Ukraine: “Away from the fighting - as far as possible”

6.5 million people have fled since the war began inside Ukraine. People who have had to leave their homes and often family members behind. Women, children, and elderly people who need a safe roof over their heads, a job but also food, baby nutrients and hygiene items such as soap and shampoo. 

CARE is providing life-saving aid with partners in various locations across Ukraine. “We receive lists of things that are most needed right now. From a hospital the other day we received a list with medicines, mattresses, and a refrigerator,” explains Inna Pidluska, Deputy Director of International Renaissance Fund (IRF), a CARE partner organization on the ground. “We then immediately contacted suppliers and sent the needed supplies to the hospital.” 

In Lviv - in the west of the country - internally displaced people who have fled contested areas such as Mariupol or Kharkiv are being supported. More than 80,000 people are already registered here. “Some of the people here want to stay in Ukraine and we support them,” explains Oleksandr Sushko, director of IRF. However, many people also make temporary stops in Lviv to travel on from there to neighboring countries of Ukraine. “There are temporary shelters everywhere here, in theaters, sports halls, schools or offices. Everywhere a mattress fits, people sleep,” adds Inna from IRF, who herself fled from Kyiv to Lviv and had to leave her grandfather behind because of a heart problem. 

Luba is currently running a temporary shelter in an office building near the train station. Where there were desks and files before, women and their children now find a safe place to stay. “I am very happy that we have found a place that we can use. Currently it is difficult to find suitable accommodation. Again and again, people arrive after curfew because their trains are delayed. That's why the proximity of the shelter to the train station is a big advantage,” Luba says. With CARE's help, Luba works every day to provide even more safe shelters for women and children in Lviv. She would also like to offer psychosocial activities or job search assistance in the future.

“The problem is that there is no infrastructure for so many displaced people. People can temporarily sleep in schools or hotels, but there is often a lack of food, clothing, and other daily necessities. Beds, mattresses and kitchen utensils are also still urgently needed,” explains Valeriya Vershynina from Charity Foundation Stabilization Support Services (CFSSS) another CARE partner. CFSSS has been supporting displaced people in Ukraine since the conflict began in 2014. 

“In Lviv, housing prices have increased rapidly. People now have to pay more than twice as much for housing than they did in February, before the fighting spread. People now come from seven severely affected regions in Ukraine, compared to only four at the beginning,” Valeriya said. For this reason, it is important to support shelters and reception centers. “People want to get away from the fighting - as far as possible. I say that as a displaced person myself,” Valeriya continued. She is from the Kyiv region. She sent her ten-year-old daughter to Poland together with her elderly mother. She herself has taken shelter in Lviv with her husband, who is not allowed to cross the border, and now works from here.

CARE and CFSSS support the displaced in temporary shelters with food and hygiene packages. But they also support kitchens in preparing meals. “At the beginning of the war, we distributed 300 meals a day near the train station. In the meantime, we have set up three kitchens near the station,” Valeriya said. On the forecourt of the main railway station in Lviv, at the beginning of the war, up to 130,000 people a day arrived, needing assistance to continue their journey, find shelter, or food, clothing, and hygiene products. At the beginning of the crisis, people here had to wait up to 20 hours for one of the three evacuation trains to Poland. Now it is only three to four hours. The refugees do not need a ticket for these trains. Every day, the trains leave at different times so that they do not become targets for attacks. Twenty trains arrive every day from different regions of the country. Support CARE and its partners in helping people on the ground with food, hygiene kits and safe shelter. Donate now!

CARE's aid in Ukraine

In Ukraine, CARE supports a number of partner organizations that have a proven track record in development cooperation and humanitarian aid. Volunteers and smaller local initiatives receive financial support to help flexibly on the ground. In addition, CARE provides shelters and safe spaces for women and families, distributes food, water, hygiene items, and provides psychosocial support and cash assistance. As always, CARE considers the needs of women and girls, as well as young children, the elderly and those with disabilities. Together with our partners, CARE aid has reached about 245,000 people in Ukraine so far.