en English
en Englishes Spanishpt Portuguesear Arabicht Haitian Creolezh-TW Chinese (Traditional)

, Advocate

Your Local Online News Source for Over 3 Decades

Devastation in Ukraine: how the Red Cross is helping

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

  As conflict roils Ukraine, the Red Cross is vowing continued support for the most vulnerable. More than a million people have fled Ukraine to neighboring countries, and even more are displaced within the country itself. As the fighting intensifies, so does the dire humanitarian situation and needs on the ground.

  “The escalating conflict in Ukraine is taking a devastating toll. Casualty figures keep rising while health facilities struggle to cope,” said International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Director General Robert Mardini. “We already see long-term disruptions in regular water and electricity supplies. People calling our hotline in Ukraine are desperately in need of food and shelter.”


In Ukraine: aid amidst the violence

  During the past eight years, teams have been on the ground delivering assistance to at-risk families, including providing food, fuel for heating, medical supplies and support for housing. Under mortal danger to themselves, Red Cross teams are still working tirelessly to help people and communities impacted by conflict. Around the clock, teams are providing emergency aid amid fear and uncertainty. Red Cross teams have:

  • Distributed more than 90,000 food and hygiene parcels to families on the move across Ukraine, including Maripol
  • Provided first aid training to more than 12,000 people in metro stations and bomb shelters
  • Delivered more than 32 tons of food, blankets, medicine, medical supplies, trauma kits and household items.
  • Assisted with the evacuation of people with disabilities
  • Distributed critical care items to more than 7,000 people seeking safety from shelling in bomb shelters

  In the coming weeks, Red Cross volunteers will increase their work – reuniting separated families, providing food and other household items and increasing awareness about areas contaminated by unexploded ordnance. The current needs are tremendous; critical among them include water delivery, support to health facilities and medical care for wounded family members.

In neighboring countries: help to those fleeing their homes

  People impacted by the conflict are heartbroken, as they are forced to flee from their homes. Red Cross and Red Crescent teams in the region are rolling up their sleeves to assist with the dire humanitarian crisis as it unfolds. In Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Moldova, Croatia, Lithuania and Russia, Red Cross volunteers are supporting displaced people. Teams are:

  • Distributing food, water, clothing, bedding, hygiene sets and blankets and even handing out SIM cards so that families can stay connected amid the turmoil
  • Supplying baby products and services for children
  • Pitching tents and preparing shelters for refugees who need a comforting place to sleep and feel safe
  • Providing much-needed mental health/emotional support


The role of the Red Cross

  The Red Cross has deployed crisis responders to Europe to provide humanitarian relief in neighboring countries. Additionally, in line with its work supporting military families, the Red Cross has sent trained staff to Europe to support emergency communication needs of U.S. military members, so they can stay in touch with family members back home. The Red Cross Hero Care Network is a Congressionally-chartered program that connects service members and their families in times of need. Red Crossers are also distributing comfort kits containing hygiene items and other necessities to service members and U.S. State Department staff.

Blood services

  At this time, the Red Cross is not shipping blood products to Ukraine. The Red Cross does not ship blood products outside the United States without a specific request from the U.S. Department of State or the United Nations, or unless it has a request from affected Red Cross or Red Crescent societies abroad.

International humanitarian law

  The ICRC called on authorities to adhere to international humanitarian law and to protect civilians and infrastructure delivering essential services, including power and water facilities, schools and hospitals. ICRC President Peter Maurer requested protection for humanitarian action so that aid agencies can maintain access to civilians. The ICRC has also called for parties to agree to terms so safe passage of civilians is possible.


Resources for people affected in Ukraine

  The ICRC has published a list of resources for people needing urgent help in Ukraine, including medical care, evacuation support, mental health support, shelter and safety tips.

How to find a missing loved one

  Those unable to get in touch with U.S. citizens missing in Ukraine or Russia should contact the U.S. Department of State Overseas Citizens Services Office online or at 1-888-407-4747.

  Telecommunication systems in the region have been affected. Some family members are still able to keep in contact with each other, but the situation is rapidly changing as fighting continues. As of now, most affected civilians have been maintaining their own family links via cell phones. Red Cross teams continue to work together to assess how to help restore family links given considerable challenges on the ground.

Contact Advocate Newspapers