Caritas Australia welcomes the initial $35 million commitment from the Australian Government for urgent humanitarian assistance to Ukraine.
“This humanitarian aid is desperately needed in Ukraine right now,” said Kirsty Robertson, Caritas Australia’s CEO.
“Over half a million people have already been forced to flee their homes, and this number could balloon into three or even five million in the coming weeks as more villages, towns and cities are victims of air raids and attacks. Another 100,000 people are displaced inside Ukraine as well – and all in below freezing winter conditions.
“This mass displacement is extremely hard to respond to. The queues at the border to Poland are up to 15km long, and families are fleeing the country on foot, with very limited access to water, food, or even toilet facilities – let alone a safe place to sleep that night. This humanitarian need will likely only increase over the coming weeks and months.”
“It’s not that when this war ends that things are just over,” said Tetiana Stawnychy, Caritas Ukraine’s President. “We see many different needs: people in transit, people who are resettling, people at the border, people caught in the line of fire.”
“It’s a huge trauma for us all and will impact us for a long time. I see a lot of parents struggling to explain things to their children, running up and down to the basement with the air strikes.”
Caritas Australia is working directly with Caritas Ukraine and its local partner Caritas Spes to support Ukrainian families who have fled their homes with vital emergency supplies including food, hygiene kits, clean water, psychological support, and emergency shelter to displaced families.
Donations can be made at: www.caritas.org.au/ukraine/
With thanks to Caritas Australia.