People fleeing the conflict in Ukraine line up at the Romanian-Ukrainian Isaccea border crossing to receive emergency supplies. Valentina Mirza/CARE

CARE’s response in Ukraine: Relief supplies have arrived in Lviv

3 MARCH 2022 – More than 870,000 people fleeing Ukraine to neighbouring countries are in urgent need of assistance.

CARE’s partner organization People in Need is providing those in need with emergency food and hygiene items. The first trucks with food, diapers, and sleeping bags have arrived in Lviv, Ukraine. A cargo train with relief goods is on its way from Prague, Czech Republic.

Families are desperately trying to escape to neighbouring countries. Due to the fact that men between the ages of 18 and 60 have to stay in Ukraine, many women with children are left to fend for themselves. The border crossings are overcrowded. Mothers often have to wait up to two days in the freezing cold with babies and small children. Some are sleeping in cars, some have to hold out in the open without shelter in the freezing cold before the border.

CARE's partner organization is also working on the Slovak-Ukrainian border with a team of aid workers. They have set up heated tents where the exhausted mothers and children can warm up and rest. Upon arrival, they are given tea and a hot meal. There are also sanitation facilities there, such as portable toilets. In addition, trained teams are available for crisis intervention and psycho-social assistance.

"Many have to come to terms with the terrible experiences of war," says Andrea Barschdorf-Hager, Executive Director of CARE Austria. "Psycho-social help is very important now. People need someone they can talk to. We are in a war situation, and we need to make the refugees feel welcome and let them know they have a safe place to come to and stay."

In the eastern Slovak village of Vyšné Nemecké, there is also a large, heated tent for up to 200 people set up by CARE’s partner organization. Refugees can also spend the night there. The local volunteers provide them with food, drink, hygiene products, and SIM cards so that they can stay in contact with their families.

"Most refugees have someone in neighboring countries who will take them in. They are on their way to friends, family, or acquaintances," says Marek Štys, Head of Humanitarian Aid at People in Need. "But that can change abruptly if the conflict escalates. If a large number of refugees arrive without contacts and seek protection, the whole situation could become very challenging."

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Founded in 1945 with the creation of the CARE Package®, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization working around the globe to save lives, defeat poverty, and achieve social justice. CARE puts women and girls at the centre of our work because we know we cannot overcome poverty until all people have equal rights and opportunities. CARE develops solutions alongside women and girls to lift themselves, their families, and communities out of poverty and out of crisis. CARE works in over 100 countries around the world.

To learn more about CARE Canada, visit www.care.ca.