Gert Jochems / Agence VU’ for Action Against Hunger, Ukraine
The ongoing conflict in Ukraine threatens the lives and livelihoods of millions of civilians. More than 11 million people have been forced to flee their homes and more than 4 million crossed borders to escape the conflict. Displaced families have left behind jobs, belongings, and loved ones, and they need shelter, food, and water.
Heavy fighting, shelling, and air strikes continue to have devastating consequences – critical infrastructure such as health facilities, water supplies and schools have been damaged or destroyed. Farmers cannot plant, harvest, or transport their crops and, since Ukraine is a major global source of grain, this is driving up food prices around the world.
Action Against Hunger has been working nonstop to help Ukrainian families in crisis. To date, our emergency response has reached 150,000 people in Ukraine and neighbouring Poland, Romania, and Moldova.
More than 24 million people in Ukraine – more than half of the country’s population – will need humanitarian assistance in the coming months, according to the United Nations. This figure is an increase of 8 million compared to previous estimates done less than two months ago.
A man stands next to an unexploded missile in Mykolayiv. Photo: Gert Jochems / Agence VU’ for Action Against Hunger, Ukraine
A study of adults affected by the conflict revealed that a third of Ukrainians are experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). There is also significant stigma surrounding mental health issues and care, generally related to lack of awareness.
In western Ukraine, we’re focusing on supporting mobile health clinics, setting up mental health support services, and providing families with cash so they can buy food and other essential items. In eastern Ukraine and the Donbas region, we’re working through local partners to provide food, hygiene kits, mental health support, and medicine.
Poland has received the most refugees from Ukraine: more than 2.7 million people have arrived so far.
Ukrainian refugees cross the border into Dolhobyczow. Photo: Adrienne Surprenant for Action Against Hunger, Poland
Action Against Hunger is working in Poland to:
- distribute cash in Rzeszow so refugees can buy food and other supplies
- provide essential items, such as blankets and toiletries, to more than 10,000 people in five refugee centres
- recruit psychologists to provide mental health support
- assess access to clean water and safe sanitation
More than 500,000 people have arrived in Romania from Ukraine. “The more time passes, the more vulnerable people who arrive are,” says Julien Eyrard, an Action Against Hunger water, sanitation and hygiene expert in Romania.
We’re working with local partners to set up mental health projects in Lasi, near the border with Ukraine. Our teams have also set up cash transfer programs in Bucharest, Lasi, and Suceava so families can buy food, medicine, and anything else they need.
With a population of 2.6 million, Moldova is one of the poorest countries in Europe. It’s receiving the most refugees per capita of all of Ukraine’s neighbours, with four refugees for every 100 residents.
Ukrainian refugees arrive by bus in Palanca. Photo: Edu Leon for Action Against Hunger, Moldova
Action Against Hunger’s emergency teams have been working in Moldova and its borders with Ukraine since the conflict started.
Our response in the country includes:
- developing a health and nutrition strategy across the country to support Ukrainian refugees
- recruiting new staff so we can expand our programs
- designing new programs and advising local organizations to support breastfeeding and improve maternal health
- providing 200 hot meals per day to people in need at the border in Palanca
- distributing hygiene kits in Causeni and Palanca
Where there is conflict, there is hunger. In Ukraine, its neighbouring countries, and in communities around the world, Action Against Hunger’s teams are helping to prevent and treat hunger, improve access to clean water and safe sanitation, provide health and mental health services, and increase food security.
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