Caritas Australia provides an update on the continued response to the war in Ukraine

Alistair Dutton Caritas Internationalis Secretary General visiting Caritas Spes Ukraine in July 2023. Photo Credit: Caritas-Spes Ukraine

The Caritas Australia Ukraine Crisis Appeal continues to assist 32 local Caritas-Spes Ukraine centres, with the project focused on meeting the basic needs of vulnerable internally displaced people and other war-affected households, ensuring they live with dignity. 

17.6 million people – 49 per cent of the current population – now need humanitarian assistance and protection, compared to 3 million people in need of aid at the start of 2022.  

Between April 2023 and September 2023, the Caritas-Spes Ukraine project delivered the following: 

  • Basic needs: 964 individuals received hot meals, 6,640 individuals received vouchers for purchasing medicines, 487 individuals received warm bedding kits, 378 individuals received metal stoves. 
  • Accommodation: 525 individuals received accommodation across 7 collective centres. 
  • Access to learning: 682 children received early development kits and 1513 children received learning materials. 
  • Psychosocial wellbeing: 911 children visited Child Friendly Spaces. 

The updates come amid reports of the banning of the Catholic Church in areas of occupied Ukraine.

Melville Fernandez, Humanitarian Emergencies Associate Director at Caritas Australia said of the appeal, “The people of Ukraine are facing their second winter of conflict, with all the inevitable challenges that brings. We’re incredibly proud to be supporting Caritas-Spes Ukraine as they provide meals, stoves, bedding, medicines, and accommodation to those in need, as well as affording learning tools and safe spaces to children.  

“At his most recent General Audience Pope Francis expressed his thanks to "all those who support the Church in that region (the East) with their prayers and offerings”. We also wanted to offer a heartfelt thanks to our generous donors here in Australia, whose support ensures the love and kindness of our community is felt in Ukraine.”