Ukraine: Religious Actors Respond
Over three million people have fled into Poland, Romania, Moldova, Hungary, and Slovakia since the beginning of 2022 according to the United Nations’ Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Many more needing humanitarian assistance have become internally displaced within Ukraine. Religious actors function in many ways where action is needed to both prevent and respond to humanitarian crises.
Individuals, volunteers, other actors, governments, and multilateral organisations are turning to religious actors because of their quick responses in situations like these.
The International Partnership on Religion and Sustainable Development (PaRD) was founded in 2016 to foster engagement and cooperation. PaRD members support people, especially vulnerable groups, who need assistance and humanitarian support world-wide. To support formal and informal partnerships with and between PaRD members – in Ukraine, at the borders to neighbouring countries, and in communities throughout the world – an overview of their activities can be found here.
Ukraine: PaRD Members Respond
PaRD members in Ukraine are involved in humanitarian aid. This includes coordinating medical care, transportation of relief goods (food, water, clothing, blankets, and hygiene kits), counselling and psychosocial support as well as providing accommodation for refugees.
PaRD members active in Ukraine and neighbouring countries:
- EU-CORD has been linking members and their partners responding to the humanitarian crisis. For example, some organisations are providing supplies and support to children and families who are affected by the war and are forced to hide in shelters. Others help with psychosocial support and activities for children at reception centers for Ukrainian refugees in neighbouring countries. In addition, EU-CORD members and their partners are helping to organise shelters for refugees or have launched private fundraising campaigns to support local and international partners already in the field.
Moreover, Dorcas, one of EU-CORD's members, published a report entitled "Falling through the cracks", which concludes that, in Ukraine, older people are particularly vulnerable to suffering the consequences of the war with Russia.
- Kolping International is using their own network to bring relief goods to Ukraine, where it is being distributed to hospitals, the territorial army, and refugee shelters. In several cities in the western part of the country, Kolping Ukraine is working to organize relief work for internally displaced people (IDPs). Their partner organisations in Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, and Poland have organized transports with relief goods. These partners are also offering accommodation to refugees from Ukraine.
- Netzwerk-m: Member organizations of netzwerk-m and of the Association of Evangelical Missions (AEM) are providing humanitarian aid, medical aid, accommodations for refugees as well as counselling.
- The Salvation Army has a presence in Ukraine and most of its neighbouring countries. The organisation is carrying out relief operations to respond to the situation in Ukraine in more than 20 countries across Europe. Relief activities include the following areas: water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), food security, shelter, non-food items (e.g. bedding and clothing), protection, health, logistics, and integration activities. Countries of operation include, for example, Ukraine, Russia, Moldova, Romania, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia.
- UNITED SIKHS is serving the humanitarian needs of Ukrainian refugees at the Medyka, Poland border with plans to a facility at the Siret border in Romania. They provide meals, hygiene and food packs and a place to rest. In addition, UNITED SIKHS are starting to offer medical care for refugees as they arrive at the border and will plan to sponsor bus tickets for refugees from Romania to Berlin.
The organisation also documents its relief efforts with video. Watch how the UNITED SIKHS UK team traveled from London to the Ukraine-Polish border in July 2022 to provide humanitarian assistance.
Moreover, UNITED SIKHS has access to information resources for people fleeing Ukraine. PaRD members who need help can contact UNITED SIKHS via mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) if they are dealing with individuals or members of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) fleeing Ukraine and need support to obtain their rights in the countries they have fled to. UNITED SIKHS provides country-specific guidance for 23 countries hosting refugees; a list of resources on basic legal support needed by people fleeing Ukraine; and a list of resources on issues such as rights and legal remedies, shelter, travel and humanitarian assistance.
- The World Council of Churches (WCC) and Act Alliance sent a delegation to Hungary, Romania, and Ukraine, focusing on humanitarian needs and church response. The delegation highlighted the robust church response. Moreover, in a public statement, the WCC governing body declared that “war, with the killing and all the other miserable consequences it entails, is incompatible with God’s very nature and will for humanity and against our fundamental Christian and ecumenical principles.” Read the declaration here.
- World Vision is responding to the humantiarian crisis in Ukraine in various contexts and areas. World Vision teams have been on the ground to identify and meet the urgent needs of those seeking protection. From responding to the initial needs of refugees upon their arrival from Ukraine, the organisation has provided shelter and safe spaces especially for children in Romania; ensured the demand for food, water and hygiene supplies in Moldavia; and responded with psychosocial support and schooling programs for children in Georgia. Also, World Vision deployed food assistance, as well as medical supplies for hospitals in Ukraine.
Add to This Resource
PaRD’s members are reacting quickly using their networks as needs grow and as new needs are identified. By providing and updating information for individuals, informal groups and organisations resources can be used effectively. Help facilitate these collaboration efforts by adding information here:
Email us at email@example.com,...
- if you have more information in relation to aid work by religious actors in or adjacent to Ukraine that you wish to share,
- if you would like to get in touch with PaRD members who are currently on the ground in Ukraine,
- if you know of any communication networks and/or chat group that might be useful for religious actors and their aid work in Ukraine, and that could be added to this page, and
- if you have suggestions for further information that PaRD could share to help other helpers in Ukraine.