What is happening in Ukraine?
On February 24, 2022, Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine.
The conflict forced more than 14 million people to leave their homes – that’s more than a quarter of Ukraine’s entire population.
More than 6 million people remain displaced within Ukraine and an estimated 7.7 million are now living as refugees across Europe.
This latest escalation in military action comes after eight years of ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine.
ShelterBox is responding to the Ukraine crisis.
5 things you need to know about the Ukraine crisis
1. Millions of people in eastern Ukraine have been severely affected by an ongoing conflict that began in 2014 when Crimea was annexed from Ukraine.
2. Before the recent escalation in conflict, the UN estimated that 2.9 million people in Ukraine already needed humanitarian assistance.
3. According to the UN Refugee Agency, before the latest increase in violence, nearly 1.5 million people were internally displaced within Ukraine. Half were over the age of 60 – making it one of the ‘oldest’ crises in the world.
4. Since 2014, Ukraine has been the target of multiple cyber-attacks, some resulting in devastating power blackouts affecting thousands of people.
5. Winter temperatures fall as low as -15 °C in Ukraine, causing even more challenges for innocent people.
There are several ways you can help people affected by the Ukraine crisis.
1. Read about what’s happening in Ukraine
2. Raise awareness on social media or by talking about the crisis with your friends and family
3. Stand with people fleeing their homes in Ukraine and beyond. Learn about some of the world’s hidden crises and share it with your network.
Read more about how you can support families caught up in the crisis here.
We’re not accepting the donation of clothing or other items for people affected by the crisis in Ukraine.
All the life-saving tools and equipment we provide are sourced from trusted suppliers and go through rigorous testing to ensure that they can survive in the extreme environments that we work in.
It’s also important that the aid we distribute is standardised. Doing so ensures that families receive aid of the same quality and value.
There are also many import restrictions in place that govern what we can and can’t bring into a country.
Given the scale of the situation in and around Ukraine there are many people that wish to help. There is a real concern that donated items may strain the logistical journey of tried and tested aid items.
Ukraine is home to some of the richest soils in Europe. It is famous for its fields of wheat, barley, oats, corn and other grains.
In fact, Russia and Ukraine export about a quarter of the world’s wheat and half of its sunflower products.
The conflict is already sending global food prices soaring. This is particularly concerning for some of the countries we’re working in, like Yemen and Syria who are already facing high levels of food insecurity.
How is ShelterBox helping?
We have already distributed thousands of mattresses to people living in collective centres like schools and churches in Lviv, Ukraine. This offers people somewhere to sleep and keep warm at night.
We are distributing thermal blankets, clothing, and emergency repair kits – including tarpaulins and timber – to help people fix damaged roofs, seal windows and doors, keep the heat in and make homes watertight.
The most vulnerable households are also being given solid fuel stoves, and a supply of firewood that will last the average family through the winter.
Finally, we are supporting refugees in neighbouring countries with high priority items they can carry with them, like hygiene items and cash.