Update on Ukraine Emergency Appeal 7 April 2022
Assisting refugees from Ukraine
Anglicans in Development launched an emergency appeal to assist refugees from Ukraine as they flood into eastern and central Europe during the war with Russia.
AID is sending all funds raised to Action by Churches Together (ACT) Alliance, a coalition of more than 140 Protestant and Orthodox faith-based organisations from 120 countries, working on humanitarian, development and advocacy issues. AID has been a member of ACT Alliance since 2018.
To date, AID’s appeal has raised $8,900.
ACT Alliance is assisting some of the almost 2 million internally displaced people in Ukraine itself, as well as some of the 2.8 million Ukrainian refugees in four countries — Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia.
ACT members are providing shelter, food, water, hygiene kits, psychosocial support, information on resettlement and child safe spaces.
Larysa has been displaced by the war. Larysa, her husband, daughter and the cat Bella escaped from Kharkov on March 1, 2022. Before fleeing, they spent four nights in the basement of their home due to the bombing of Kharkov.
“Everyone wanted to travel out of Kharkov. There were a lot of people at the train station. The train ride was free of charge, but getting on the train was difficult due to the crowds,” Larysa says. The trip to Berehove took four days.
Larysa and her family stayed in the refugee shelter supported by ACT member Hungarian Interchurch Aid, set up at a school. “We are happy to have a place to sleep and where it is warm. We get food three times a day, we can wash and do our laundry, because there is also a washing machine here.”
Larysa has cancer. She received treatment in Kharkov, but the hospital was destroyed in the bombings. Larysa hopes she will be able to get treatment in Hungary.
How ACT Alliance members have responded so far
One ACT Alliance member, Hungarian Interchurch Aid (HIA), has set up operations in Lviv, with a warehouse there to support the distribution of food, hygiene kits, and other supplies. HIA has shipped over 278 tons of supplies to Ukraine, as well as 7 million Euros of medical supplies. HIA also operates a 24-hour refugee stop near the Hungarian border, as well as a child-safe space at the Budapest airport to support refugees transiting through Hungary to other destinations.
Another ACT member, Lutheran World Federation, is mobilising churches in a number of countries, including in Poland, where more than 60% of the refugees have gone.
Swiss Church Aid, the third member of the ACT appeal, is working with its long-term partners in Romania, Hungary and Ukraine to support displaced people through food, hygiene, cash vouchers, shelter, psycho-social support, and more.
The responses by the ACT members has been varied. Thorsten Göbel, ACT’s director of programs, noted, “What impressed me most was the combination of different approaches…from the larger quite professionalised response inside Ukraine … to a more regional parish-based response …[and] cross-border cooperation with the churches …across the border on the Ukrainian side…”
Göbel added that as this crisis evolves and refugees begin to settle in neighbouring countries, they are more likely to need cash transfers, information and spiritual and psycho-social support. Women and children (who, along with the elderly, make up most of the refugee numbers) face particular risks of human trafficking and forced labour, so these risks will be considered when providing support.
Men between 18 and 60 were not allowed to leave Ukraine.
Broader role of churches
The General Secretary of ACT Allliance, Bueno de Faria said that churches are playing a key role in responding to the crisis. “Church leaders are mobilizing great numbers of volunteers. They are also …stand[ing] up to denounce injustices and announce the good news. I sincerely believe that after this war, the role of ecumenical diakonia will be more important than ever, where [Christians]…will realize that we need to work together to ensure more inclusiveness, solidarity and justice in human relations”, he said.
ABM’s Anglicans in Development asks you to continue to pray with us, with the people of Ukraine, the people of Russia, and people of goodwill all over the world for an end to this war. We pray for the millions of people affected, for those who have lost loved ones, those who have had to leave their homes and family members behind, for those who have stayed in Ukraine to face the dangers, and for all who are providing support and assistance during this time of great need.
To donate to this appeal and to see the appeal prayer, go here