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Ukraine Appeal update: Two years on since the invasion

20 February 2024
Ivanna DePaul Ukraine food distribution

Ivanna*, 59, receives a food parcel from CAFOD’s local partner Depaul Ukraine at their Humanitarian Centre for people who have lost their homes in Odesa, Ukraine. (Photo credit: Maciek Musialek/DEC)

It’s been two years since the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, a conflict that has forced over 5 million people from their homes and left 6.3 million seeking refuge outside the country.

Your generous contributions to the Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal have helped over 140,000 vulnerable women, men and children access vital aid including food, water, shelter and counselling support.

Thanks to you, our local partners are helping people to rebuild their lives after experiencing trauma, losing loved ones, homes and livelihoods.  

The need in Ukraine remains high

Over 17 million people in Ukraine require urgent humanitarian assistance.

With your support and prayers, we continue to reach those who are caught up in this conflict, often left with nothing.

Prayers of intercession for Ukraine

How your donations have helped

We have been working with local partners in Ukraine and neighbouring countries since the full-scale invasion of the country in 2022.   

Due to the conflict and harsh winters, many vulnerable people - including women, children, older people and those with special needs - don’t have access to enough food or hot meals. Our local partners Caritas Ukraine and Depaul Ukraine have been distributing food baskets and drinking water, and offering hot meals, emergency medical support, hygiene kits and counselling to those in need.  

Depaul is constantly adjusting projects to meet people's greatest needs - it's our biggest challenge and our priority. We are prioritising in-kind needs [material aid] around the frontline, and as you move away from it, we are supporting people who are more in need of mental health counselling, employment, and housing.

Dmytro Dmytrenko, Depaul Ukraine, Director of Programmes

Surviving the harsh winter

Shelling, airstrikes and other destruction from the war has left thousands of people in Ukraine living in damaged buildings or left homeless, often with disrupted access to electricity and heating.  

CAFOD has been working with local partners Depaul Ukraine and Caritas Ukraine in places like Kharkiv, Kyiv and Odesa, offering temporary shelter and long-term housing to internally displaced people, repairing damaged homes and providing winter supplies including warm clothing, firewood and fuel generators to keep people warm during the harsh winter during which temperatures can drop to -20°C.   

Marko Depaul food warehouse

Depaul Ukraine worker Marko* prepares food packages for distribution at one of Depaul Ukraine's warehouses in Odesa, Ukraine.

Dealing with trauma

By offering individual counselling, group therapy and child friendly spaces at our local centres and through outreach teams within Ukraine we are able to provide services which make people more resilient to trafficking and exploitation.

Refugees, internally displaced people and those in areas of active conflict are also at a higher risk of physical and sexual violence, trauma, and human trafficking.  

Prior to the conflict in 2022, Ukraine was already a significant origin of human trafficking

Since February 2022, around 90 per cent of those who have fled the country are women and children who are especially vulnerable to trafficking. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime predicts trafficking cases of Ukrainians in Europe increased by tens of thousands over the last year. 

CAFOD has been working with Caritas Ukraine’s team of experts to raise awareness to prevent future instances of human trafficking, including sex and labour trafficking among the vulnerable population. We are working with trained psychologists and specialist support services to identify and help survivors and their family members deal with their trauma and rebuild their lives.   

Caritas Ukraine human trafficking

Caritas Ukraine trained specialist working with a young survivor of human exploitation.

What can I do to help?

We continue to support those affected by the conflict in Ukraine. Please donate to our appeal to help support our efforts. Please pray for lasting peace and those affected by this crisis.