2021-2022 Trócaire Annual ReportLearn More
As the war in Ukraine enters its sixth month, over 6.65 million people have been displaced within Ukraine and over 6 million Ukrainian refugees are residing in Europe.
The war’s half-year point coincides with Ukrainian Independence Day, which in normal circumstances would see citizens celebrating 31 years of independence from Russia.
Fierce fighting continues with indiscriminate and relentless bombardment of the eastern (Donetsk oblast) and southern (Mykolaiv oblast) regions of the country. Critical infrastructure, including gas, electricity, and water, have been destroyed increasing the vulnerability of thousands of refugees still living there.
On August 1, The Government of Ukraine called for the compulsory mass evacuation of all civilians remaining in the Government-controlled areas of Donetsk oblast citing the upcoming winter and the inability of the local governments to provide safe and warm places for people to live.
In a diplomatic breakthrough, on August 1, the first commercial ship sailed from Odesa to Lebanon, carrying over 26,000 tons of corn to the global market.
Trócaire, through the Caritas Ukraine network, continues to provide humanitarian support to the people of Ukraine. Since the beginning of the conflict, the Caritas Ukraine network has provided more than 2,089,911 services for more than 1,450,000 people. The focus of assistance continues to be on basic needs such as food kits (55%), hygiene kits (20%), services for IDPs in shelters (8%), water supply (7%).
During the first months of the war, all activities were aimed at emergency measures to respond to the humanitarian crisis, but currently there is further transfer into stabilising humanitarian aid: monthly food and hygiene assistance, case management and advocacy and permanent housing solutions.
Caritas Ukraine has also started pilot activities to prepare for winter considering the damaged infrastructure for heating and electricity supply. Local offices located near the zone of active hostilities, are actively starting to distribute fuel for heating private homes in winter.
Not far from the West-Ukrainian city of Lviv, Caritas has built several homes for children who have lost their parents.
These so-called ‘family-run orphanages’ provide a safe space for children where they can live, learn and grow with the support and warmth of a real family.
Caritas Spes has built five of these houses for five families, each consisting of ten people. Some families have been living here for years now, while others have arrived recently after the violence in other parts of the country forced them to leave their homes.
This is the case for Natalia Molar who came from a village near Kyiv with two of her children and now takes care of eight other displaced children as well.
“We wanted to stay in our home as long as possible, but when the missiles started flying over our heads and a neighbouring village was occupied by the Russian military, we knew we had to leave,” Natalia said.
“My husband and eldest son couldn’t come with us. They had to join the army. Now, they’re working on a military base and they call me every day to let me know they’re doing all right.
It’s very hard to be divided as a family, but at least here we are safe and people are helping us. We calm them by saying that we are in a good place.”
“When we got here we had to sleep in a kindergarten. After a few days, Caritas assigned us this home. First, we had no idea what would happen. We expected to be sleeping in a railway station. In this place, we can live in the same condition as we did at home. We are very grateful for that.”
“From the moment we stepped out of the train, we felt amazing support from the people in western Ukraine. People are doing everything they can. The children now go to school. They received books and the teachers are great. They are doing really well and their grades are good.”
“My main concern is when this war will end. My son was supposed to go to university. What will he do now? I worry a lot about my family. The future is uncertain, so we try to only focus on tomorrow.”
“We have lots of hobbies and we try to entertain ourselves as much as we can. We play football and tennis. We often go fishing and we love to cook together. I can’t wait to have my son and husband with us again. I miss them so much.”