Humanitarian aid in Ukraine

The Red Cross is supporting people in Ukraine, providing psychosocial support and essentials such as food and fuel. 

Last updated 21 June 2022

100 days of Ukraine conflict: unimaginable toll on civilians

It has now been more than 100 days since the escalation of the the conflict in Ukraine, and the level of death, destruction, and suffering inflicted on civilians is abhorrent.

No one in Ukraine is left unscathed by the ongoing conflict. In just a matter of weeks, homes have been reduced to rubble. Critical infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed. An estimated 18 million people will need humanitarian aid, and more than 14.6 million people have been forced to leave their homes

Hundreds of thousands of people lack food, water, heat, electricity, and medical care. Civilians in Ukraine urgently need respite from violence and humanitarian aid. 

The Red Cross has reached more than 2.1 million people with life-saving aid, within Ukraine and neighbouring countries. Our response grows daily - each hour that passes has a terrible human cost.

The rules of war are clear: civilians must be protected from the fighting. They are not targets. Housing, health facilities, water supplies are not targets.

This is not an option, but the parties’ obligations under international humanitarian law.

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It would be hard to exaggerate the toll that the international armed conflict in Ukraine has had on civilians over the last 100 days. The scale of destruction in the cities defies comprehension. Homes, schools and hospitals have been destroyed and civilians have suffered the horrors of conflict, with lives lost and families torn apart.
Robert Nadini, director-general, International Committee of the Red Cross 



We have 71,000 volunteers and staff working closely with affected communities and to cover their basic needs. We are focused on being adaptable, flexible and responsive to whatever happens next.
Maksym Dotsenko Director General of the Ukrainian Red Cross Society

 

How is the Red Cross helping in Ukraine now?

Our priority is to assist people during this time of heightened tension. 

The Ukrainian Red Cross (URCS) is the lead humanitarian organisation in Ukraine, and since the onset of this conflict, is being supported by the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement to step up its response. Together, they have supported 2.1 million people so far.

 

We are meeting people's existing needs by:

  • Helping to get people to safety. To date, the Red Cross has evacuated more than 96,000 people.
  • Providing temporary accommodation to 60,000 people who have fled their homes
  • Distributing 1,100 tonnes of aid, including food, bedding, blankets, tents, water, hygiene items across the country. 
  • Supporting Ukrainian primary health care providers with mobile medical crews in remote areas

  • Providing financial assistance to more than 40,000 people in need
  • Providing psychosocial support to 219,000 traumatised people.
  • Taking people to hospital, transporting medical supplies and helping at blood donation points.
  • Helping families to stay in contact, and educating people on international humanitarian law, and on risks of explosives

Red Cross teams from neighbouring countries have been regularly crossing into Ukraine, helping the local Red Cross deliver food and hygiene packages to people on the move. Large-scale deliveries of food and non-food items are also being delivered to our warehouses in Chernivtsi and Uzhhorod for distribution across the country.

Read the latest information on the conflict in Ukraine

Ukrainian Red Cross staff and volunteers are providing food and other basic necessities to about about 8,000 people who are sheltering in a subway station in Kyiv.

A Ukraine Red Cross Society volunteer on the way to support people sheltering in subways. 2022.

The Ukranian Red Cross delivering supplies to Ukrainian citizens sheltering in a subway station.

More than 8,000 Ukrainians are sheltering in subway stations in Kyiv. 2022

How to support people in Ukraine

The situation in Ukraine is incredibly tense, dangerous and distressing for people. Red Cross teams in Ukraine and the border countries are providing essential aid. Donations are helping us to achieve this.

 

Volunteering

We're not currently sending any volunteers to Ukraine from the UK. Right now, we are asking people in the UK to help by donating money to our emergency appeal. These donations are by far the quickest, safest, and more direct way to help people and to support the work of the Red Cross in Ukraine and neighbouring countries.

 

Donating items

Donations of clothes, blankets, medicine and other items are really appreciated, but we only accept money for emergency appeals. Items have to be sorted, cleaned, and transported, which slows down our response, and we aim to support people as quickly as possible. 

How else can I support?

A Ukrainian Red Cross volunteer delivers first aid to a man injured during the crisis.

The current humanitarian situation in Ukraine

Hundreds of thousands of people living close to the line of contact are regularly suffering from disrupted access to food, water, and electricity. This has been their daily reality for almost eight years.

The impact is widespread and some of the most vulnerable people are the hardest hit. People, including those with disabilities and medical conditions have taken shelter in basements along with the wounded. However, supplies of food and water are rapidly running out.

This is an active, ongoing conflict that continues to inflict heavy humanitarian consequences on homes, essential infrastructure and people’s lives and well-being.

In response to the crisis in Ukraine 2022, The Ukrainian Red Cross Society (URCS), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and along wider Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement aim to react quickly and swiftly.  Whatever happens, we will continue to be close to the affected communities to help them cover their basic needs and be prepared during challenging times.

 

As the conflict evolves and escalates, the anguish and fear people have endured over the recent days deepens. We are extremely concerned that the conflict is affecting very populated areas. As we have seen before, when neighbourhoods become the frontline, the consequences for people - including children, the sick, the elderly - are simply devastating.
Florence Gillette, ICRC Head of Delegation in Ukraine

 

Ongoing Red Cross support in Ukraine

For the past eight years, the International Red Cross in Ukraine (the Ukrainian Red Cross Society) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), have helped communities affected by the conflict and will continue to do so.

 

The Ukrainian Red Cross Society (URCS) is helping people maintain their livelihoods as well as providing psychological support.

 

In areas where access to healthcare services is limited, volunteers and staff provide first aid training, operate mobile health teams, and raise awareness of health risks in communities.

 

They have also been supporting small businesses with cash grants or equipment and vocational training, as well as raising awareness of mines through training and educational sessions run with the Ukraine Red Cross Society.

 

As the situation develops, the Red Cross’ priority is to support people during this time of heightened tension and anxiety.


A Ukraine Red Cross Society volunteer shows a boy whose father disappeared a donated laptop.

A Ukraine Red Cross Society volunteer shows a donated laptop to a boy whose father disappeared. 2020/21

An 80 year old woman standing in her house which was damaged by shelling. The ICRC repaired the house so she was warm again.

An 80-year-old woman stands in her damaged house. The ICRC repaired the damage so she was warm in the brutal winters. 2020/21

Are you concerned about a British family member in Ukraine?

You can contact the Foreign Commonwealth and Development office for more information:


British Nationals who need assistance

Consular support is still available to British nationals through the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office 24-hour helpline:

  • From Ukraine: +380 44 490 3660
  • From the UK: +44 (0) 1908 516666