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Ukraine Update - 2 Year Anniversary of Start of War
The 24th of February 2024 marks the two-year anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Major incidents in 2023 have exacerbated humanitarian needs in vulnerable regions. Incidents include the destruction of the Kahkovka Dam in June, and the drone attack of 29 December, which killed 39 people and injured 120.
Civilian infrastructure in Ukraine continues to be targeted including water supplies, gas and electric supplies, hospitals, and homes. There has been extensive destruction of essential services, leaving millions without power, heating and water through the brutal winter cold, as the government tries to ration the existing resources and energy.
Currently, the most urgent needs are helping displaced people access safe shelter, emergency food, water, hygiene kits, medication and psychosocial support.
Caritas Ukraine, Caritas Spes Ukraine and other Caritas agencies in neighbouring countries continue to provide urgent support to displaced people. The Caritas Ukraine network is supported by 448 parish hubs and more than 1200 employees covering most regions of Ukraine and providing services in urban and rural areas.
With your help, our partners have been able to assist 3.8 million people affected by the war through a joint emergency response.
With the support of our partners Catholic Relief Services, over 10,000 Ukrainian refugees are now living in safe, dignified transitional accommodation in neighbouring Moldova.
With the added support from our Ukraine Crisis Appeal, Caritas Australia are actively able to provide continued help to those facing conflict in Ukraine. Through your generous donations, Caritas Australia can offer various forms of assistance, such as emergency aid, medical supplies, food and shelter for those who have been affected by conflict in the region.
Support people facing disaster and fleeing violence today by contributing to our Ukraine Crisis Appeal today.
More than 2 million displaced people have received food and 380,000 have received clean water
Over 500,000 people have been able to access shelter
More than 100,000 people accessed basic family medicines and 800,000 people received hygiene supplies
290,000 people accessed psychosocial support services, including vulnerable children
"The widespread impact of this war on civilians is also creating a legacy of mental and physical trauma that is particularly impactful on the development and wellbeing of children. Our partners on the ground are also telling us that the war has compounded pre-existing inequalities and challenges faced by women and marginalised groups, as well as increasing the risk of gender-based violence.”
Moldovan families open their homes to Ukrainian refugees
Nearly one-third of Ukrainians have been forced from their homes. The massive influx of displaced people from Ukraine is putting an enormous strain on existing response capacities. Nearly half a million refugees crossed the border to Moldova, one of the poorest countries in Europe at the start of the war, and about 100,000 remain today.
As part of our Ukraine response, we are supporting CRS Moldova to provide transitional accommodation to Ukrainians displaced by the conflict. The Safe and Dignified accommodation program aims to support families to find long-term and safe accommodation. It also provide financial support for host families like Olga, who are housing Ukrainian refugees in their homes.
I was watching TV, and I started to cry, seeing what destruction there is in Ukraine...when [the refugees] got to my house, those kids, they started crying and got on their knees. And they say, “Mum, it is so good here.”
When the first bombs fell on the city of Kharkiv in north-east Ukraine, 23-year-old Ilyena, her husband Andrei and their 9-month-old son Bagdan fled to a crowded metro station. They were hoping to take a train to Lviv in western Ukraine, but it was impossible to get a seat.
Desperate to leave the city, they decided to drive to the border, but they had left their car in front of their house - six metro stations away. It was dark, public transport was not running and there was a curfew imposed across the city. So, they had to walk along the tracks of the underground metro tunnel for hours until they reached their home.
It took them six days to drive to the Polish border and they had to find a new place to sleep every night. After they crossed the border, volunteers from Caritas Poland helped Illyena access a sheltered room for mothers and children, where she can access the necessities she needs to care for Bagdan.
Ilyena and her baby are now safe, but they had to say goodbye to Andrej, who had to stay behind as most Ukrainian men aged 18 to 60 cannot leave the country.
Before the war, I worked as the manager of projects for children, and now I am responsible for provision of humanitarian assistance for Internally Displaced People. In these conditions, I really feel how much we help and how strong we have become.
The funds raised through this appeal will be used to provide immediate and longer-term humanitarian assistance to communities affected by the conflict in Ukraine, and to displaced Ukrainians in neighbouring countries. Caritas Australia will use these donations through our partners in Ukraine and neighbouring countries where possible.
Where this is not possible, the funds will be used to provide immediate and longer-term development and humanitarian assistance to communities affected by crises and poverty across the world. If any excess funds remain after a crisis, or if there are changes in circumstances beyond our control that limit our ability to use the funds, they are kept in the Emergency Response Appeal so that we can respond to ongoing development needs and future crises across all our regions.
As a member of the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID), Caritas Australia is committed and fully adhere to the ACFID Code of Conduct, conducting our work with transparency, accountability and integrity. Find out more about ACFID Code of Conduct for Emergency Appeals.