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A Caritas worker delivers firewood in Ukraine (Caritas/ Wien Elisabeth Sellmeier)

Pope Francis yesterday lamented the deaths, injuries, destruction and anguish of the past two years since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine – a period, he said, “that is becoming terribly long and whose end is not yet in sight”. Source: Vatican News

In remarks following the Sunday Angelus, the Pope warned that the war in Ukraine “is not only devastating the region of Europe, but unleashing a global wave of fear and hatred.”

While renewing his “vivid sympathy” and prayers for “the tormented Ukrainian people”, the Pope pleaded “for the recovery of that little bit of humanity that will allow the conditions for a diplomatic solution to be created in the search for a just and lasting peace”.

Saturday marked the second anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as Caritas Australia warned humanitarian conditions in the war-torn country remain grave.

To date, 6.3 million people have been displaced overseas, with a further 3.7 million displaced within Ukraine. There have been 29,731 civilian casualties, including more than 10,000 deaths, and 14.6 million people now need humanitarian assistance.

The East and South of Ukraine form the frontline of the conflict, where millions struggle with inadequate access to water, food, health, housing, protection and other essential services and supplies.

In Ukraine’s Central and Western regions, many internally displaced people depend on humanitarian aid as they seek to re-establish themselves in new communities.

The Caritas Australia Ukraine Crisis Appeal has supported Caritas partners in Ukraine and Moldova as they help millions of Ukrainians in need, both within Ukraine and overseas in countries like Moldova.

Sally Thomas, Caritas Australia’s humanitarian emergencies lead, said: “In the short-term, we are expecting further deterioration of humanitarian conditions if hostilities persist and especially if attacks on energy and other infrastructure remain a feature of this war.

“Ukraine is also deep into its winter, where temperatures drop as low as -5 degrees Celsius, making winterisation an ongoing focus.

“In the longer-term the widespread impact of this war on civilians is also creating a legacy of mental and physical trauma that is particularly impactful on the development and wellbeing of children.”

Details: Caritas Australia’s Ukraine Crisis Appeal.


Pope pleads for just and lasting peace in Ukraine (By Christopher Wells, Vatican News

Humanitarian conditions in Ukraine remain grave two years into the conflict (Caritas Australia)