In 2014, conflict between armed groups and government forces in eastern Ukraine began to affect millions of people. By December 2021, violence on both sides of the 450-kilometer “line of contact” (LoC) had claimed the lives of more than 3,400 Ukrainian civilians, with more than 7,000 injured, according to estimates from the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
Now, since the Russian invasion, the number of deaths and casualties is much higher. Despite the danger, International Medical Corps is on the ground in Ukraine and the surrounding region, helping Ukrainians both inside and outside the country, including internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that almost 18 million Ukrainians—40% of the county’s population—are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says that 5.6 million people have been internally displaced, and that almost 8 million have already fled Ukraine—including millions of children—meaning that more than 13 million people, or about one-third of the population, have been forced to flee their homes.
Due to ongoing Russian attacks against civilian infrastructure, residents throughout Ukraine have experienced outages of electricity, water and heating. Conflict has restricted access to agricultural land, leading to significant loss of income and shortages of crops that have affected the rest of the world, especially east Africa. Insecurity, deteriorating economic conditions and a damaged healthcare system have further compounded people’s suffering.
International Medical Corps is working both directly and in partnership with local organizations to increase access to medical supplies and services, mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS), clean water and sanitation, and protection services for those displaced, as well as for those living in areas affected by war. We are working with the Ukraine Ministry of Health to help provide a wide variety of training to health staff and first responders, including providing critical training in emergency and trauma care, infection prevention and control (IPC), and psychological first aid (PFA), and promoting proper hygiene among community members. Our long history in the country, our strong partnerships and our expertise in providing medical services and training in conflict zones have enabled our Ukraine team to adapt rapidly to changing conditions.