As the fighting moves increasingly westwards – with sirens resounding even in Lviv – the humanitarian catastrophe in Ukraine pushes the country ever further into the abyss. The civilian death toll shows no sign of stopping: according to the United Nations, at least 1,663 people have been affected, including 596 dead.
Eastern Ukraine continues to be the most worrying theatre of war. As a result of the bombings, nearly one million people have been left without electricity and 264,000 have no access to gas. Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have been left in the cold, without food, water and medicine. Without a ceasefire and safe humanitarian corridors, people living in besieged cities risk starvation, dehydration or being caught in the crossfire.
Missiles do not spare those seeking safety either. In the past few days, air strikes have severely hit a monastery in Svjatohirs’k – where more than 500 displaced people, 200 of them children, were sheltered – and a train carrying hundreds of people trying to reach Lviv.
More children and women in the grip of hunger
Meanwhile, the grip of hunger is tightening around the most vulnerable. According to the United Nations, it is children who pay the highest price. With no food and food supplies unable to reach the cities, 1.8 million children under five are in danger of dying of starvation and in urgent need of food assistance. Among them, more than 300,000 are infants between 0 and 6 months old.
The 215,000 pregnant and lactating women are also at risk. Without urgent food support, they risk complications for themselves and the babies they are carrying, and hunger risks compromising the production of breast milk, which is essential to safeguard the health of their newborn children.
The exodus to Europe continues
As hostilities continue, the exodus of refugees grows day by day. According to UNHCR, more than 2.7 million refugees have found refuge outside Ukraine – half of them children.
The situation at the borders continues to be dramatic. Tens of thousands of women, children and elderly people cross the borders every day, often in villages and small towns where there is a lack of services to support such large numbers of people in need.
Women and children are exhausted by the journey, accompanied by bombs and relentless cold, hunger and thirst. They are bewildered and confused, desperate to have lost everything in such a short time and worried about their loved ones left behind in Ukraine.
Cesvi’s work to support fleeing refugees continues unceasingly in Hungary and Romania, to bring concrete support to those who are now most in need of help.
Continue to stand by us, donate for the emergency in Ukraine.