Since the Russian invasion in February, we have provided an unprecedented scale of assistance across Ukraine, reaching communities from Zaporizhia and Kharkiv in the east, to Lviv and Vinnystia in the west. A few weeks ago, just hours after Russian forces retreated from Irpin and Bucha near Kyiv, World Jewish Relief was able to bring the first critical humanitarian supplies into these cities. In total, we are currently working across 61 towns and cities in Ukraine.
Our Response in Ukraine
Working through our partners, World Jewish Relief is prioritising emergency evacuations, helping those who are displaced to find shelter and gain access to food and medical supplies and for those who are housebound, we are ensuring they continue to receive critical homecare. So far, our support has reached over 111,000 people with a particular focus on the most vulnerable groups.
World Jewish Relief has established a major pipeline to get humanitarian aid into Lviv in western Ukraine via Poznan in Poland, for distribution to communities across the country.
Dr Gabrielle Silver, a senior healthcare executive, is leading on the procurement of supplies. For daily and weekly food parcels, we are working with the UK’s largest supplier to the UK military and UN humanitarian programmes. Another established company is supporting us with weekly food parcels and hygiene packs. One of the world’s leading specialist medical suppliers is supplying medicines.
To-date, we have distributed 75,000 packages of food and hygiene supplies and 3.4 tons of critical medicines.
Our Response in Neighbouring Countries
Our second area of focus is across the border in Poland and Moldova where the number of refugee arrivals is increasing daily, with over 3.9M having arrived so far. Both our Moldovan partner in Chisinau and our Jewish Community Centre in Krakow have scaled up their capacities with our help, to play an active role in assisting those crossing the border. We are focusing on accommodation, safe spaces for women and children, psychological support, cash support, signposting and helping with legal formalities, and potential assistance for those looking to move onwards. Members of our Humanitarian and Refugee teams have visited both partners to provide the necessary support and to oversee operations.
Current Situation and Future Needs
Our focus to date has been on food (daily and weekly ration packs), non-food items such as hygiene items and medicines, medical and social support, evacuation, cash transfers to partners, refugee support, internally displaced person support, and core operational support. We expect our focus in the short-to-medium term to be as follows:
- We will provide partners with cash grants to purchase and distribute food locally. While daily and weekly ration packs were essential in the early stages of the conflict with people on the move, the situation in Ukraine has eased particularly in the West, meaning that partners are able to operate with more confidence. Food packs will still be required for areas of conflict and risk in the east of Ukraine.
- We will continue to procure and distribute essential medicines and hygiene items. These items are currently difficult to find in Ukraine, so our focus will be to ensure required levels are available for vulnerable people.
- We will prepare to support internally displaced people in the west. As Russia appears to be regrouping from the east, we expect more refugees to flee both internally and across borders into Poland and Moldova.
- We will increase support to partners in the east, where the need is greatest, with ongoing evacuation, transport, and psycho-social support. This is on top of delivering food, medicine, and hygiene items into the eastern areas of conflict and Russian control.
To learn more about our Ukraine Crisis Appeal and donate, click here.