KIEV, Ukraine -- The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) calls for urgent action in response to the increasingly dire humanitarian situation in Ukraine.
Two years since civil unrest and conflict internally displaced 1.4 million people, relief supplies are dwindling and the IFRC’s emergency appeal for 20 million Swiss francs to enable the Ukrainian Red Cross Society to assist 100,000 people is significantly underfunded.
Temperatures can drop as low as -20C (-4F) during winter months, and without more support, the society’s ability to deliver essential relief including heating devices, food and mobile medical care is at risk.
“The situation is critical. 1.4 million people are now entering their third year of being displaced from their homes, savings have become depleted, and families – as well as host communities dealing with the economic crisis – have come to rely increasingly on humanitarian relief,” said Dr Ivan Usichenko, President of the Ukrainian Red Cross Society.
Simon Missiri, Director of IFRC’s Europe Region said health, food security and shelter were the priority needs for which funding is urgently sought.
“We are witnessing a spiral of vulnerability. Families are separated; employment has become harder to find in the face of a weak economy; market prices for basic items have tripled. We are making an urgent call to the world to remember this forgotten crisis in Ukraine,” he said.
The Ukrainian Red Cross Society has deployed 26 mobile medical care teams in Donetsk, Luhansk, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporozhe, Kharkov and Poltava to provide essential health care to more than 17,000 people.
A further 15 emergency response teams have been mobilized, delivering food vouchers and parcels to 12,000 people and providing psychosocial support to more than 3,000.