Since February 2022, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has thrust Ukrainians into a humanitarian crisis. According to the United Nations, as of July 2022, 12 million Ukrainians at minimum have “fled their homes” since the invasion. In particular, five charities operating in Ukraine aim to address the humanitarian needs of citizens amid the conflict.
5 Charities Operating in Ukraine
- Mercy Corps. In Ukraine, Mercy Corps works primarily by connecting with and funding local refugee organizations in Ukraine, Poland and Romania. The organizations that Mercy Corps supports distribute basic essentials such as food and medical resources. In particular, Mercy Corps prioritizes marginalized groups like people with disabilities, Ukraine’s Roma and the elderly. In Ukraine, Mercy Corps has assisted evacuations of more than 18,000 people, and in Poland, the organization has delivered “essential services to 52,000 Ukrainians and third-country nationals.”
- Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JJC). Ukraine’s community of Jewish people “is one of the largest in the world,” housing as many as 200,000 Jews. However, antisemitism in Ukraine is a significant issue as Jewish people in Ukraine endure hate crimes in the form of physical assaults, vandalism of Jewish infrastructure and other public acts of xenophobia, according to details from a 2018 report by the National Minority Rights Monitoring Group. To support the humanitarian needs of the Jewish amid the Ukraine crisis, JCC has provided essential resources such as “food and medicine” as well as psychological support for trauma. The JCC also runs “emergency hotlines in collaboration with local Jewish communities” in Ukraine and surrounding countries such as Poland and Moldova. The JCC also arranges evacuations, including transport and accommodations. For the Jewish elderly who need to evacuate, the JCC arranges “special medical transport.” Since its establishment, the JJC has provided support to “an estimated 40,000 Jewish elderly and 2,500 poor Jewish children in Ukraine,” according to the JCC website.
- Youth Agency for the Advocacy of Roma Culture (ARCA). Pre-war, ARCA aimed to promote the “development of the Roma youth movement” while “[supporting] and [preserving] Roma history and culture,” hoping to uplift a persecuted Ukrainian population of about 400,000 Roma individuals. Since the February 2022 attack on Ukraine, ARCA has been operating in partnership with the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture (ERIAC) to provide humanitarian help to Ukrainian Roma. The partnership uses its funds to provide essential supplies, such as food and medicine, while aiding the relocation of “vulnerable community members” and helping to facilitate the crossing of the Ukrainian border for the Roma seeking refuge in other countries. So far, through a GoFundMe page, the partnership has been able to raise €6,741 for these purposes.
- Water Mission. The 2022 conflict in Ukraine has denied more than 6 million people access to safe and clean water. Water Mission focuses on bringing these Ukrainians “emergency water treatment equipment and water purification supplies” along with hygiene kits to improve access to safe water and promote good health amid the crisis. By August 2022, Water Mission had “installed 18 safe water systems across the cities of Mykolaiv, Pokrovsk, Kramatorsk and Myrnohrad,” producing more than 2 million liters of safe and clean water for Ukrainians, the organization’s Facebook page highlights.
- The U.N. Refugee Agency (UNHCR). According to its website, the “UNHCR in Ukraine operates out of offices in Lviv, Vinnytsia, Uzhhorod, Chernivtsi, Dnipro and in Donetsk and Luhansk.” Most broadly, UNHCR provides humanitarian assistance in Ukraine in the form of protection, shelter, food and refugee support. In light of the war in Ukraine commencing in February 2022, an inter-agency Regional Refugee Response Plan came into being. The Plan focuses on supporting governments of host countries welcoming refugees, providing immediate relief to refugees of military hostilities while working closely with state authorities.
The help of these five charities operating in Ukraine provides direct support to the innocent civilians impacted by the ongoing war.
– Alisa Gulyansky