Relief Efforts 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, with lines at the borders stretching for miles. More than 5.2 million people have left Ukraine in search of safety, and that number is expected to climb. The U.N. is estimating 18 million people will be affected by the conflict, including 7.7 million who are likely to be 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 the freezing weather, COVID-19 concerns, and access to healthcare, especially for women and the elderly.
Women and girls are particularly at-risk during times of conflict and displacement, most notably due to the increased risk of violence, exploitation, discrimination, and poor access to vital health services.
CARE’s Response in Ukraine
CARE has launched a humanitarian appeal to support the most vulnerable Ukrainians, particularly women-headed households and the elderly.
CARE’s responses will be regional and leverage partnerships in affected countries to deliver emergency assistance. In Poland, CARE is working with Polish Humanitarian Action (PAH), Polish Center for International Aid (PCPM), and Ukrainian House. Our priority is to meet 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 Romania, CARE is working with its longterm partner SERA, the Federation of Child Protection NGOs (FONPC), and Red Cross to deliver assistance to those fleeing into Romania from Ukraine.
In Slovenia, CARE is working with Red Cross.
In Ukraine, CARE supports a number of partner organizations. These include CFSSS (Charity Foundation Stabilization Support Services), IRF (International Renaissance Foundation), and Ukraine House, as well as Ukrainian women’s rights organizations to implement programs that support women and other marginalized groups.
CARE is also working through People in Need (PIN) in Ukraine to provide food, water, hygiene items, key non-food items such as mattresses, sleeping bags and blankets, psychosocial support and protection, and sanitation facilities at the overcrowded border crossing areas. PIN has been providing trucks and trains of basic relief items into Lviv and Kyiv in western Ukraine as well as psychosocial assistance including a 24/7 assistance hotline to trained professionals.
CARE has worked in Europe since the aftermath of World War II, when we delivered assistance in the form of CARE Packages to countries ravaged by conflict. We have active programs in multiple countries in Eastern Europe.