“We decided to leave our home because it was dreadful to stay there,” says Maria, a woman who fled Crimea as fighting intensified. “Only three of us came here – two children and I. We have moved to an unfamiliar city, unknown people, without our ordinary things.”
She is now receiving assistance from Caritas Khmelnytskiy, one of many diocesan Caritas members in Ukraine.
Almost 200,000 people have fled their homes as fighting continues in eastern Ukraine. The situation in the eastern areas is creating an ever-increasing stream of refugees trying escape the conflict.
“It’s a humanitarian crisis,” says Andrij Waskowycz, President of Caritas Ukraine.
Caritas Ukraine is implementing 5 large-scale assistance projects across the country to respond to the needs of displaced families and the wounded.
A challenge is finding adequate shelter for all the displaced people to stay during the cold months of autumn and winter. “We are working very hard to find shelters for everyone,” says Waskowycz.
In Slovyansk, a city hard-hit by the violence, Caritas Ukraine has provided over 100 tons of drinking water. Caritas plans to help people in Slovyansk and the surrounding area by providing glass and repairing or replacing broken windows.
“Caritas Ukraine appreciates the generosity of partners and donors from the global Caritas family who are helping us to serve people in need in these hard times for our country,” says Waskowycz.
Maria, the woman being helped by Caritas Khmelnytskiy, says, “I thought that we wouldn’t be needed here. But we are grateful for all the help that’s been provided.”