Ukrainian Emergency Response

Helping people in Ukraine and those who are seeking refuge in neighboring countries

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The Need

The Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022 unleashed a major humanitarian crisis in Europe. People in the Ukraine are in need of essential provisions including water, food, medicine, shelter, etc.

The numbers change from day to day. What remains consistent is that millions of Ukrainians have been forced to flee their homes - and millions more have been forced to flee their homeland since the Russian invasion began. While the majority fled to Poland, tens of thousands fled to other neighboring countries, including Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Moldova.

Unloading relief supplies in Ukraine
A Ukrainian home destroyed by the Russian military
Mattresses on the floor of a Christian center offering shelter to IDP in western Ukraine
Unloading relief in Ukraine from a vehicle funded by IAFR
Ukrainians walking to the border of the EU to seek refuge
A Ukrainian bomb shelter
A Polish church on the Ukrainian border
Ukrainian refugees find shelter in the attic of a Polish church
A vehicle brings assistance to people who need it
Women find assistance at a church distribution center
A vanload of relief ready to go to those who need it most
A mother and child receive assistance

Photos of the humanitarian response of IAFR partners

PRIORITIES

When we began, the priority need was for vehicles in Ukraine to help transport assistance to vulnerable people.

Then the most pressing need became food. The vehicles we helped provide were soon transporting food into conflict zones. When the vehicles dropped their load, they filled with people needing to evacuate to safety.

As winter approached, the priority need shifted to help people survive the cold. So we helped buy and transport generators and wood burning stoves.

Now we have learned that Ukrainian pastors and their families often lack the ability to heat their homes or pay their electricity bills. In November, hundreds were forced to leave their homes and communities for this reason.

The need to strengthen hope and provide safe and supportive community is something that only the local churches can do. And so the current need is to help pastors with this need so that they can stay to serve the people in their communities.

As a Ukrainian pastor recently told us,

"Not only will this help the people in their communities, it will also help the internally displaced Ukrainians staying in the cold homes of these pastors - for they are all hosting families uprooted by the conflict."

The generosity of our financial partners has been remarkable as we work together to help people survive and recover from the humanitarian disaster in Ukraine.

Watch the Facebook Live recording below of Tom Albinson giving an update from Kosice, Slovakia on 2 December 2022.

OUR PARTNERS

We are focusing our efforts on helping local churches in Ukraine respond to the crisis in the region. Their important work is often not on the radar of international agencies.

Together with a church in Kosice, Slovakia, we are listening to church leaders in Ukraine as they inform us of critical needs on the ground.

When IAFR began responding to the crisis in early March 2022, we were assisting a Polish church on the Ukrainian border as it cared for a wave of incoming refugees to their city. Over time, the need for assistance there dwindled and we refocused our response on helping people in Ukraine.

In the first 6 months of the crisis, we also assisted a network of churches in Uzhhorod, Ukraine, with food, vehicles, and shelter needs related to their service among internally displaced Ukrainians. As this network is now receiving support from a large mission agency in the US, we have refocused our resources on our partnership with the church in Slovakia.

PROGRESS

We are thankful to our generous financial partners as we have received over $165,000 for this fund since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

In December, we are making a transfer of over $12,000 to our church partner in Slovakia to help Ukrainian pastors (and their families) stay in their communities by assisting them with costs related to heating and power.

In October, we sent $10,000 to our church partner in Slovakia to get food and other basic assistance to vulnerable people in Ukraine.

In August, we sent $12,425 to our church partner in Slovakia. This was in response to the churches' update: "We are in a process of organizing the help to refugees in at least three places close to front line in the east of Ukraine."

We also sent 1 month's food supply in August for 270 IDP in the care of an alliance of ministries in a Ukrainian city in the far west.

In July, we financed a delivery of 2 tons of food to a ministry in Kharkiv. One ton was sent from a Ukrainian seminary that serves as a relief staging point. The other was sent in from Slovakia.

We also funded 5 tons of a 10 ton transport of food that will be distributed to "the hottest war places". Vehicles funded by IAFR were used for distribution.

In May, we enabled our partners to send 22 kilotons of relief supplies for people in Kremenchuk, Cherkassy, and Kharkiv.

IAFR helped buy a used vehicle to help a local church ministry in Selydove. In the words of the local pastor, "The issue of a larger transport became acute, because an old small car became insufficient for the effective ministry in the frontline zone during the war. The need for migrants’ transportation and humanitarian and other goods delivery became urgent."

We have helped fund at least 5 dependable used vehicles to help with the distribution of relief and the evacuation of people from conflict zones.

Funds have provided shelter, meals, clothing, transportation, and other kinds of practical assistance. Showers, toilets, and washing machines have been installed to help those sheltering uprooted Ukrainians meet these basic needs.

Updated: 5 December 2022

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