Last Ukraine's update (February)

written by Om en Ukraine

After months of tension at Ukraine’s border, Russia launched military attacks on Feb 24, 2022 and it is now expected to see millions moving towards safety elsewhere. The conflict in Ukraine has evolved over several years, and through multiple stages, and the humanitarian crisis in parts of the Ukraine is now heightened through this situation. An estimated 5 million people still live in what is known as the ‘war zone’ and many other internally displaced people may be among those who now need to leave the country altogether.

According to a report produced by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), an increasing number of ceasefire violations, including explosions, were recorded in various regions in Ukraine. Heavy traffic leaving Kyiv, the capital city of Ukraine, has also been documented, and busloads of people are arriving every day in neighboring countries. For many, the situation is devastating.

OM has been involved in ministry in the Ukraine since 1994 and team members in Odessa, Kiev, Vinnitsa and Rivne have had a history of caring for people living in the ‘war zone’,  discipling and mentoring youths, and supporting the local church. The safety of OM team members has been a priority and they are taking precautions at this time.

OM’s primary response is currently planned in neighbouring countries such as Romania and Poland, where refugees are expected to arrive over the coming days. OM, in partnership with local churches and volunteers, anticipates responding to the many needs of the refugees arriving by bus or other means of transport. The teams expect to initially provide food, temporary shelters and essential goods to people in border areas, as they arrive with very little. With a situation like this, that is expected to continue for some time, longer term plans to provide shelter and safe spaces for people to rest and find help, are also being developed. 

Some OM teams anticipate refugees to pass through their cities or towns and are preparing to help people in transition. This may include providing simple meals or supplies to help in the cold temperatures. Elsewhere, the teams are noting pregnant women and young children that have immediate need for baby essentials and hygiene packs. OM expects to work through local churches and volunteers to increase their capacity to respond to the needs of people around them.

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