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Beds in an emergency shelter in Ukraine (Caritas Vienna/Elisabeth Sellmeier)

Caritas Australia’s partners in Ukraine report intensified hostilities in front-line areas and border communities, triggering a new wave of displacement as security concerns heighten and aid becomes harder to deliver. 

Since the start of the year, hundreds of apartments have been destroyed or damaged, along with many schools and kindergartens. Damage to critical infrastructure has disrupted gas and electricity supplies. Health facilities and personnel have also been affected, with 68 documented attacks on healthcare in Ukraine so far in 2024.

Caritas Australia partners said current attacks are “aggravating the already dire humanitarian situation in front-line communities while also impacting people living further from the areas of active hostilities”.

Despite these challenging circumstances the Caritas network, including Caritas-Spes and Caritas Ukraine, continues to deliver life-saving humanitarian aid. Caritas-Spes has helped about 30,000 people this year and more than one million since the start of the war through its 54 aid centres. Caritas Ukraine has 44 centres that have supported more than 75,000 Ukrainians so far this year and over three million since the start of the war. 

Aid efforts are focused on immediate needs such as access to food, clean water, healthcare, and emergency shelter, alongside longer-term needs such as housing repairs, psychosocial support, support for host communities and assistance for those resettling.

Caritas-Spes and Caritas Ukraine are also working together to lead the newly formed Advancing Caritas Through Solidarity project, which will see them host four face-to-face events focused on upskilling volunteers, sharing skills, and developing manuals. Caritas Ukraine alone has about 9300 volunteers, 30 per cent of whom are internally displaced people.

Sally Thomas, humanitarian emergencies lead at Caritas Australia, said: “Our partners are helping the displaced with accommodation, psychosocial support, multipurpose cash assistance, and the provision of child friendly spaces. Educational catch-up services are also a focus for children, as we attempt to protect their futures despite the ongoing conflict.”

Details: Caritas Australia’s Ukraine Crisis Appeal   


Caritas partners in Ukraine detail a new wave of displacement (Caritas Australia)