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Our heroic colleagues in Ukraine face huge challenges as humanitarian needs grow

Published on 28 March 2022 03:58 PM

Aid workers supporting the Disasters Emergency Committee’s (DEC) Ukraine appeal spoke of the huge challenges involved in delivering aid inside the country to people affected by the conflict as humanitarian needs continue to grow. 

As the conflict passes a month, our colleagues delivering aid to people in Ukraine are working ‘heroically’ but are faced with an increasingly challenging security landscape. 

With the number of people needing urgent assistance rising fast, they face the same challenges as the communities they are attempting to help, and are often carrying out their work at great personal risk. 

 Age Interntaional's Managing Director, Chris Roles, said:

Due to the nature of this crisis, our staff and volunteers are facing huge challenges when trying to send help where it is needed. For example, in some cases agencies in Ukraine are using cars instead of lorries  which could be mistaken for military vehicles  to transport essential supplies which is less efficient and slowing things down.  

One aid worker delivering food and medical supplies to older people who are unable to flee their homes reported having to take cover 12 times in a single day as a result of air-raid siren warnings, so humanitarian aid is constantly being disrupted. 

In addition, people are really worried about the safety of humanitarian corridors. This again puts a stop to getting help and supplies to the people who urgently need it, as well as making it extremely frightening for those who could flee but who don’t know if it’s safe and are unsure where it will lead them to.

Other DEC member charities have also experienced travel disruption and communications issues. Cars are having to be used to transport goods as trucks can be mistaken for military vehicles. 

The UN estimates that more than 3 million people have fled Ukraine and almost 2 million more have been displaced inside the country with many unable to leave their homes because of heavy fighting in cities such as Mariupol, Kharkiv and Kyiv. 

The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) brings together 15 leading UK aid charities at times of crisis overseas. It launched its Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal on 3 March and has so far raised an incredible £175 million, including £25 in Aid Match from the UK Government. 

The aid effort is fully underway both inside Ukraine and on the borders of neighbouring countries, with DEC charities and their local partners working to meet the immediate needs of all people fleeing the conflict with food, water, medical assistance, protection and trauma care.  

Donations to the appeal are allowing DEC charities to scale up their work to meet the increasing humanitarian needs of people whose lives have been devastated by the conflict.   

Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal

Help provide life-saving support to older people and their families.

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Last updated: Mar 29 2022

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