— ACT/DKH/Frank Schultze

Click here to read FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS on our response to Ukraine

We are grateful for the outpouring of prayers and calls from congregations and individuals asking how they can help.  As the violence continues, the number of people being displaced internally and fleeing to neighboring countries increases by the day.  And in the midst of the chaos, there are sibling churches and ecumenical partners who are already providing assistance with basic items for survival.  Our first priority as PDA is to provide funding to these partners on the ground.  While the scale of this crisis is new, receiving refugees from Ukraine and other countries in Central and Eastern Europe is not which means we have trusted, established partners with the knowledge and expertise to carry out this important work. 

We are hearing that the reformed churches in Ukraine and the region are also feeling called to join in the humanitarian response. PDA, therefore, anticipates that our response will include both financial and technical assistance as the network of faith communities providing humanitarian assistance grows in the months ahead.  

As we pray for an end to this violence, we ask the U.S. Government and our European allies to make a commitment to the Ukrainian people for a peaceful solution.  We don’t know how long it will take, but we know that they will need help with the rebuilding of their country so that those who are fleeing now may one day return home safely. 

Funds are being used for emergency humanitarian aid such as food items, shelter, medicines, diapers, hygiene items, etc. 

To support our response, designate gifts to DR000156 or text PDAUKR to 41444

As of 30 March, around 10.5 million people – more than a quarter of the Ukrainian population – have been forcibly displaced by the ongoing military offensive, including nearly 6.5 million internally displaced and more than 4 million displaced across international borders – including 204,000 third-country nationals. Over 2.3 million people are seeking refuge in Poland alone. In a context of increasing displacement, people on the move (a majority being women and children) face growing risks of sexual exploitation and abuse, gender-based violence (GBV) and human trafficking. Between 24 February and 16 March, International Organization for Migration (IOM) reports that out of more than 2,435 calls received through the Migrant Advice and Anti-Trafficking hotline, nearly 60 per cent of callers (61 per cent of whom were women) sought information on safe travel routes and anti-human trafficking measures.

 

Watch the webinar from 3/23:

 

Update from PDA as of March 14, 2022

Update from ACT Alliance as of March 8, 2022:

The intense military escalation has resulted in loss of life, injuries and mass movement of the civilian population throughout the country and to neighbouring countries, as well as severe destruction and damage to infrastructure and residential housing. Martial law has been invoked allowing authorities to impose restrictions on movement; male Ukrainians 16 – 80 are prevented from leaving the country. All civil defence, civilian protection bodies and law enforcement entities are engaged in active armed conflict.
 
Public service provision - water, electricity, heating and emergency health and social services - is under severe pressure, and people’s access to health care is limited by insecurity. Primary services such as banking, social transfers and transport have been impacted, as have basic services, such as health, water, electricity and local administration. With the continuation of the military operation and mounting insecurity, supply chains are likely to be disrupted for a prolonged period. The ability of local authorities to sustain a minimum level of services has also been severely hampered, as employees have been displaced or can no longer access their workplace.
 
The expansion of the conflict is projected to deepen and expand humanitarian needs among millions of Ukrainians and exacerbate human suffering. UNOCHA estimates that over the course of the next three months, up to 6.7 million persons may be displaced inside Ukraine, it is projected 18 million people will be affected and 12 million people are expected to need humanitarian assistance.
 
The extensive violence immediately sparked a massive movement of people towards the borders. By 6th March 2022, more than 1.7 million refugees have fled Ukraine to neighbouring countries of Poland (1,028,000), Hungary (180,000) Slovakia (128,000), Moldova (83,000) Romania (79,000), the Russian Federation (53,000) and other European countries (184,000), according to UNHCR data. It has been reported that UNHCR is planning for up to 4 million refugees in the coming weeks. At this rate, the situation is set to become Europe’s largest refugee crisis of this century. According to UNHCR, an additional 96,000 people moved to the Russian Federation from the Donetsk and Luhansk regions between 18 and 23 February.
 
The remaining population, even those currently not directly affected by security incidents and fighting, are facing reduced or disrupted services, with water, heating, electricity supply as well as transportation and telecommunications badly affected. Health services – already massively weakened by the cumulative effects of years of conflict as well as the multiple waves of COVID-19 – have also deteriorated rapidly due to shortages of medical supplies and personnel relative to the current scale of needs. Access to emergency medical services, including reproductive health services, has become even more challenging amid insecurity. Local authorities’ capacities to provide social protection services are overstretched.
 
Particularly vulnerable groups include older persons and persons with disabilities, who may be unable to flee or may stay in the impacted areas, resulting in risks to their lives, struggles to meet daily needs and challenges in accessing humanitarian assistance. Third country nationals are also particularly vulnerable as they have been prevented entry at borders and may fall outside the legal framework for assistance.
 
Women and girls, already susceptible to various forms of gender-based violence, particularly transactional sex, survival sex and sexual exploitation and abuse, will be even further at risk of gender-based violence, including conflict related sexual violence. Due to the restriction on men leaving, families are separated and the majority of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and refugees are women with children.
 
Primary needs are emerging in terms of security, relocation and in the destination areas: establishment of structures for the acceptance of IDPs, including supply of shelter, water and sanitation, food and other basic needs, health, protection and psycho-social services.

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