Conflict in Ukraine – Response in Europe and Canada

Two Red Cross volunteers packing supplies
Latest Reports: 
Humanitarian Crisis in Ukraine
People arriving in Canada from Ukraine

Humanitarian Crisis in Ukraine

On top of nine years of ongoing conflict in Donbas, the escalation of the international armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine over the past year and a half has had widespread and devastating humanitarian impacts. Millions have fled the country and millions more are internally displaced. Red Cross teams on the ground in Ukraine and surrounding countries are continuing to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance to those impacted.

Across the region, this invaluable support includes food, clean water, cash distribution, hygiene kits, first aid training, medical supplies, health care, including psychosocial support, and winterization items like stoves, fuel and winter clothing.

How the Canadian Red Cross is helping in Ukraine and surrounding countries

Thanks to the generosity of people living in Canada who contributed to the Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal, the Canadian Red Cross is working closely with Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement partners to provide critical humanitarian assistance to people who are impacted by the crisis in Ukraine.

Canadian Red Cross response as of August 31, 2023
  • Deployed 56 highly trained humanitarian experts to support the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement response on operations management, migration and displacement, cash assistance, health coordination, shelter and winterization, communications, and coordination of response efforts. 
  • Provided more than 43,000 emergency relief items such as blankets, tarps and cooking supplies to Ukraine and neighbouring countries, thanks to support from the Government of Canada.
  • Provided funding for 25,600​ primary healthcare consultations through Mobile Health Units during 1,459 community visits in Cherkasy and Poltava Oblast, Ukraine, since August 2022. The teams are reaching people, including those displaced by the conflict, in remote areas where infrastructure has been damaged, and access to health care has been impacted negatively, to provide health assessments, medication, treatment for minor injuries, and referrals for additional care.
  • Provided funding for the salaries of up to 10 psychotherapists at the Clinical Hospital of Emergency and Intensive Care in Lviv, Ukraine, due to the ever-increasing mental health needs. Since October 2022, the team has provided more than 6,900 therapy sessions to more than 1,200 individuals which has contributed to improving the wellbeing of patients who have experienced traumatic events. The integration of mental health into a regular hospital setting is the first of its kind in Ukraine. 
  • Supported the recruitment of 23 social helpers who have been providing Home-Based Care to 114 older adults and people with chronic illnesses and disabilities in 56 locations in Cherkasy Oblast.
Red Cross Red Crescent Movement collective response in Ukraine and surrounding countries as of July 31, 2023, with support from the Canadian Red Cross
  • Distributed more than 296 million CHF ($454 million CAD) in multi-purpose cash assistance to support basic needs, rental assistance, health or shelter.
  • Assisted more than 763,000 people with health services.
  • Provided shelter assistance to 1.9 million people either through rehabilitation of existing structures or in temporary accommodations.
  • Provided improved access to water for 10.6 million people and adequate heating to 1.5 million people.
  • Provided more than 479,000 people in Ukraine with mental health and psychosocial support.
  • Assisted more than 355,000 people with transportation from conflict-impacted areas in Ukraine, including through safe and voluntary evacuations.
  • Improved the living conditions of more than 2 million people internally displaced by the conflict through assistance to collective centers providing temporary shelters and other essential services in Ukraine. This includes repairing damage to centers, assisting with renovations to accommodate increased needs, and providing supplies.
  • Supported 397 health facilities in Ukraine with medical equipment, tools, and medication.
  • Delivered more than 2,700 personal messages between prisoners of war and families
  • Mobilized more than 128,000 Red Cross volunteers and 58 Red Cross Red Crescent National Societies to meet the needs of those impacted.
The International Red Cross Red Crescent, including Canadian Red Cross, continues to respond to the evolving needs of people whose homes, livelihoods and access to critical services are threatened by the conflict, and is committed to helping meet humanitarian needs for the months and years to come.

See our responses to frequently asked questions about the Red Cross response to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.

How people living in Canada can help people impacted by the conflict in Ukraine

The easiest way to support the work of the Canadian Red Cross is to donate online, give us a call at 1-800-418-1111. Making a financial donation is always the best way to support our humanitarian efforts on the ground.
The Canadian Red Cross is currently raising funds to support our work on the international response to the conflict in Ukraine.

Organize a fundraiser
If your community group or organization wants to host a fundraiser to help us continue to do our work, our Red Cross fundraising specialists can help support your vision. To create a community fundraiser for the Canadian Red Cross, you can complete our online form to get started today.

