Ukraine Fundraiser At St. Elizabeth’s Curley Hall to take place March 26
Conflict in Ukraine
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN UKRAINE?
A humanitarian crisis is unfolding in Ukraine after Russia invaded the country from three sides in the early hours of Thursday, February 24. Cities across the country have been bombed, including the capital city of Kyiv and the eastern city of Kharkiv. In less than two weeks, nearly 2 million people have fled the ongoing fighting for safety in neighboring countries like Poland, Hungary, and Moldova. More than 500,000children have been displaced and over 800 civilian casualties have been reported.This displacement crisis is the fastest exodus in Europe since World War II.
Conflict is not new to Ukraine. The country previously fought with Russia in 2014, which forced 1.3 million people from their homes and claimed 14,000 lives.Throughout this time, Caritas Ukraine, with support from CRS, has been providing emergency relief and recovery.
Catholic Relief Services experts can provide information and interviews about how war in Ukraine will affect millions of people in the region and how neighboring countries are responding to the needs of Ukrainian refugees. Please email [email protected] to schedule an interview.
CRS Response to Ukraine Invasion
Despite the enormous challenges and uncertainty of what is to come, CRS is supportingCaritas Ukraine (of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church) and Caritas Spes (of the Roman Catholic Church) with a range of support, including:
- Food assistance; field kitchens that provide hot lunches and snacks
- Reception services at Caritas offices, train stations and other locations for displaced people with clothing, information, referrals, food, water, hygiene items, and counseling services.
- Transportation of displaced families to friends, families, and local social services.
- Evacuation centers providing shelter, food, and counseling services for displaced families. These centers will include support to address emotional care including case management and child-friendly spaces.
Caritas Ukraine has received nearly 315 tons of relief items through humanitarian convoys from EU partners. Nearly 56,000 affected people have received assistance including food, hygiene items and emergency shelter.
CRS launched a nationwide cash program for over 100,000 refugees from Ukraine, recruiting and training staff and volunteers, including volunteers that specialize in psychological first aid and safeguarding. Using the knowledge of these volunteers and CRS staff, a training package on psychological first aid and safeguarding is also being developed.This will be provided to all staff and volunteers working throughout the 83 shelters inMoldova.
CRS has also started gathering beds, mattresses, bedding and hygiene supplies and cooked meals that will be distributed to nearly 20,000 people in the government reception centers being opened across the country.
In an effort to make it easier for private homeowners to host refugees, CRS is working with community members to develop a program that will provide financial incentives and other support.
With CRS financial support, Caritas Romania is operating transit and reception centers at the Siret border crossing and two other locations, offering accommodation, meal, information, and transportation. In Bucharest, Caritas supports new arrivals and provides transportation to accommodation centers and access to embassies. In total, CaritasRomania and partners have the capacity to host 300 people in five centers and other accommodations, and hopes to increase capacity in the coming weeks.
Caritas Poland continues to provide immediate assistance at several border crossings.Working with the Ministry of Family and Social Affairs, Caritas also continues to provide accommodation and support to a growing number of unaccompanied children at centers in8 dioceses. With technical support from CRS, new programming is being developed, including:
- Cash assistance to an initial 2,000 refugee households in four dioceses
- Piloting of a registration technology for a cash program that will reach an initial 150,000 households
- Cross-border transport of food packets and relief supplies
- Design of materials and training to roll out Caritas Poland’s safeguarding policy to all 45 dioceses
Read more about CRS’ ongoing work in Ukraine (https://www.crs.org/our-workoverseas/where-we-work/ukraine).