Concern Ramps Up Aid Response in Ukraine As "Stark" Winter Looms
Concern Worldwide’s team in Ukraine is ramping up its efforts to support thousands of Ukrainians displaced internally by the conflict, amid warnings that the situation is becoming “more stark”.
By the end of October, Concern and its partners had reached almost 40,000 people with cash transfers, food supplies and hygiene kits.
“The estimated 6.5 million internally displaced people who have been forced to flee their homes continues to grow – there is a steady influx of people into so-called safer areas,” according to Concern’s Head of Emergency Operations, Ros O’Sullivan, who has just returned from Ukraine.
“With winter coming and the first snow now falling, the situation is becoming more stark,” he said. “Temperatures at night are falling to minus 4 or 6 degrees, and they will reach minus 20 by the middle of winter.”
Remaining warm is one of the biggest challenges in a country where electricity and fuel are in short supply. “The millions of displaced people face uncertainty, they face fear and now, on top of that, they are facing severe cold,” O’Sullivan said. “But they are not facing this alone – we are on the ground delivering aid.”
Concern has joined with German non-government organization Welthungerhilfe and Italian humanitarian organization Cesvi to operate the Joint Emergency Response in Ukraine (JERU).
Originally operating in western Ukraine, Concern is also now working from Poltava and Kirovohrad in the center of the country to get supplies to communities in the east and south of Ukraine which are accommodating huge numbers of displaced people.
Concern is providing cash payments to vulnerable families to enable them to buy what they need, supplying food to transit centres working with displaced people, and food and hygiene supplies to communities hosting large numbers of people fleeing the conflict.
“Concern will support some of the 4,000 special winter centres announced by the government this month to provide heat, warmth, food and charging points in areas where the electricity supply has been impacted,” O’Sullivan said. “We are also currently exploring the practicalities of providing generators to provide electricity to these centres,” he added.
Concern is currently completing a multi-sector needs assessment across eight regions in the east and centre of Ukraine. The results of this assessment would inform the direction of Concern’s response into 2023.