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

In addition to almost ten years of ongoing conflict, the escalation of the international armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine over the past two years 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 and the Government of Canada who contributed to the Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal, the Canadian Red Cross remains committed to delivering humanitarian assistance to people who are in Ukraine and those displaced in nearby countries.

Canadian Red Cross response as of December 31, 2023
  • Deployed 58 highly trained humanitarian experts to support the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement response, including in health coordination, shelter and winterization, cash assistance, protection, gender, inclusion and community engagement, communications, and coordination of response efforts. 
  • Provided more than 422,000 emergency relief items such as blankets, tarps and cooking supplies to Ukraine and neighbouring countries, thanks to donations and support from the Government of Canada.
  • Provided funding for​ more than 38,000 primary healthcare consultations through 9 Mobile Health Units during more than 2,200 community visits in the Cherkasy and Poltava Oblasts in Ukraine. The teams are providing health assessments, medication, treatment for minor injuries, and referrals for additional care to people, including those who have been displaced in areas where access to health care has been impacted.
  • Funded 15 psychotherapists at the Lviv Clinical Hospital of Emergency and Intensive Care in Ukraine, due to the ever-increasing mental health needs. The team has provided more than 9,900 therapy sessions to more than 1,900 individuals which has contributed to improving the mental health of patients who have experienced traumatic events. Additionally, 56 people have benefitted from psychological sessions for domestic and sexual abuse. The integration of mental health into a regular hospital setting is the first of its kind in Ukraine.
  • Provided funding and expertise for the renovation or rehabilitation of 38 collective centres to improve the living conditions of people who have been internally displaced to the Cherkasy, Poltava, and Vinnytsia Oblasts.
  • Supported the recruitment of 72 social helpers who have been providing Home-Based Care to 772 people, including older adults and people living with chronic illnesses or disabilities in the Cherkasy and Poltava Oblasts. 
Red Cross Red Crescent Movement collective response in Ukraine and surrounding countries as of December 31, 2023, with support from the Canadian Red Cross
  • Distributed more than 310 million CHF ($474 million CAD) in financial assistance to support with basic needs, rent and utilities, health, and education.
  • Assisted more than 1.2 million people with health services.
  • More than 1.1 million people have received mental health and psychosocial support.
  • More than 341,000 people have benefited from protection, gender and inclusion activities.
  • Provided improved access to water for 15.2 million people and adequate heating to 1.6 million people.
  • More than 693,000 people gained access to improved or rehabilitated medical services, and more than 540,000 people were reached with mental health support.
  • Assisted more than 397,000 people with transportation from conflict-impacted areas in Ukraine, including through safe and voluntary evacuation, and more than 406,000 people were evacuated during safe-passage operations.
  • Improved the living conditions of more than 740,000 people who have been 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.
  • 2.2 million people have received shelter assistance either through rehabilitation of existing structures or in temporary accommodations.
  • Supported 397 health facilities in Ukraine with medical equipment, tools, and medication.
  • Shared news to 8,400 families on the fate or whereabouts of their loved ones. 
  • 60 Red Cross Red Crescent National Societies and more than 130,000 trained volunteers are actively responding in more than 45 countries to meet the needs of the millions of people impacted by the conflict.
  • More than 29,500 people deprived of their liberty have received assistance.
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

As of December 31, 2023, more than $179 million CAD has been spent or committed to the International Red Cross response in support of people who have been displaced inside or outside of Ukraine, and those who remain in the areas of conflict.

This includes supporting basic needs with emergency supplies such as food, clothing, hygiene kits, blankets and cooking supplies; cash assistance to help with rent, utilities, and education expenses; the provision of emergency shelters, generators, fuel, stoves, and winter clothing to ensure people are kept warm during winter; access to health and mental care, first aid protection services and information about available services. Ongoing efforts also include strengthening local efforts to respond to humanitarian needs in Ukraine and surrounding countries. 

Latest Reports: 
Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal Update, as of December 31, 2023

Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal Update, as of December 31, 2022

A Red Cross employee helping a woman getting into a car in Ukraine




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

To support people arriving from Ukraine, Tthe Canadian Red Cross is providing temporary accommodation to people arriving from Ukraine in Quebec and providing various supports in Manitoba, including managing a reception centre and coordinating hotel rooms. 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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