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International Committee of the Red Cross in Ukraine
The fighting between Ukraine and Russian forces has entered a new phase, but still, the priority of the ICRC is to help those who are in need. Once the security situation improves, and security teams permit it, the Red Cross volunteers would proceed with repairs. Their goal is to start with repairs on the health centers and other vital structures.
The president of the ICRC, Peter Maurer, arrived on the ground at Kyiv on March 16 on a planned 5-day visit. He called on Russia for more humanitarian access and also ask for more protection for the civilians. In general, he wanted to at least alleviate the suffering of the Ukrainian people.
On March 14, more than 200 tons of humanitarian aid arrived in Ukraine. The aid came mostly in the form of medical supplies. The supplies will then be dispatched and distributed to the cities that are most hit by the fighting, like Kyiv and Kharkiv.
The humanitarian aid also contains critical items needed for basic survival, like mattresses, blankets, tarps, food, and water. The aim is to get these aid items to the civilian shelters where they are most needed.
Why is it Important to Support Red Cross in Ukraine?
The people in Ukraine, especially the ones most affected by the conflict are quite heartbroken as they are forced out of their homes to flee the fighting. The Red Cross works really hard every day to provide assistance in this time of dire humanitarian emergency while it is still unfolding. The Red Cross is also currently supporting Ukrainian refugees who fled to neighboring countries, like Poland, Moldova, Hungary, Belarus, and more.
Trucks and planes laden with goods and other needs arrive regularly in these countries to assist the refugees in this time of need. Red Cross teams are currently:
- Handing out food, water, hygiene kits, clothes, and beddings to the displaced – They are also distributing SIM cards with free service so that separated family members can find each other and stay in contact amid all the chaos and turmoil.
- Providing medical assistance at the border crossings – Ukrainians are fleeing en masse out of the country, and many of them need medical aid. The Red Cross teams are ready and waiting for the refugees right at the borders to provide them with the help they need immediately.
- Providing baby products and specific help for young children – A lot of the refugees fleeing Ukraine are children and babies. The journey to escape the war took a toll on the young children, as many of them have to do it on foot. The Red Cross supplies clothes, milk, medicine, diapers, and other things that the children might need now that they’ve been displaced.
- Pitching tents for refugees – Even after escaping to the neighboring countries, there is no guarantee that the Ukrainians will have a place to go to. The Red Cross has pitched hundreds of tents all over the government-mandated refugee grounds so that people will have a somewhat warm and comfortable place to rest.
- Giving psychosocial aid to refugees who need them – Of course, just the fact that you have been forcefully rooted out of your home is stressful enough. Add to that the trauma of having bullets whizzing above your head and bombs exploding around you. The constant thoughts of not surviving until the next day can put a huge toll on a person’s mental health. Aside from medical help, the Red Cross also provides psychosocial aid to the refugees.
The Red Cross might seem like they have it under control in Ukraine, but that is far from the truth. They will need every bit of help that they can get, and you can offer your assistance in whatever capacity that you can by going to the official website of the organization.
World Central Kitchen in Ukraine
Within hours after Russia first attacked Ukraine, World Central Kitchen has already set up its operations along the borders. Since day one, WCK has been serving hot meals to refugees fleeing the war, and they say they will be there until the whole thing blows over.
Central Kitchen and Supply Depot in Poland
Poland is receiving tens of thousands of Ukrainian refugees every day, and keeping them well-fed has been quite a challenge for WCK. However, after opening a central kitchen and food supply depot near the border of Poland and Ukraine, the task has become easier. There are also more WCK warehouses in Lviv so that people who chose to stay can receive aid.
Speaking of remaining in Ukraine, the WCK is supporting restaurants in the cities of Kharkiv and in Kyiv that are still constantly bombarded.
There is also a new WCK Relief Kitchen situated in Przemyśl, Poland, which is just a couple of miles from the border. From this site, the World Central Kitchen Team can serve up to 100,000 individual meals a day. With tens of thousands of refugees crossing over to Poland from Ukraine, such a huge production is necessary. This is why the WCK needed to utilize a dozen huge paella pans and 12 massive ovens.
Cooking Within the Warzone
There are currently dozens of chefs and restaurant owners within Ukraine who are working with the WCK. They are working hard to provide warm meals for those who chose to remain at home or have no other choice on the matter. By the UN’s estimates, there are more than 2 million people who are staying in Lviv, so the WCK has to work overtime to prepare food for them.
The WCK delivers thousands of freshly cooked meals to more than 50 locations within Lviv, and it increases in numbers daily. With the end of the war not yet in sight, WCK must find ways to increase its production to meet the needs of the refugees.
Working out of the WCK warehouses within the city of Lviv, the organization is doing its best to fill the gaps in Ukraine’s dwindling food supplies. They are constantly supplying the WCK’s restaurant partners with meat, grains, fresh produce, and other food products. Dozens of trucks depart from the warehouses and travel to Mykolayiv, Odesa, Zolochiv, and also to Kyiv.
