Children coloring at a table
Psychosocial support activities for children in Kharkiv Oblast, Ukraine. Mykhaylo Palinchak/Concern Worldwide

Concern has provided cash and essential support to over 200,000 people in Ukraine as conflict enters its third year

Concern Worldwide has reached over 200,000 people in Ukraine with emergency support and vital services, during the last two years of conflict in the country. 

As the conflict enters its third year on Saturday, February 24, there are currently 14.6 million people in Ukraine in need of humanitarian support, and over 3.5 million have been forced from their homes but remain within the country.

Concern is working within Ukraine with local partners and members of the Alliance2015 group of European non-government organizations. It joined German NGO Welthungerhilfe (WHH) and Italian NGO Cesvi to form the Joint Emergency Response in Ukraine (JERU) in 2022. JERU’s work is being continued by Concern and WHH.

JERU reached 208,000 people since establishing programs in 2022. Last year, the JERU team worked with eight national organizations to reach 144,000 people with emergency support in the form of:

  • Cash to cover basic needs and winter readiness;
  • Psychosocial support, such as counseling sessions for children and adults;
  • Livelihoods programming, which involved financial and educational support to small and medium-sized business owners affected by displacement and the ongoing conflict.

“Our partners have been key to the successful expansion of our work in the north, east and south of the country where alongside Poltava and Dnipro, we are working with communities in Mykolaiv, Zaporizhzha, Kharkiv and Sumy oblasts,” Concern’s Program Director in Ukraine, Erica Niel, said. “These are some of the most vulnerable populations, residing in front line regions and areas with international borders to Russia.”

JERU delivered multi-purpose cash assistance to over 80,000 individuals during 2023, and additionally supported over 16,500 adults and children to gain access to essential psychosocial support.

The programming has been agile, enabling the team to respond to rapidly changing circumstances. “Throughout the year JERU has been able to respond to aerial attacks that have affected areas of work by re-directing funding to provide immediate assistance to those impacted,” Niel said.

“For example, this was the case in response to the Kakhovka dam explosion last June which resulted in thousands of people being affected by the resultant flood waters. Through coordination with local partners we were able support those impacted with cash, food and hygiene items.”

In 2024, JERU will continue to provide humanitarian support for impacted communities but will also re-orientate its work to support the economic needs and longer term recovery of communities when opportunities arise.

“We are working to help provide dignified living conditions for affected populations, and allowing them to strengthen self-reliance through small economic development activities including business grants, business counseling and re-skilling,” Niel said.