What's going on?
On February 24, Russian military forces began an invasion of Ukraine. Shelling, airstrikes and other active hostilities are targeting cities across the country, causing serious damage to homes and infrastructure, including electricity lines, gas and water systems. Food is one of the top three concerns of people along with safety and access to fuel for transportation.
Millions of people have been forcibly displaced since the conflict began on February 24. Millions more have fled the country as refugees, according to the UN Refugee agency.
Conflict has been ongoing between Russia and Ukraine since late 2013, with Russia annexing the Crimea peninsula in March 2014.
What is MCC doing?
- MCC’s primary response at this stage includes several short-term humanitarian projects providing food, cash, shelter, medicine and hygiene supplies to displaced persons, host families and conflict-affected households.
- MCC has recently approved additional support for humanitarian assistance in Nikopol, Kharkhiv, Zaporizhzhia, Uman and villages in the Cherkasy and Mykolaiv regions. MCC’s partners are providing emergency shelter, hot meals to IDPs and distributing food baskets, cash assistance, medicine and other essential items to an estimated 3,650 participants from IDP and conflict-affected families. Most participants in these projects are originally from the east and southeastern parts of Ukraine.
- In addition, MCC is supporting fellow Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFGB) member ADRA with its food assistance project in Ukraine and Moldova through MCC’s account at CFGB.
- Partners indicate that local churches are instrumental in offering emergency support and basic needs; church buildings are places to gather for safety, places to pray, places where people are coming together to support their neighbors.
- MCC is shipping five containers of material resources to Ukraine to be shipped through Europe. This will include one shipment from Canada and four from the U.S. The shipments will include a mix of relief kits, hygiene kits, infant care kits, comforters as well as canned meat. We are also planning further shipments for later in the year.
- MCC has worked in Ukraine since our beginnings in 1920, opening soup kitchens to provide relief to thousands of starving families. Our projects in Ukraine prior to the Russian invasion included relief, peace, health and education programs. MCC is in regular contact with our partners who are working to assess immediate needs and are planning ways to scale up their work.
MCC staff outside their home context were evacuated from Ukraine. Staff still in Ukraine are carefully following security protocols and monitoring the rapidly evolving situation.
What you can do
- Pray: Please join us as we pray for peace in Ukraine:
- Give: MCC is accepting donations for a response in Ukraine. Our partners are already at work on the ground, providing relief where they can with food, medications, fuel and other supplies. MCC is also working on developing a response that is a longer-term scale up of existing relief work. It will likely include psychosocial support and trauma healing, temporary emergency housing, emergency distributions of locally purchased emergency supplies such as blankets and distribution of food packages.
For those who want to donate emergency supplies, such as relief kits or comforters, to help vulnerable people in Ukraine - or in other places around the world - please visit our website or contact your local MCC office.
- Advocate: Send a message to your member of Congress calling for peacebuilding efforts alongside development and humanitarian work. Ask for an emphasis on local peacebuilding as an alternative to foreign military interventions and operations. You can also read our call for peace and nonviolence in the midst of war, written by Rick Cober Bauman, executive director of MCC Canada, and Ann Graber Hershberger, executive director of MCC U.S.
- Welcome Ukrainians: The Biden Administration recently announced an effort to resettle 100,000 Ukrainian refugees. Though MCC does not directly support refugee resettlement in the U.S., Charity Stowell, Newcomer Connections Coordinator, can help you connect with refugee resettlement organizations and other resources. Charity can be reached at email@example.com.