 15, 2022

According to the UN, more than 10 million refugees have fled Ukraine since February 2022. In this August 15 update, CARE shares three stories from Ukrainian refugees who are adjusting to life in Poland.

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Ukraine Crisis Update: July 18, 2022

The July 18 update examines how CARE and our partners have been working with Ukrainian refugees in Poland, and assisting families with childcare and recreational programs during the summer months.

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Ukraine Crisis Update: June 9, 2022

The June 9 edition of the CARE Ukraine Crisis Update focuses on how the conflict is driving a world hunger crisis, spotlights some program participants in Ukraine who have received food shipments, plus compares and contrasts the current state of the cities of Kyiv and Lviv.

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Ukraine Crisis Update: April 25, 2022

The April 25 newsletter reports how donations are making a difference for those in need of help due to the conflict in Ukraine. CARE CEO Michelle Nunn and three board members visited the border region, where refugees are still crossing in large numbers, as well as CARE Poland’s operations in Warsaw.

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Ukraine Crisis Update: April 18, 2022

The April 18 newsletter features a photo essay of Ukrainian refugees entering Poland as well as a story on a new program placing Ukrainian teachers and students into Polish schools.

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Ukraine Crisis Update: April 11, 2022

This newsletter update highlights a resort near Lviv, Ukraine, that has turned into a refuge for displaced people, and features an interview with a psychiatrist who recently received training in trauma counseling to better assist Ukrainians.

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Ukraine Crisis Update: April 4, 2022

CARE is working with carefully selected partners in each country receiving refugees, as well as inside Ukraine.

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Ukraine Crisis Update: March 28, 2022

More Ukrainian refugees, most of whom are women, children, and the elderly, stream into Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Moldova with each passing day. In this newsletter update, CARE shares the stories of some of these refugees.

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