People with suitcases in street with snow and large store in the background

Ukraine: Escalation of attacks across the country on top of approaching winter could lead to dramatic surge in humanitarian needs

After the latest, and thus far largest, attacks on vital energy supply infrastructure alongside worsening winter conditions in Ukraine, CARE International expresses its deep concern for the safety of civilians across the country.

Last night we experienced no electricity, with cuts to the water and heating supply. Air alerts forced us into the shelter.
CARE Germany Emergency Relief Coordinator, Marten Mylius

"We are worried about the onset of winter; it's supposed to snow in Kyiv this week and soon there will be double-digit sub-zero temperatures across the country. Everyone is wondering how they are going to get through the next few months”, concluded Marten about the current situation in Lviv, Western Ukraine.

About 17.7 million people in Ukraine are currently in need of humanitarian assistance. Over 6 million people are displaced inside Ukraine. The destruction of people's homes compounded by harsh winter conditions could possibly lead to massive displacement once again.

CARE is particularly concerned about the situation of women and girls. In conflict, their risk of experiencing gender-based violence and various forms of exploitation and abuse increases. Further to this, disrupted health services pose major challenges, especially for pregnant and lactating women in dire need of such services.

“The damage to infrastructure is critical. Although our operations are challenged by air alerts, CARE and our partners are doing all we can to continue to support people with winter supplies, including clothing, blankets and heating. Ukrainian citizens urgently need support to survive the winter, specifically in terms of renovations of collective shelters and infrastructure. It is also crucial to ensure that protection and gender-based violence prevention and response are a focus of winterization activities,” says Fabrice Martin, Country Director, CARE Ukraine.

CARE's response in Ukraine

CARE and its partners are supporting families in Ukraine with essential items to help them face the harsh winter ahead: Aid workers are distributing warm clothing, blankets, and heating equipment. Renovation work is being done to help keep the cold out of private homes and community centres: windows and doors are being replaced, roofs and heating systems repaired, and walls insulated. But none of these efforts will have impacts if attacks continue. We call on all conflict parties to respect their obligation under International Humanitarian Law to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure and to exercise distinction and proportionality.

For media requests, please contact CARE Germany Co-Director Communications and Advocacy, Ninja Trapogge, [email protected]