Read our 2021 annual report
Concern helped 65,000 internally displaced people in Ukraine during first year of conflict
Concern Worldwide helped over 65,000 people within Ukraine during the first year of the conflict, but the humanitarian toll from the fighting continues to grow.
An estimated 13.5 million people have been forced to flee their homes as a result of the conflict, with 5.4 million of these displaced but remaining within Ukraine.
“Supporting the needs of internally displaced people is a major challenge, as more and more people move to so-called safer areas,” Concern’s Programme Director in Ukraine Erica Niel said. “The scale of the impact which the conflict is having on civilians and civilian infrastructure, and the resultant scale of humanitarian need within Ukraine is huge, and we are concerned that it will only grow if the much discussed Spring offensive starts in the coming weeks.”
Concern is providing a range of supports, both individually to displaced people, and to communities that are hosting them. Priority is given to the most vulnerable, such as recently arrived families, those travelling with only one parent, older people, or those with specific needs.
Among the supports provided are cash payments, food parcels, hygiene items such as soap and toothpaste, and household items such as blankets, bedding and shelter materials. In addition, Concern is providing psychosocial supports for people affected by the conflict.
Concern is working within Ukraine with partners from the Alliance2015 group of European non-government organisations. It joined German NGO Welthungerhilfe and Italian NGO Cesvi to form the Joint Emergency Response in Ukraine (JERU). Together, they are currently working in Ternopil and Khmelnytskyi in the west, and in Poltava, Dnipro, Zaporizhzya and Sumy in the east. They are working closely with with local Ukrainian civil society partners to deliver support.
During the early stage of the conflict, Concern and local partners provided supports such as washing machines, tumble dryers, bedding, food parcels and hygiene items to communities which were hosting people in schools, halls and public buildings.
The food parcels, bedding materials and hygiene items to transition hubs that are supporting people on the move.
Concern is supporting 8,000 people with payments to cover household utility bills over the winter period and to buy winter clothing.
“As long as the conflict continues, a huge number of Ukrainian people will be displaced from their homes or their home area. Concern and its JERU partners will remain on the ground supporting them for as long as we are needed, helping families to get their lives back on track,” Ms Niel said.
The conflict and its impact on exports through the Ukrainian Black Sea ports has also fuelled a massive humanitarian crisis among some of the poorest people around the world. “The conflict has driven up food prices, created a fertiliser shortage and sparked a fuel crisis,” Concern CEO, David Regan, said. “This is resulting in increased food insecurity and hunger in countries across the world.”
One year on, this conflict joins a long list of global crises that have left millions of people living in hardship, distress and uncertainty. Humanitarian need around the world continues to grow.
“In the last year alone, the people of Pakistan have been hit by catastrophic flooding, millions in the Horn of Africa suffer extreme drought and hunger, and the most recent earthquake in Syria and Turkiye has left millions of people displaced,” Mr Regan said. “The world cannot afford to ignore the scale of humanitarian need as a result of climate catastrophes and increasing conflict.”
Darina* and her son, Petro* (2½ years old) (pictured) receive JERU food parcels. They arrived in Ternopil in March, 2022, having fled after her home was attacked.
“We were woken up by our shaking house and we got positioned between two walls around 5am. I was so scared, we got ready so quickly I didn’t even manage to take all our documents. My parents had to send them later. We spent about 11 days in the basement. We couldn’t leave earlier because we were afraid. It was so scary. When I came here I was too scared to go out. After a month it eased, but I still have those memories.”
Darina and her son fled with just the clothes on their backs. “When we came here we only had our clothes on, and with the help of INGOs we received food kits, hygiene items and clothing.”
They are receiving the [JERU] food kits for the second time: “We use the items, and so they are necessary.”
* Names have been changed for security reasons.
For media queries and to organise media interviews contact Eamon Timmins, Media Relations Manger, Concern Worldwide, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 087 9880524.
Notes to the Editor
Concern is a member of Alliance2015, a strategic network of seven European non-government organisations engaged in humanitarian and development action. The other members are ACTED (France), Ayuda en Acción (Spain), Cesvi (Italy), HELVETAS (Switzerland), People in Need (Czech Republic) and Welthungerhilfe (Germany).
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