Hardships for Ukrainian Refugees Continue After A Year Of War — Here’s How You Can Help
The ongoing conflict in Ukraine has taken a heavy toll on the country’s citizens, with many families being forced to flee their homes due to violence and insecurity. Now a year into the war, the situation for these displaced individuals and families has become dire, as they struggle to find shelter, warmth, and basic necessities.
According to the International Organization for Migration, close to 6.5 million people have been internally displaced within Ukraine as a result of the conflict. Many of these individuals and families have been forced to leave their homes with only the clothes on their backs, and have been forced to seek refuge in overcrowded shelters or with host families, CNN reports.
Hope for Displaced Ukrainians
Thanks to generous readers like you, many Ukrainians will have hope this winter.
GreaterGood’s non-profit partner Greater Good Charities has a team on the ground providing urgent relief, and working with humanitarian and animal welfare partners who are responding to the immediate needs of the people and pets of Ukraine. Even our CEO has made multiple trips to the region to determine where our support is most needed.
With the help of your donations to GreaterGood and Greater Good Charities, nourishing meals are being distributed at border crossings to refugees fleeing Ukraine and at shelters and camps for those who remain in the country.
Grants from Greater Good Charities are also helping to support people and pet evacuations from Chernihiv and northern Kyiv regions, food, and other supplies for residents not evacuating, and additional sheltering for pets outside the region until they can be reunited with their families. Meanwhile, pet foster software is helping rescue groups provide temporary homes for displaced pets.
In 2022, 1000 Food Boxes, each with enough food for 78 meals, were sent to Ukraine and distributed to families in Vradiivka. Each box contains products such as:
- Wheat flour
- White beans
- Dry peas
- Lentils green
- Tomato paste
- Sugar white
This funding also helped support Vradievka and nearby communities Syrove, Novopavlivka, Dobrozhanibka, Kumari, Novovasylivka, Ivanivka, Krasnopil, Pokrovske, and Adamivka/Mikhalivka.
Throughout 2022, your generous donations helped us raise over $1,140,000 for people, pets and the planet, including a total of 2.2 million meals for pets in Ukraine, 300,000 pizzas for hungry Ukrainians, 2,280 Winter Relief Kits and 25,000 blankets to keep people and pets warm, 1,200 toys for children in Poland and Ukraine, and more than $27 thousand to fund the rescue and relocation of wildlife out of war torn areas.
Dire Situations For Those In Need
The living conditions for these displaced families are worsening, with many lacking basic necessities such as food, medicine, and warm clothing, the United Nations reports. Many of the shelters that they are housed in are overcrowded and lack adequate heating, making it difficult for them to keep warm during the harsh Ukrainian winter.
The displacement also have a detrimental effect on the children. Many of them have had to leave their schools and communities behind, which has a negative impact on their education, socialization and mental health. They often suffer from anxiety, depression and other psychological trauma caused by the violence and uncertainty of their daily lives, the UN reports.
The Ukrainian government and various aid organizations are working to provide assistance to these displaced families, but the needs are great and resources are limited. According to the UN, the government has set up a system to provide aid such as food, clothing, and medical care to those in need, but the funding is limited and the aid is not reaching all the affected families.
According to USA Today, Non-government organizations and charities also play a role in providing assistance to the displaced families.
Humanitarian Response in Ukraine
Currently, there are around 2500 Internally displaced people living in the region, around 1000 families, mostly women and children. While some have found shelter in the homes of their caring coutnrymen, others are living in old abandoned houses in very poor conditions.
Volunteers visited a woman named Natalya and her 5 children who found a shelter in Vradiivka. They escaped Bashtanka, a village that was occupied by Russians, and currently destroyed. Natalya found shelter in one of the abandoned homes with poor infrastructure.
Local authorities in Vradiivka are struggling to support internally displaced families due to the war. There is also a lack of job opportunities, leaving many families unable to provide for themselves.
With support from your donations, these families were provided with food boxes and toys for the children. Thanks to this support, Natalya will be able to prepare at least 150 meals for her family.
This effort helped provide necessary, basic food products for 1000 families (approximately 2500 people). Providing 78,000 meals in total.
Your donations have also helped support the Krakow Food Bank, where a $50,000 cash grant covered two months of operations, prepared meal kits and distribution of pet food.
Throughout the course of this project, an estimated 19,000 Ukrainian citizens, 10,000 of them children, and their families have been helped with the delivery of 255,981 kilograms of food—about 640,000 meals. Further help came from 57 partner organizations distributing the food amongst refugees.
The grant helped the Krakow Food Bank cover the most critical operational costs involved in helping Ukrainian refugees in Kraków and in Lesser Poland and sustain the continuity of this efforts. It also supported the creation of an efficient network of partners ready and able to help refugees, while the effects of their good work is multiplied.
“We can proudly say that together we have created a durable and effective system of refugee aid, which can react to the arising needs in real time,” according to a Krakow Food Bank representative.
“With the coming cold season we are expecting new waves of refugees coming to Krakow, and with high energy and heat prices we should be prepared to see more and more people falling below the poverty line,” the Krakow Food Bank representative continues. “The military situation in Ukraine is far from resolved yet, which in all likelihood means that aiding Ukrainian refugees residing in Poland will have to continue to be a priority for the Krakow Food Bank.”
Helping Displaced Ukrainians through a Brutal Winter
As the temperatures drop, displaced Ukrainians and their families are facing a range of challenges, from finding adequate shelter to accessing food and other basic necessities. Here are a few ways you can make a difference for those who are facing a difficult winter in Ukraine:
5. Advocate for peace
The ongoing conflict in Ukraine is the root cause of the dire situation that many are facing. Advocating for peace and an end to the violence can be an important way to support those who are suffering.
4. Support local initiatives
Many local organizations and communities in Ukraine are working to provide assistance to those in need. Supporting these initiatives can be an effective way to help, as they are often best placed to understand the specific needs of the people in their area.
3. Share information
Sharing information about the situation in Ukraine can help to raise awareness and encourage others to take action. Social media and other online platforms can be a powerful tool for sharing information and raising awareness.
2. Support Ukrainian businesses
Supporting Ukrainian businesses can help to boost the economy, providing jobs and income for those affected by the conflict.
1. Donate to humanitarian organizations
There are a number of organizations working on the ground in Ukraine to provide assistance to those in need, including Greater Good Charities. These organizations often rely on donations to fund their programs and services, which can include providing food, clothing, and shelter to those who have been displaced by the conflict.
The war in Ukraine has been going on for too long, and it is imperative that a lasting peace is reached as soon as possible, so that these families can return to their homes and rebuild their lives. Until that time, it is essential that the needs of these displaced families are met, so that they can survive the winter and have hope for a better future.
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