Read our 2022 annual report
Ros O’Sullivan, Concern’s Head of Emergency Response, on the work we have done - with your support - in the last year to help those affected by conflict in the world’s most vulnerable communities.
In March last year, nine-year-old Sasha was shopping at a farmer’s market in Kherson, southern Ukraine, with his mum, Daryna, when a deafening explosion threw them to the ground.
Flying pieces of deadly shrapnel hit Sasha in his back - the pain was unimaginable, and Daryna was terrified as she watched him fighting for his life. Miraculously, Sasha survived, but now he is only able to walk short distances with the help of crutches.
Like so many other Ukrainian people, Sasha had no idea that his whole world was about to be torn apart. After less than a year of conflict, more than 14 million people have fled their homes in fear, their lives completely changed from everything they had known before 24 February 2022.
Every day is a struggle for these families, who are hundreds of miles from their home, with just the few belongings they could carry with them.
“We are just surviving - nothing more,” Daryna told us.
But Daryna will never stop doing everything she can to protect her children. And thanks to your help, we will never stop supporting families like hers when they need us most.
Every conflict is different
When conflict broke out in Ukraine last year we responded rapidly, getting urgent survival kits to families whose lives had been devastated. These kits are packed with necessities like blankets to survive the bitter winter temperatures as well as nappies, soap, sanitary and hygiene products.
As Head of Emergency Response for Concern, I’ve been working in war torn countries for almost 30 years.
Every conflict I’ve seen is different, every situation is unique and each needs the right response to save lives. It’s thanks to your compassion that we can be there during the hardest of times.
Sadly, the longer a conflict continues, the more people’s strength and resilience are stretched to breaking point. They cannot carry on alone. But together, as a global community, we can help people rebuild their lives in countries devastated by conflict.
Countries such as Afghanistan.
We’ve been working in Afghanistan for over two decades.
Here, years of conflict, recurrent natural disasters, chronic poverty and the COVID-19 pandemic have taken their toll, resulting in 18.9 million people facing food insecurity.
Muktar and his family were already suffering the effects of drought in southern Afghanistan before the turmoil of last summer brought a new level of instability to the country.
Muktar’s only source of income - a vital disability allowance he received after being severely injured in a road accident - suddenly stopped, leaving him with no means to feed his five children.
But thankfully, like Daryna in Ukraine, he wasn’t alone.
Thanks to you, he recently received his second food basket from our local teams, with enough essential supplies to feed his family.
A deadly combination
In any conflict, a lack of food is so often the most deadly outcome for families.
Antina is one of thousands of parents in Burkina Faso who was left struggling to feed her children as the terrifying escalation of fighting has led to one of the world’s fastest growing displacement crises of recent times.
More than 1.77 million people in Burkina Faso have been forced from their homes and land by a deadly combination of conflict, drought and economic crisis.
But with your support, we’re providing urgent cash transfers that mothers like Antina can use to buy the food their families desperately need.
“We just wanted to save our lives and get out of danger - there was no time to bring anything with us,” says Antina.
“With the funds we received through cash transfers, we feel confident and food secure. We are able to eat twice a day, giving me strength to go further to find daily work.”
You are supporting some of the world’s poorest communities
As we enter 2023, we want you to know that your continued support is providing essential goods and services to vulnerable people who need them the most.
Perhaps more importantly, your donations offer the gift of hope to people living in the most difficult of circumstances.
Generosity and kindness like yours is helping to save lives. However, deadly conflict is putting people like Daryna, Sasha, Muktar and Antina in danger every day.
Please, if you can, donate today to support our vital ongoing work.
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Our impact in 2022
people reached through our emergency response
people reached through our health interventions
people reached through our livelihoods programmes