A little more than a week after the outbreak of war in Ukraine, the situation shows no sign of improving. According to the United Nations, this is now a real humanitarian catastrophe.
Europe is currently witnessing the fastest and most dramatic exodus of the last century, with more than 1 million people having left the country. 400,000 of them are children who, frightened and disoriented, have been forced to flee their homes, often wearing unsuitable clothing to cross the country with the deafening noise of bombs and temperatures that drop below zero at night.
We are on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe
While the world has its eyes on the refugees who have found safety across the borders, the humanitarian crisis inside the country is increasingly dramatic. As fighting intensifies, Ukraine’s main cities have suffered severe damage to infrastructure crucial to the survival of the population and access to basic services is increasingly limited. Food and water are scarce, as are medicines and hygiene products. Banks are running out of money and those who have remained in the cities are often left without a penny to buy even a little bread.
Particularly in the east of the country, extensive damage to water systems is cutting off hundreds of thousands of people from access to water, with serious consequences also for the functioning of heating systems in homes. Thousands of people find themselves caught in the cold.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to leave the country
As each day passes, it becomes increasingly difficult to leave the cities. According to UN estimates, we could be looking at more than 6 million internally displaced persons. Petrol is running out, trains are fewer and farther between and more crowded. Those seeking safety in the west are faced with roads and bridges that are practically impassable because they have been damaged by the fighting.
All this makes the journey a hope that is becoming increasingly thin.
Water, hot meals and psychological support
With the worsening of the crisis in the East of the country, Cesvi Foundation together with People in Need – partner of Alliance2015 – has started delivering drinking water to displaced people. At the borders with Poland, Romania and Slovakia, the construction of heated tents, toilets and the distribution of hot meals to women, children and elderly people who are about to spend hours and days queuing to cross the border is continuing.
Alongside water and food distribution, however, the work of providing psychological support to refugees and displaced people who have lost everything is becoming increasingly important. From the camp, colleagues report that ‘People who have had to leave their homes and flee the fighting are often shaken and disoriented. They don’t just need material aid.’
Aid in L’viv
Meanwhile, five truckloads of humanitarian aid have been delivered to L’viv by PIN. Food, water, hygiene kits, nappies, sleeping bags and mattresses have been distributed by aid workers in the city. In the coming hours and days, other aid convoys will reach the city and from there leave for other regions of the country.
The Ukrainian population needs our and your help. Donate now for the emergency.
© Photo credits: People in Need