How are donations to the Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal donations used?

Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal

Money raised will enable the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement to respond to humanitarian needs in Ukraine and surrounding areas. Funds contributed to date are being used to provide neutral and impartial emergency assistance such as vital medical supplies, food, water, clothing, shelter, hygiene items, heating fuel, psychosocial support, and other urgent items to help those in need.  Teams have been on the ground working around the clock to provide humanitarian aid to those impacted, including those who have been displaced.

As of December 31, 2022, the Canadian Red Cross has contributed more than $135 million to the International Red Cross response. This includes:
  • Support to the basic needs of people displaced in Ukraine and surrounding countries due to the conflict by providing emergency relief supplies, cash assistance, health care, protection services and information about available services.
  • Support to people in need of health care services in Ukraine, including support to the mobile health units that travel to remote areas of the Cherkasy region to provide medical services to people requiring care, including those who have been displaced, and funding for the salaries of up to 10 psychotherapists at Lviv Clinical Hospital of Emergency and Intensive Care, to respond to the increased need for mental health support across the country. 
  • Assistance for individuals, families and communities who remained in areas that experienced or are currently experiencing direct conflict in Ukraine.
  • Support the ability of National Societies involved in the Ukraine crisis to respond to evolving needs associated to the crisis in Ukraine, such as the creation of safeguarding tools and the integration of mental health and psychosocial support for people accessing Red Cross Red Crescent services.
Latest Reports: 
Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal Update, as of December 31, 2022




Ukraine Humanitarian Support in Canada Appeal

The Ukraine Humanitarian Support in Canada Appeal is now closed. Donations to this appeal have enabled the Canadian Red Cross to respond to humanitarian needs in Canada as they arose for people displaced due to the conflict in Ukraine. Our work helps to bridge the gaps in social services and support affected individuals and families as they transition to life in Canada. Services include immediate and ongoing basic needs, referral services, financial support, psychosocial support, granting to community organizations, and services to help people displaced connect with their loved ones, among other critical activities.



What is International Humanitarian Law?

International Humanitarian Law (IHL) is a set of wartime rules that protect people who are not (or are no longer) participating in hostilities, including the civilian population, combatants who are no longer fighting because they are wounded, humanitarian workers, medical personnel, and prisoners of war. IHL also restricts the means and methods of war. Its purpose is to limit and prevent human suffering in times of armed conflict. Learn more about International Humanitarian Law.

As part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is a neutral and impartial humanitarian actor mandated to speak with all parties who make and influence decisions impacting the victims of armed conflict, and our ability to reach them. Our neutrality and the space to discuss humanitarian issues directly with the parties allows us to move aid across frontlines, facilitate safe passages of civilians, and carry out other vital humanitarian activities.


People arriving in Canada from Ukraine

The people arriving in Canada from Ukraine were forced to leave everything behind, only bringing whatever they could carry. People in vulnerable situations, including women, children, people living with disabilities and the elderly, are among the most impacted. The Red Cross has extensive experience in welcoming new arrivals to Canada, having played an instrumental role in providing support to Syrian refugees in 2016 and Haitian asylum seekers in 2017.

How the Canadian Red Cross is helping people arriving in Canada from Ukraine

The Canadian Red Cross is providing temporary accommodation to people arriving from Ukraine in Quebec. The Canadian Red Cross is also operating an interim lodging site and providing various support services to those fleeing the conflict in Ukraine following their arrival at Toronto Pearson international Airport. This assistance is being provided on behalf of and through referrals from government partners.

At the request of government authorities, the Red Cross provided support services to people fleeing the conflict in Ukraine who:
  • Arrived at Vancouver International Airport until June 30, 2022. These support services have now been transitioned to social services agency S.U.C.C.E.S.S.
  • Arrived at Edmonton International Airport until June 30, 2022.
  • Arrived at Toronto International Airport until December 15, 2022. These support services have now been transitioned to social services agency Canadian Ukrainian Immigrant Aid Society (CUIAS).
  • Were staying at temporary accommodations following their arrival at Montréal-Trudeau International Airport on May 29, Halifax Stanfield International Airport on June 2, and to people who arrived at the Greater Moncton Roméo LeBlanc International Airport on June 7.
Canadian Red Cross as of February 13, 2023
  • More than 15,000 individuals received emergency accommodation support, on behalf of the Government of Canada and provincial governments, in partnership with community organizations.
  • The Canadian Red Cross Virtual Operations Team has handled over 44,000 inbound and outbound calls in support of people arriving from Ukraine.

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