Ukraine: Escalation of attacks across the country on top of approaching winter could lead to dramatic surge in humanitarian needs, warns CARE
LVIV/BERLIN, November 16, 2022 – International aid organization CARE expresses deep concern for the safety of civilians across the country, after the latest, and so far largest, attacks on vital energy supply infrastructure and worsening winter conditions in Ukraine.
“Last night we experienced no electricity, with cuts to the water and heating supply,” says Marten Mylius, Emergency Relief Coordinator, CARE Germany, about the current situation in Lviv, Western Ukraine.
“Air alerts forced us into the shelter. We are worried about the onset of winter; it's supposed to snow in Kyiv this week and soon there will be double-digit sub-zero temperatures across the country. Everyone is wondering how they are going to get through the next few months.”
About 17.7 million people in Ukraine are currently in need of humanitarian assistance and over 6 million people are displaced inside the country. The destruction of people's homes combined with harsh winter conditions could possibly lead to massive displacement once again.
CARE is particularly concerned about the situation of women and girls. In conflict situations, the risk of experiencing gender-based violence and various forms of exploitation and abuse increases. Disrupted health services also pose major challenges, especially for pregnant and lactating women in dire need of such services.
“The damage to infrastructure is critical,” says Fabrice Martin, Country Director, CARE Ukraine.
“Although our operations are challenged by air alerts, CARE and our partners are doing all we can to continue to support people with winter supplies, including clothing, blankets and heating. Ukrainian citizens urgently need support to survive the winter, specifically in terms of renovations of collective shelters and infrastructure. It is also crucial to ensure that protection and gender-based violence prevention and response are a focus of winterization activities.”
CARE and its partners are supporting families in Ukraine with essential items to help them face the winter ahead. Aid workers are distributing warm clothing, blankets, and heating equipment. Renovation work is being done to help keep the cold out of private homes and community centres, windows and doors are being replaced, roofs and heating systems repaired, and walls insulated. But none of these efforts will last if attacks continue. We call on all conflict parties to respect their obligation under International Humanitarian Law to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure and to exercise distinction and proportionality.
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About CARE Canada:
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.