Caritas Australia stands in solidarity with Ukraine
25 Feb 22
“We pray for all the people in Ukraine, especially vulnerable and marginalised communities who will be most severely impacted by this recent increase in conflict,” said Melville Fernandez, Caritas Australia’s Humanitarian Emergencies Associate Director.
“Nearly 3 million people already need humanitarian assistance in eastern Ukraine, and over 850,000 have been displaced. Now, these numbers will increase dramatically – we're looking at potentially huge numbers of people forced to flee from their homes and become reliant on humanitarian aid. We’ve already heard about people fleeing from their homes in the buffer zones around Donetsk and Luhansk.”
“Access for humanitarian aid is also a major concern. It’s already hard to reach these areas, and the invasion will only make it harder. Over the years there has been extensive damage to water, gas and electricity infrastructure. We are especially worried about the reports of attacks on water facilities – there is already a water shortage and this will only make things worse.
“The impact that this conflict will have on the population is substantial. Over half of children in eastern Ukraine are currently experiencing child poverty according to UNICEF, and these conditions are only getting worse. Ukraine also has an ageing population that is more likely to stay in dangerous areas and be at risk of shelling, landmines and isolation.”
“Add into the mix the impacts of COVID-19 and low vaccination rates on an already fragile health system and it’s clear how disastrous this conflict will be for everybody impacted.”
Caritas Australia is working with Caritas Ukraine to provide vital humanitarian assistance. Caritas Ukraine will provide essential emergency response, including basic food and hygiene kits, access to clean drinking water and fuel to vulnerable households to survive the cold weather condition.
In addition, Caritas Ukraine continues to support impacted communities with the long-term impacts of protracted conflict, including Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, education and healthcare.
Caritas Australia is currently raising funds to support communities impacted by the conflict in Ukraine. Visit caritas.org.au/donate/emergency-appeals/ukraine/ or call 1800 024 413 toll free to provide much needed support.
Media contact: Jessica Stone 0490 684 867 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Melville Fernandez, Caritas Australia’s Humanitarian Emergencies Associate Director is available for interview.
Vladyslav Shelokov, Caritas Ukraine’s Communication and Resource Mobilization Director is available for interview from Ukraine.