10 March 2022, The Tablet

Catholic charities report extraordinary Ukraine response

The UN has warned around 7.5 million people could be internally displaced if the war continues.

Catholic charities report extraordinary Ukraine response

A woman holds her baby at the border crossing in Siret, Romania, March 7, 2022, after fleeing from Ukraine, following Russia's invasion of the country.
CNS photo/Clodagh Kilcoyne, Reuters

Depaul, who recently launched an appeal for aid to Ukraine, has been coordinating humanitarian relief across europe. A DePaul response manager in Slovakia, speaking to the Tablet, said that the response from ordinary people had so far been extraordinary: "everyone is trying to do something to help".

Focussed on providing basic supplies to those suffering in Ukraine, the Depaul mission in Slovakia had delivered medical supplies, food, water, and even wooden briquettes to their colleagues in Ukraine. Every day, donations were being moved from the charities depots in Slovakia to the border, both by Depaul employees and volunteers.

Alongside other Catholic charities like Caritas, Depaul has issued a special call for donations  – which has received, the response manager said, an overwhelming response from members of the public. 

The Depaul Group, active across Europe and America, is a an international charity coalition focussed on providing aid to the marginalised homeless, helping 23,500 people each year across Europe and the USA. Last year Depaul offered over 630,000 nights of shelter to homeless or precariously housed people, and served over 760,000 meals to those in need. 

As of 10 March, an estimated 2.3 million refugees have left Ukraine, and an unknown number of Ukrainians have been internally displaced, with the capital of Kiev reportedly depopulated by 50 per cent.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimated at the end of February that in two months there could be 7.5 million internally displaced people in Ukraine. The UN’s food agency announced March 4 it would ramp up food aid to the country after reports of shortages in the cities of Kiev and Kharkiv.

The Disasters Emergency Committee, which includes Christian charities CAFOD and Christian Aid, has launched a joint appeal in the UK for aid to Ukraine.

Tetiana Stawnychy, President of Caritas Ukraine, which runs 19 response centres across the country, has warned of dire consequences if the war continues: “the current crisis,” she said, “will inevitably lead to a colossal humanitarian catastrophe”.

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