Why Is It Important to Support the WCK?
In times of crisis, few things can help lift people’s spirits than hot and freshly made food. Imagine being forced out of your home and country due to war, only to be met with cold rations. That would be enough to drive an already depressed refugee into further despair.
The World Central Kitchen does not just provide food to Ukrainian refugees. They are also giving them some semblance of normalcy. By serving them traditional foods, it reminds the displaced refugees that there will soon come a time when they can come back home.
Because keeping foods fresh, cooking them on-site, and transporting them to people in need is a huge logistical challenge, you can help by donating whatever you can to the cause. Note that sending goods in kind right now is not possible, as it would only add to the logistical issues. In addition, World Central Kitchen typically sources its ingredients locally. This ensures that the kitchens are getting fresh ingredients, and they also help the local economy.
You can find out how to help the World Central Kitchen by visiting its official website and navigating over to the donations page. In these trying times, every bit of help counts. Contribute whatever amount you can, and it will be received with the same amount of gratitude as other donations.
International Rescue Commission in Ukraine
The International Rescue Commission (IRC) for the last 90 years was always among the first to go to the frontlines. Every time there is a humanitarian crisis where the people need immediate help, expect the IRC to be there starting from Day 1. The IRC figures out ways to reach people in need, whatever the cost.
The IRC’s response to the war going on right now in Ukraine is no different from what they have been doing for decades. So far, millions of people have been displaced, and hundreds of civilians have been caught in the crossfire and killed. The IRC’s teams that have been deployed in Poland are hard at work, along with their partners, to help Ukrainian refugees as soon as they cross the border.
The IRC is also working inside Ukraine, helping the women and children evacuate from their war-torn cities. They also provide assistance to those who cannot leave their homes.
What Do the Ukrainian Refugees Need?
With hundreds of thousands of refugees crossing the border of Ukraine and Poland every day, they will need ample supplies of food, water, beddings, and clothes. The IRC, through its partner merchants and other charities, has been providing relief supplies non-stop to the continuing influx of Ukrainian refugees.
The IRC has also been providing immediate medical care to those who are injured and suffering from illnesses, mostly the elderly and pregnant women. The organization also has psychiatric experts who are providing free counseling to the severely traumatized, of which there are many. By aiding the people to cope with the crisis, they can rebound and regain their sense of normalcy somewhat.
According to the needs assessments done by the IRC in Poland, what most of the refugees need right now is employment. Regardless of whether they plan to stay in Poland for good or go back home once the war subsides, the refugees want to give back however they can to their Polish hosts. Most of the people surveyed were elderly and single mothers.
The IRC’s survey also showed that integration efforts for the refugees are in need of further investment. Ukrainian and non-Ukrainian citizens have escaped the country and they need effective translation services so the children can attend schools and have access to all the necessary documents.
For the refugees, having access to the job market means they will be regaining their sense of autonomy, which will greatly help them rebuild their lives. For the single mothers, in addition to welfare programs, it is also important that they are provided with childcare provisions so they can work to support their families.
How Can You Help?
The International Rescue Commission is continuously accepting donations, in monetary form mainly because the logistical costs of bringing in-kind donations are not feasible at the moment. You can donate however much you can through the IRC’s official website.
If you want to volunteer your time, you can inquire at your local IRC office if they need local volunteers. The IRC is always on the lookout for people who can attend to their helplines and chats and also for organizing logistics.
Even though the war in Ukraine is happening on the other side of the world right now, helping others in need knows no bounds. The IRC continues to help those in need of humanitarian aid, especially the innocent civilians who have been caught in the middle of all the fighting. The IRC might be one of the biggest NGOs in the world, but it still needs all the help that it can get.
Mercy Corps in Ukraine
The number of refugees from Ukraine is increasing at an alarming rate every day. Currently, there are more than 3 million people who have escaped to the neighboring countries. The refugees are composed mostly of Ukrainians, but there are also those of other citizens who were temporarily residing in the country.
The Mercy Corps has been monitoring the tensions between Ukraine and Russia and has been proactive by sending out volunteers to the borders in anticipation of what will inevitably come.
Mercy Corps has been busy on the ground in Ukraine, Poland, and Romania as they continuously assess and address the most urgent humanitarian needs. They are organizing and delivering much-needed medical supplies and food into Eastern Ukraine for those who chose to stay in the country.
They are also preparing and distributing emergency cash aid to refugees, and also working with local businesses and organizations to know what they need and provide them.
What Does the Mercy Corps Need Right Now?
Unfortunately, the Mercy Corps expects that the conflict in Ukraine will get worse before it gets better. They expect that this war will further decimate infrastructure, electricity, food supplies, healthcare facilities, and other important services.
