Caritas Ukraine centres, some 36, continue to serve the civilian population in need in the midst of a situation of increasing risk, coordinating with the operational headquarters of the national Caritas, in Kiev and Lviv (Lviv) and other local humanitarian organizations that identify the most urgent needs of the victims. However, some of these centers have had be evacuated for safety reasons, especially in the East of the country and some neighborhoods of Kiev.
Since the beginning of the invasion, Caritas Ukraine maintains an emergency project to meet basic needs of the most vulnerable people. Right now, they are equipping themselves with humanitarian aid 11 reception centers (Kramatorsk, Rubizhne -Mezhove-, Zaporizhya -Zaporiyia-, Volnovakha -Volnovakha-, Mariupol -Mariupol-, Kharkiv -Kharkov-, Dnipro -Dnipropetrovsk-, Kyiv -Kiev-, Zhytomyr -Jitomir-, Odessa, Ivano-Frankivk) for Join the emergency response plan.
Caritas Ukraine’s response is giving priority to the distribution of hot food, water, basic hygiene kits, temporary shelter for people who have abandoned their homes, laundry and transportation insurance for people seeking to reunite with relatives in other areas of the country.
The emergency plan also includes attention to special cases (such as the elderly, minors and people with disabilities) and basic emotional accompaniment and leisure activities for children to help them maintain normality in the midst of the high-stress situation caused by the attacks.
As Fr. Vyacheslav Grynevych, Executive Director of Caritas-Spes Ukraine points out, “Our cities, houses and kindergartens have been destroyed. But no one will be able to destroy our aspirations for peace and freedom.” “In this dramatic moment, we praise the commitment of the workers and volunteers, who continue to help those in need,” he adds. “And with God’s help, we will continue our service, leaving no one behind.”
“I am so proud of our teams, who are working hard to be attentive to the needs of the most vulnerable, while also managing their own personal circumstances. We are very grateful for the support of our sister Caritas and people of good will”, states Tetiana Stawnychy, president of Caritas Ukraine
Caritas response in Romania, Poland, Moldova and Bulgaria
The Caritas of the neighboring countries – Romania, Poland and Moldova – are also activating national reception plans to the flows of Ukrainian refugees who are crossing the borders.
Romania, with more than 600 km of border with Ukraine, has already received some 10,000 refugees and the number is expected to continue to increase in the coming days. The Caritas of Bucharest, Iasi, Maramures and Satu Mare have started Assess the situation and establish first responders.
Caritas Poland is also preparing the reception, accommodation and safe transportation for refugees, with emergency programs similar to those enabled by Caritas in Romania.
For its part, Caritas Moldova, which shares some 1,200 km of border with Ukraine, has launched an emergency plan through your national office, in Chisinau, and the six local Caritas in Grigorauca, Rascov, Ribnita, Stauceni, Stircea and Tiraspol. In total, it has about 200 agents on the ground.
In coordination with local authorities, 390 people located in official centers have been supported. In addition, a center managed by Caritas in Chisinau is being prepared, where it will offer decent and safe accommodation to some 70 refugees, with special attention to children and women.
Along the same lines, and although it is not a neighboring country, Caritas Bulgaria is also preparing centers to respond to the arrival of Ukrainian refugees, who They arrive either by land or by ferry from Odessa to the Varna post. As of February 28, it was estimated that more than 7,000 Ukrainians had arrived in the country and this number is expected to increase in the coming days.
All Caritas in the region have prepared their staff and volunteers in emergency response plans. rapid emergency, safeguard protocols and code of conduct.
Spanish Caritas response
Cáritas Española has been working in Ukraine since 2010, supporting social action and emergency projects. Although at this moment, all these programs are stopped, waiting for the situation to stabilize, Caritas Ukraine projects are being financially supported and the rest of the region to guarantee the safe mobility of people who are forced to flee the war, with special attention to vulnerable people.
Cáritas Española appreciates the innumerable messages of solidarity with Ukraine and the prayers that they have sent us and that they are being transmitted to the sister Caritas of Ukraine and neighboring countries. Likewise, Cáritas Española is not channeling donations in kind to Ukraine, since for the Cáritas of the region It is an unapproachable management.