Geneva, 27 March 2022 - Red Cross volunteers have reached hundreds of thousands of people in Ukraine since the conflict began one month ago with life-saving aid, despite the dangers they face and the fact that they are also affected.
Maksym Dotsenko, Director General at Ukrainian Red Cross said:
“Many of our staff and volunteers are also experiencing the conflict first-hand. They are worried about their families and their safety, and yet they continue to put on the Red Cross vest to deliver critical aid to neighbors and strangers alike. This is the true spirit of the principle of volunteerism upon which the Red Cross is based.”
That spirit of wanting to help is being reflected among the general population. Since the conflict started, 6,000 new volunteers, among them teachers and medical professionals, have joined the Ukrainian Red Cross.
IFRC Secretary General Jagan Chapagain says:
“Volunteers of the Ukrainian Red Cross have been on the ground from day one despite the risks. Many of them have suffered and lost loved ones in this conflict. As the conflict enters its second month, their ongoing support is increasingly critical as needs continue to rise and access remains heavily restricted. We stand by these men and women, offering solidarity and support. We honor their courageous work and commitment to helping others.”
The IFRC network has established logistics pipelines from Poland, Hungary, and Romania to allow for the delivery of life-saving aid into Ukraine, supporting the Ukrainian Red Cross Society in areas most saturated with internally displaced persons.
In the past month, the Ukrainian Red Cross teams have reached more than 400,000 people in the country with more than 1,600 tons of essential goods distributed. They have supported the evacuation of over 79,000 people from Energodar, Sumy, Kyiv region, Kharkiv and Kherson region. Also, in addition to providing first aid, they are teaching people sheltering underground how to provide it themselves.
An estimated 6.5 million people have been displaced within Ukraine, the majority of whom are women and children, people living with disabilities, older people and minority groups, the UNHCR reports.
The IFRC is supporting the work of National Red Cross Societies in neighboring countries responding to the needs of the 3.5 million people who have fled Ukraine with cash grants, shelter, basic aid items, health care, psychosocial support and medical supplies. Among these groups, a special focus is on vulnerable people, including unaccompanied minors, single women with children, older people, and people living with disabilities.