As Wednesday was the six-month anniversary of the war in Ukraine, Santa Barbara-based global disaster relief organization ShelterBox USA called for renewed focus on the humanitarian crisis in the region and need for aid.
“Today marks six months since the conflict in Ukraine began, forcing unprecedented numbers of people from their homes,” ShelterBox USA President Kerri Murray said in a press release. “More than 12 million people are currently displaced, and there are no signs of the war letting up. ShelterBox is committed to supporting the emergency shelter needs of civilians caught in the conflict, and we hope the world will continue to focus on the dire humanitarian needs in the country.”
More than 6.6 million refugees have fled the country, according to estimates by the United Nations, and another at least six million have been forced from their homes but have remained within Ukraine.
ShelterBox quickly responded to the crisis, establishing three programs in the region. The first provided thousands of mattresses to collective centers like schools, sports arenas and churches in western Ukraine. The second provided ShelterKits including tarpaulins, ropes and other tools for those in central Ukraine seeking to shelter in damaged homes. The third provided refugees leaving the country through Moldova with hygiene kits and cash assistance to help families meet food and medical needs while they are on the move. Moldova is one of the poorest and most isolated countries in Europe. It is not a member of the European Union or NATO.
The situation continues to evolve, but the need remains severe. ShelterBox is now assessing its next programs in the country, which will likely focus on helping families endure the coming cold winter.
“ShelterBox remains steadfast in its commitment to bring humanitarian supplies to the country … like ShelterKits to repair homes damaged by bombings and allow families to shelter in place, as well as essential supplies including solar lamps, which bring some comfort from basement shelters and evacuation shelters,” said Ms. Murray.