At the Medyka crossing between Ukraine and Poland, two weeks after the conflict began.
At the Medyka crossing between Ukraine and Poland, two weeks after the conflict began. (Photo: Kieran McConville/Concern Worldwide)

Concern Launches Humanitarian Response Within Ukraine

“The sheer scale of the movement of people is unprecedented.”

Concern Worldwide has launched a humanitarian operation within Ukraine to help those fleeing the conflict.

Having completed assessments in the border countries of Poland, Moldova, Hungary, Slovakia, and Romania, Concern’s Emergency Response Team will focus their activities inside Ukraine, where they believe the humanitarian needs are greatest.

The UN refugee agency, the UNHCR, warned last week that in addition to the 3.5 million who have fled Ukraine, further conflict had forced 6.5 million Ukrainians to leave their homes, but they remain within the country. The number of displaced people is continuing to grow every day.

“A quarter of Ukraine’s population is on the move – the equivalent of twice the number of people on the island of Ireland,” Concern’s Head of Emergency Operations Ros O’Sullivan said. “The sheer scale is unprecedented. We will work to support those in transit and those who can no longer keep moving.”

Concern’s Emergency Response Team is working closely with its partners in the Alliance2015 group of European non-government organizations (NGOs), two of which, Czech NGO People in Need and French NGO ACTED, have been working in Ukraine since 2014 and have well-established relationships with local authorities and local NGOs. They are supporting people within Ukraine within their homes and those who have been forced to flee the conflict.

The response includes:

  • Cash payments targeting 10,000 people. The initial focus will be on displaced people living with host families or in rented accommodation in the Lvivska region, but this program will expand to other regions in Western Ukraine;
  • Procurement and delivery of family household kits (including blankets, bed linen, and cutlery), hygiene kits (including soap, bleach, toilet paper, and plastic buckets) and baby kits (including diapers and baby wipes);
  • Support to hosting facilities and collective centers in Western Ukraine for displaced people, with items such as mattresses and blankets, support with equipment such as washing machines and stoves; assistance with utility payments; upgrades to sanitation or heating systems; and establishing child-friendly spaces.

“The humanitarian need here is huge and growing daily, as more and more people arrive,” Mr. O’Sullivan noted. “But Concern and its partners are very well placed on the ground to respond.”

Concern’s Emergency Fund is 100% designated to fund emergencies, including the Ukraine crisis, and can be deployed rapidly when days or even hours make all the difference.