Ukraine: Nine months after the Russian invasion
After nine months of relentless fighting on the eastern border of Ukraine, 18 million people are now in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. This number rises every day.
In February 2022, Russia launched a full-scale military attack on Ukraine, forcing nearly seven million people to flee their homes, with 600,000 of those fleeing into neighbouring Moldova. The vast majority are children, young people, and women whose lives changed overnight.
For a country of just four million, this sudden influx of people into Moldova has put massive strain on its housing, education, and health systems. Many of the children and young people that have fled the fighting, will experience some form of trauma.
ChildFund Alliance’s member organisations, ChildFund Deutschland and We World, are responding both in Ukraine and cross-border in Moldova. Together, they have equipped 23 emergency shelters for families and children, and their mobile teams are working to provide counselling and referral services for refugees arriving in Moldova from Ukraine.
Every emergency shelter set up by ChildFund has a child-friendly space – a place where children and young people can come and access psychosocial support and educational and recreational activities. Child-friendly spaces are run by trained facilitators and provide the opportunity for children and young people to play, rest, learn, develop their skills, and build their resilience.
These activities give them a much-needed respite from the ongoing turmoil and support them to overcome adversity. Together, they read, draw, paint, make handcrafts and make music.
In Moldova, 5,000 people have benefitted from psychosocial services provided by WeWorld and in both Ukraine and Moldova more than 3,000 children have been able to access safe spaces established by WeWorld and ChildFund Deutschland.
Since the fighting began, 300,000 people have made the decision to return home to Ukraine from Moldova. Many returned home to find their homes damaged, and schools and hospitals flattened. Across Ukraine, it is estimated that 140,000 homes have been levelled by the fighting and just over 2,000 schools have suffered structural damage.
With temperatures cooling and winter gripping the country, the number of people in need of humanitarian support will rapidly increase. Already, 628,000 households are without electricity and in winter the temperatures can plummet to minus 20 degrees Celsius.
ChildFund is working with local partners to ensure that children and families have what they need to stay safe and warm. This means providing food, hygiene, and medical supplies, blankets, and electric heaters, as well as transport and fuel.
ChildFund is also continuing to distribute food to children and young people in emergency shelters. Basic non-food items are being distributed alongside food, including diapers for babies, hygiene products and medicine for children receiving healthcare. More than 8,000 people are receiving these packages every week.
As children and young people across Ukraine and neighbouring countries such as Moldova continue to bear the brunt of this violence, ChildFund remains committed to ensuring that all children can be safe and healthy. Support children and young people now.