Since February 24, 2022, more than 3 million Ukrainian refugees have flocked to the borders of the country. This makes this the fastest-growing refugee crisis since the Second World War. And according to the UN, more than 10 million Ukrainians will be displaced before the conflict ends. The Mercy Corps is increasingly concerned about the elderly (which are more than 1/3 of the refugees) and the disabled. The elderly are more likely to just stay in their homes despite the ongoing conflict.
The biggest problem is how to get enough food and water to those stuck in Ukraine. Studies have shown that an average-sized family needs to have a stockpile of food and water that can last for at least a month. However, because of the suddenness of the Russian invasion, most families in Ukraine only had 2 to 3 days of food stored in their homes.
The Mercy Corps are working tirelessly around the clock to procure food from local suppliers, so they are supporting not only the Ukrainian refugees but the local economy as well.
The Mercy Corps has also been providing financial assistance to those who have been displaced. As you might have heard, because of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, inflation has caused their currency to become almost worthless. So, even if they managed to bring money to the borders, they won’t be getting much when they get it exchanged.
This is the reason why Mercy Cares is also providing refugees with monetary aid so they can reset and start over. Food and water are always good for immediate needs, but monetary aid will help the refugees get back on their feet. They can use the money to get a fresh start in a new country, or so they can get a temporary job until it is safe to return to Ukraine.
What Can You Do to Help?
As mentioned earlier, the Ukrainian refugees need monetary aid as much as they do for food and water. So, if you can, send monetary aid through Mercy Corps. You just need to visit the organization’s official website and then navigate towards the donations page.
For now, Mercy Corps is only accepting cash donations because of the extreme difficulty of transporting in-kind donations to the crisis area. In addition, monetary donations will allow Mercy Corps to support the local economy by purchasing relief goods like food and water from local suppliers.
Any amount you can spare will help change the lives of the refugees.
Americares in Ukraine
Americares is no stranger to crisis response. The organization has over 40 years of experience providing humanitarian aid to international emergencies. These include conflicts leading to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people, which is the case in Ukraine presently.
As of writing, more than 3 million people have escaped, or are in the process of escaping, from the armed conflict in Ukraine. Every day, hundreds of thousands of refugees are flocking towards the borders of Ukraine, and many of them are in dire need of medical aid, food, and water. Americares is just one of the many international NGOs and charities that are working together to provide humanitarian aid to the displaced Ukrainians.
What is Americares Doing in Ukraine?
Americares already mobilized its response teams as soon as the crisis in Ukraine started. The organization quickly set up operations in Poland, as near to its border in Ukraine as possible, in anticipation of the huge influx of refugees. The Americares team consists of experts in large-scale logistics, especially shipments of medical and relief supplies.
Americares’ immediate response team focuses mostly on the delivery of much-needed medicine and medical supplies. Currently, Americares has delivered almost 4 tons of much-needed medicines and medical supplies to Ukraine. The Americares team is currently concentrating on procuring First Aid kits, PPEs, OB supplies, that will be delivered to their local partners for distribution to those who need it the most.
Aside from supplies, Americares also provided emergency financial aid to local NGOs in Poland and Ukraine that support refugees, both children and adults, who are caught in the crisis. A part of the funds that Americares raised for Ukraine is used for supporting local psychosocial services, like training staff on proper crisis counseling and cognitive behavioral therapy focused on trauma. Americares is also hiring Ukrainian translators to connect the refugees with Polish educational resources, among others.
Americares has been continuously monitoring the situation in Ukraine ever since the conflict started. The organization is also closely working with the WHO, local health authorities in Ukraine to ensure that a coordinated medical response continues until this crisis dissipates.
Unfortunately, it seems like the crisis in Ukraine will be getting worse before it can get any better. There is still no end in sight for this armed conflict, which is why Americares needs whatever help it can get at this time.
How You Can Help Americares
The countries that border Ukraine (Moldova, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Poland) have already enacted states of emergency, and they are actively taking in people who are escaping from Ukraine. Humanitarian organizations, like Americares, are prepared to provide as many of them with aid. However, the problem is that there are hundreds of thousands of refugees crossing the borders every day, and even though Americares has prepared for this inevitability, its resources are severely limited.
If you can, please donate as much as you are comfortable doing so. Unfortunately, due to the volatile situation in Ukraine, in-kind donations are not currently being accepted. Monetary donations are preferred as Americares and its partners purchase the bulk of the humanitarian aid from the local suppliers. This not only supports the local economy also means that the aid gets to those who need it quickly.
To donate, go to the Americares official website and navigate to the donations page. Input the amount that you are comfortable donating. Note that any amount will help.
It is days like this when people, regardless of where they are from, should work together to provide help to those in desperate need. If you can, donate what you can to help Americares provide help to as many Ukrainian refugees as possible.