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October 26, 2022

Six-Month Impact Update: Donors give displaced families hope and a chance to rebuild amid the war in Ukraine

Nearly nine months into the war in Ukraine, the people of Ukraine continue to experience unimaginable devastation and destruction. The ongoing conflict has killed innocent civilians and caused extensive damage to communities across the country  — including homes, shops and public facilities.

Just six weeks into the conflict, a quarter of the population — more than 11 million people — were forced to flee their homes, finding safety both in other regions of the country and across neighboring borders. Today more than 14 million people remain displaced.

When the crisis began, the global community, including our compassionate donors, immediately jumped into action and joined together in solidarity with displaced families. Through incredible acts of kindness and empathy, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, rapidly scaled up its presence and provided immediate aid, protection, hope and relief to displaced Ukrainians.

As the chaos and insecurity of the war intensify, our donors continue to generously support this lifesaving work, allowing UNHCR teams to remain operational and quickly deploy supplies.

Here are a few highlights from UNHCR's six-month Ukraine impact report, which details the positive outcomes made possible by our donors' compassion and generosity.

Lifesaving Assistance and Emergency Relief 

Filippo Grandi, Oksana, Yurii and Svitlana in front of their destroyed home in Nalyvaikivka, in Kyiv Oblast.

Since February 2022, UNHCR has rapidly expanded its presence in Ukraine and reached more than 1.74 million people in need.

​​Across the country, 50,000 people have received mental health services, 61,000 have received legal assistance, 525,000 have received cash assistance and 294 emergency shelters were equipped with beds and washing facilities. In addition, UNHCR has provided 717,000 people — displaced or unable to move due to intense fighting — with essential supplies such as food and shelter.

UNHCR has also provided nearly 27,000 emergency shelter kits to families, like Oksana's, whose homes have been damaged by intense shelling. 

Oksana, a nurse from Nalyvaikivka, spent years building her home so that her children, Svitlana and Oleksandr, would have a safe and warm place to call home. But after fleeing intense fighting, they returned to an almost unrecognizable house.

"Our yard was full of rubble, slate, window frames, glass. We spent many days trying to clean up, moving very carefully as we didn't know if there were any unexploded ammunition or other dangerous things in our yard," she explains.

Through the incredible kindness and compassion of donors, Oksana, her husband Yurii, and their two children were among the many families who received assistance from UNHCR, enabling them to receive temporary shelter, mattresses, bed linens, solar lamps and other essential items. They also received construction materials to help them rebuild their home and lives.

Blue Dot centers and Cash Assistance

UNHCR Staff at Blue Dot Center In Warsaw Poland

Since the onset of the conflict, UNHCR has been collaborating with local governments and partners to scale up operations throughout Europe, in countries like Poland, Moldova, Romania, and Slovakia, as the magnitude of the Ukrainian refugee emergency became clear. 

In collaboration with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), UNHCR established Blue Dot centers across seven European countries, most of which neighbor Ukraine. 

The centers serve as one-stop shops and safe spaces that provide vital information and protection services for refugee families and help fill a critical gap in care for women and children, who make up nearly 90 percent of those fleeing Ukraine.

To date, Blue Dot centers across the region have provided services to over 155,000 people. Services include mental health consultations, safe spaces for breastfeeding, children's play areas and legal aid and assistance.

At the Blue Dot centers, refugee families are also able to register for cash assistance — one of the most efficient and effective ways UNHCR can support people forced to flee during conflict. 

"In the first months of the war, when millions of people were fleeing within a very short period of time, it was very important to quickly launch this cash assistance program,"  says Karolina Lindholm Billing, UNHCR Representative in Ukraine.

UNHCR has rolled out cash assistance programs in the following countries that neighbor Ukraine

  • In Poland, 10 cash enrollment sites have been set up, with mobile enrollment teams supporting people in remote areas. Nearly 265,000 refugees have received cash assistance; 94 percent of whom are women and children.
  • In Romania, five cash enrollment centers are operational, including one in the capital city of Bucharest, where partners are also providing legal and health referral services on-site. Across the country, 9,000 people have already received cash assistance; 90 percent of whom are women and children.
  • In Moldova, about 72,000 refugees have received cash assistance; 88 percent of whom are women and children. In addition, protection desks have been set up at locations where refugees enroll for cash assistance to help identify and support people with specific needs and make referrals for specialized services.
  • In Slovakia, five enrollment sites have been established around the country. Within those sites, nearly 30,000 refugees have received cash assistance; 84 percent of whom are women and children. 

How can you help?

The crisis in Ukraine continues, and many are still in need of dire lifesaving aid and protection.

Your ongoing support can make a big difference in the lives of those who have been forced to flee their homes to escape violence and find safety. By becoming USA for UNHCR’s newest monthly donor, you can help provide emergency supplies, lifesaving care and protection to families in and around Ukraine.