Red Cross in action: How we are reaching people in Ukraine and surrounding countries

By: Jennifer Barnable, senior digital writer
In times of humanitarian crisis, finding accurate details and facts can be challenging in a sea of information. Both misinformation and disinformation can put our Red Cross staff, volunteers, and the people we seek to help at risk. It can also negatively impact crucial fundraising efforts that support people in need.
Here’s how the Red Cross is helping on the ground in Ukraine and surrounding region, thanks to people in Canada who have shown tremendous support with financial contributions.
People in Red Cross jackets helping people cross over water 
Red Cross teams evacuating people through temporary water crossing in Demydiv Ukraine. Credit: Ukrainian Red Cross
In Ukraine and surrounding countries, Red Cross Red Crescent Movement teams are working tirelessly to meet the rapidly increasing humanitarian needs. The situation is dire.
An estimated 12 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. For those impacted, the greatest needs are for financial assistance, accommodation, access to health care and water, and essential household items such as food, clothing, hygiene items, and infant supplies.

What is the Red Cross doing in Ukraine and region?

Since the escalation of the conflict, Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies, with support from the International Red Cross, have been in action on the ground.
Our support ranges from providing first aid and psychosocial support, transporting people to hospital, providing assistance at borders, helping reunite families, and delivering aid to bomb shelters, medical facilities and temporary accommodations for those who are displaced.

Red Cross teams have also been providing food, hygiene kits, clothing, housing support, heating fuel, medical supplies (like insulin and war-wounded kits), tents and access to water.

Red Cross impact by the numbers

The Red Cross Red Crescent Movement’s humanitarian work is having a profound impact in Ukraine and surrounding countries, and teams across the region continue to work around the clock to provide vital aid for people impacted by the conflict.
To illustrate this life-saving work, we’re sharing some important statistics:

  • Over 1 million people in Ukraine and surrounding countries have been reached by the combined humanitarian support of the Red Cross.
A person in a Red Cross vest handing inputting information into a laptop provided by an older woman
In Warsaw, Red Cross personnel distribute financial aid and cash cards to people who have fled Ukraine to Poland. Credit: Kasia Strek/British Red Cross. Copyright: IFRC
  • The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has delivered 1,800+ tons of aid in Ukraine – the equivalent of five Boeing 747 planes. Half of this aid – including items like hygiene kits, blankets and kitchen sets – has been delivered to the Ukrainian Red Cross for distribution.
People in Red Cross jackets unloading supplies from a large truck
Italian Red Cross volunteers deliver medicine, food, first aid kits and other essentials to a warehouse in Chernivtsi, Ukraine. Credit: Annalisa Ausilio / Italian Red Cross.
  • Thanks to the Government of Canada and people living in Canada, the Canadian Red Cross has contributed $82.5 million to support the international Red Cross humanitarian response. Approximately two-thirds of that amount goes to support people in Ukraine, and one-third to help people displaced in surrounding countries

A Red Cross member showing food supplies to a young girl with earmuffs on 

Nine-year-old Alyona at Uzhhorod Red Cross branch office with her mother (not shown) to receive some nonperishable food items from Red Cross volunteers. Credit: Marko Kokic. Copyright IFRC.
  • 42,000+ trained Red Cross volunteers are actively responding to meet people’s needs
A man in a Red Cros vest handing out supplies to people gathered around
Staff and volunteers from IFRC and the Moldova Red Cross distribute blankets, hygiene kits and other relief items to people who have crossed from Ukraine into Moldova. Credit: IFRC.
  • 55+ National Societies are supporting the regional response
A member of the Turkish Red Crescent Society talking with a woman holding a small dog.
Volunteers from the Turkish Red Crescent assist people and their pets the Siret Border Gate. Credit: Ozgur Altinay / Turkish Red Crescent
  • 19 rescue teams activated by the Polish Red Cross to provide around-the-clock health care and psychosocial support
A Red Cross member leaning over a person checking for breath.
Ukrainian Red Cross volunteers provide First Aid training to people and partners. Credit: Credit: Ukrainian Red Cross
  • 42,000+ civilians trained in first aid by the Ukrainian Red Cross
A Red Cross team member sitting at a table with a woman writing notes
In the Gomel region on the border with Ukraine, Belarus Red Cross set up tents for displaced people, where volunteers register them and ask them about their needs, provide hot tea and psychosocial support. Credit: Belarus Red Cross

A combined, global Red Cross effort

As the largest disaster relief organization in the world, the strength of the Red Cross is our combination of community-based and global support. When an emergency is too severe for local support systems to respond, the global Red Cross response is initiated quickly.

In Ukraine and neighbouring countries, Red Cross Red Crescent Movement teams from around the world have come together to provide humanitarian aid to people impacted by the conflict. This crucial work is further strengthened by the contributions of the IFRC and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Your donation is making a difference

We’re so grateful for the support people living in Canada have provided to the Red Cross response in Ukraine and surrounding countries. Thank you to those who have donated, shared information about our work, and showed solidarity with the people impacted.

A young woman holding her toddler child in her arms
Olana and her daughter Anastasia pick up a bag of relief supplies from a Polish Red Cross branch in Warsaw. Alongside mostly mothers and kids, they waited in line to pick up the essentials, such as dried food staples, medicine, hygiene items, bedsheets, coffee and toilet paper. Credit: Anette Selmer-Andresen. Copyright: IFRC.     
It’s thanks to donors like you, and the Government of Canada, that the Canadian Red Cross has already contributed $82.5 million to the international Red Cross response. Donations raised have enabled us to provide much-needed support on the ground, including to the Ukrainian Red Cross Society. In addition, we have mobilized 21 highly-trained humanitarian experts to support areas such as operations management, migration and displacement, health coordination, communications and coordination of response efforts.

Also made possible by the support from the Government of Canada, the Canadian Red Cross has sent 31,000 emergency relief items, like blankets, tarps and cooking supplies to support people who have been affected, including people who have had to flee their homes, often with only what they can carry.

Your choice to support the Red Cross Ukraine Humanitaran Crisis Appeal has helped us continue our critical work reaching people affected in Ukraine and surrounding countries.
People living in Canada wishing to make a financial donation to the Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal can do so online, by calling 1-800-418-1111, or by texting UKRAINE to 20222 to donate $10.

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