19 February, 2024

As the conflict in Ukraine continues, countless Ukrainians find themselves displaced, their homes destroyed, and their lives shattered.

Since the start of hostilities on 24 February 2022, ADRA launched a global response to assist the millions of women, children, families, and individuals who have fled their homes to escape shelling and seek refuge in neighbouring countries.

Among them is Alla, an elderly woman from Bucha District, Kyiv Region, whose home was reduced to rubble by the violence. “Everything burned down. There is nothing left, down to the foundation! There is nowhere to live,” she says, pointing to the remnants of her home.

Alla’s house was destroyed in the conflict

For Alla and many like her, the dream of a warm, safe shelter seems distant amid the chaos of war. Living in makeshift accommodations β€” a tent in the summer and a metal shelter in the winter β€” provides little relief from the bitter cold. “We have to live somewhere,” Alla says, as she highlights the challenges faced by her family. Three of her family members are disabled, they live on meager social assistance and her modest pension.

Now, as we mark the second anniversary of this ongoing conflict, it’s a moment to reflect on the collaborative humanitarian efforts undertaken by ADRA and its partners, and the way forward.

Thomas Petracek, Head of Programs at the ADRA Europe Regional Office, says, β€œWe stood on the border between Slovakia and Ukraine when thousands of refugees passed the gate. They only had basic belongings like small suitcases or backpacks. Women were holding children in their hands or their arms, elderly supporting each other, and all of them were tired, exhausted, and freezing in the minus temperatures, but happy to reach a place of safety. We have invited them into the ADRA tent and provided them with a warm space, food, blankets, and a place to rest. This was the beginning of a long odyssey for the refugees but also for hundreds of ADRA workers and volunteers protecting and supporting them daily. There were many challenges, but also nice stories giving hope to all. Let us never forget that we are humans and need each other in good and difficult days. And this journey continues.”

Two years later, ADRA offices involved in the response have deepened their expertise in the fields of emergency response, psychosocial support, safeguarding, and multi-purpose cash transfers. Offices across Europe have elaborated or revised National Emergency Response Plans, to be prepared for certain future scenarios of crisis and respond quickly.

ADRA Europe Regional Director Joao Martins says, β€œIn a next step we want to closely collaborate with churches across Europe, to train ‘disaster ready churches’. In fact, the collaboration with Adventist Churches and their volunteers was one of the important factors for ADRA to be able to upscale aid so quickly. This has only been possible thanks to our network of supporters -be it volunteers or donors and professionals. Thank you to each one among you!”

ADRA’s multifaceted response across Europe

Across Europe, ADRA concentrated on activities in the following sectors:

  • Psychosocial support
  • Emergency shelter and accommodation
  • Food and essential supplies distribution as well as multipurpose cash transfer for refugees and hosts
  • Language and cultural integration
  • Education and empowerment
  • Healthcare and medical assistance
  • Community engagement and integration.

As of November 2023, here are some of the outcomes that have been accomplished in Ukraine alone, thanks to the contribution of the global ADRA Network.

Food Assistance

πŸ₯– 4,474,148 loaves of bread distributed
πŸ₯ͺ 6,270,877 food kits distributed
🎫 55,295 food vouchers distributed

ADRA food distribution in Ukraine

Shelter and Transport

🏠 Shelter provided for 62,012 displaced people
🚐 40,265 people evacuated
🚌 52,768 people received social transportation

ADRA facilitates an evacuation in Ukraine

Financial Assistance

πŸ’΅ 78,403 people received financial assistance

Medical Aid

🩺 406 units of equipment, including wheelchairs and generators for medical facilities, provided
πŸ₯ 85 medical facilities supported

Medical equipment is unloaded in Poland

Non-Food Assistance

πŸ‘•5,595 people received non-food assistance which encompasses generators, power banks, footwear, clothing, and bedding

ADRA Ukraine unloads a truck stocked with food and non-food items

Water Supply

This encompasses drinking water, wells, boreholes, and equipment for water supply

πŸ’§ 536,202 litres of drinking water provided
πŸ‘« 53,435 people benefitted from the water provisions

A truckload of water supplies is unloaded in Ukraine

🧠 80,045 people received psychological support, legal assistance, and visited protection centres for internally displaced persons

ADRA Ukraine providing psycho-social support to an internally displaced person

Video Summary

Here is a summary of ADRA’s work in Ukraine, up to November 2023.


The way forward – Improving Access to Education for Children

As we reflect on ADRA’s collective efforts to support Ukrainian refugees across various sectors, it’s clear that the impact has been profound, thanks to your support.

However, as UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, reminds us, the crisis persists, and the need for support remains critical. At the joint launch of the “Ukraine Humanitarian Needs and Response Plan and the Regional Refugee Response Plan for Ukraine for 2024” on UNwebTV, he said, β€œLet us not forget this crisis. This volatility is literally a killer.”

When we look at the statistics of Ukrainian refugees, only 50% of children go to school full time. ADRA is working to support displaced children like Artem* and Symon*, so they don’t miss out of their schooling and are not left behind.

Thank you for standing together with us with all people affected by this crisis. There is still much to do, to be a blessing to those hurting – in Ukraine and abroad.

To support ADRA’s response in times of disasters, visit adra.org.au/disaster.

Tags:  Disaster,