Women, children, and the elderly have fled to Western Ukraine or across national boundaries, while most men have stayed behind to defend their country. This is the reality for thousands of families in Ukraine right now.
“People who cross the border are tired and hungry. Many have spent several days moving through Ukraine”, says Andreas Kiaby, leader of the humanitarian response team in DCA.
In many areas it is snowing and at night the temperature drops to -5 degrees. It is therefore vital that the families get help fast.
“My husband is at the frontline of the war. The women in my family decided to flee to protect our children from danger. I do not remember must from of our escape. My children kept asking where we were going. But I did not have an answer.” —Yelena, Ukrainian mother of three
Not all families can leave their home or Ukraine. It is important that the help also reaches them. Together with local partners DanChurchAid is working both in the border areas and inside Ukraine.
We are distributing food, toiletries and sleeping bags as well as providing shelter for the families fleeing Ukraine, partly thanks to the enormous engagement and support from the Danes.
Close to the Ukrainian border town Berehove Ukrainian refugees are stuck in traffic jams trying to leave the country. Most have been fleeing for multiple days before reaching the border. They are exhausted and scared.
The border station is under pressure because of the amount of people wanting to leave the country at the same time. The result is car queues as far as the eye can see. Some families have to queue for 10 hours before continuing their flight.
10-year-old Alona hasfled the Ukrainian city Kharkiv with her family. The family fled by car to Kyiv and then took the train to Berehove – the town close to the Ukranian border. Alona only had 20 minutes to pack her bag before fleeing the war-torn city. She brought her telephone and a couple of teddies.
We stand ready with warm food, hot drinks, blankets, sleeping bags and shelter. At the same time, we provide internet access for the families, so that they can get in touch with their relatives.
Larissa has fled the war in Ukraine with her daughter and husband. Violent bombings forced the family to hide in their home in Kharkiv for four days before fleeing towards the west. Now they are in a refugee camp in Berehove close to the Ukrainian border.
”Here we have a warm place to sleep. We receive three meals a day, we can shower and wash our clothes” – Larissa
As far as it is possible, we work to provide ready money for the Ukrainian population and buy goods locally to support the natural market forces in a country, where the economy is also severely affected.
It is important that we are present immediately for those who are fleeing the horrors of war. In the long-term it is also crucial that we manage to create an everyday life for these people.
We are following the development of the war day by day to ensure that we are distributing the help most needed.