A group of Ukrainian refugees walk on the roadside after crossing the Siret border crossing on their way to buses chartered in Romania to take the new arrivals to accommodation in neighbouring villages or to different cities in Romania and Europe on March 05, 2022 in Siret border, Romania

Providing Relief to People Affected by the
War in Ukraine

International Medical Corps is expanding its relief efforts inside Ukraine in response to the war there, as well as in neighboring countries, to provide medical, mental health and protection services to the millions of people affected by the conflict, including refugees.

International Medical Corps is on the ground in Ukraine, has created a robust country program in Poland, has teams in Moldova and Romania, and is working with health agencies and local partners to provide the following relief services:

  • Primary and emergency health services
  • Mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS), to treat the unseen wounds of war
  • Gender-based violence (GBV) response services, and protection services for women, children and other people who face risks during conflict
  • Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services
  • Medicines and medical supplies, including PPE, to help provide critical care and prevent infectious diseases like COVID-19 among refugees and displaced populations

You can help provide relief to refugees, internally displaced people and at-risk communities in Ukraine and its neighbors. FIND OUT HOW >>

According to the United Nations, nearly 18 million Ukrainians—40% of the population—are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance
International Medical Corps’ history in Ukraine dates back to 1999, when we delivered essential relief and medicines to healthcare facilities, and trained local doctors and medical staff
In 2014, following the collapse of eastern Ukraine’s health system, we again began providing outpatient primary healthcare, MHPSS, GBV and COVID-related services
The UN says 7 million people are currently internally displaced, and that there are 7.2 million refugees in European countries, meaning that more than 14 million people—including roughly 5 million of the country's 7.5 million children—have fled their homes, about one-third of the entire population

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Our Response in Ukraine

The war in Ukraine is evolving rapidly, displacing civilians throughout the country and creating millions of refugees. International Medical Corps, which has decades of experience in the country, is currently on the ground in Ukraine, Poland, Romania and Moldova. We are providing a wide range of humanitarian relief, working in partnership with local organizations, including critical medical and social services under increasingly difficult and dangerous conditions.

Here is an overview of the services we’ve been providing in Ukraine since 2014, and how our in-country team—as well as our staff in Poland, Romania and Moldova—is expanding relief services as needed. For more specific information about our response, please see the situation reports in the Resources section of this page.

Medical Care

Before the war, we worked closely with local partners to operate mobile medical teams providing healthcare services—including specialties such as a gynecology and cardiology, as well as prescription medication—to villages around Mariupol, near the original line of contact in the eastern conflict. With war now raging throughout the country, we have moved hundreds of tons of critical medicines, supplies and equipment to overwhelmed healthcare facilities inside Ukraine, to serve hundreds of thousands of people, and will continue supplying hospitals as needed.

Across the country, International Medical Corps has identified different needs based on the local context, always working to ensure continuity of care in the country. We are ensuring that healthcare facilities in active conflict zones have the supplies they need—including medicines, blood, etc.—and are strengthening buildings to withstand attack, so these facilities can continue operating. In areas that have seen conflict but where the invader has been pushed back, International Medical Corps is helping to rehabilitate healthcare facilities that have been damaged by the fighting while providing the support needed to restore care to the community. In areas under threat of attack, we are upgrading systems, hardening facilities and ensuring alterative sources of water supply, among other measures.

International Medical Corps currently has operations in Chernihiv, Dnipro, Kyiv, Lviv, Odessa and Vinnytsia. From these operational hubs, we also provide material support in the way of food, non-food items (NFIs), and medical supplies and equipment to Donetsk, Kharkiv and Mykolaiv. In all of our efforts, we do not establish a parallel system, but support and operate out of existing health centers or community spaces, helping to strengthen and supplement existing capacity.

In addition, as long as we’ve been in Ukraine, International Medical Corps has been working with the country’s Ministry of Health (MoH) to coordinate efforts. We will continue to work with the MoH—as well as with ministries of health in the country’s oblasts—to provide lifesaving services to community members, internally displaced people or those forced to flee across international borders.

Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS)

After eight years of conflict in the east, the Ukrainian people already have been exposed to significant uncertainty and emotional distress, and levels of fear and anxiety about their exposure to violence and trauma—along with stressors related to displacement and family separation—have only risen as the war has escalated.

International Medical Corps works directly in communities and with local partner organizations to provide appropriate MHPSS programing to those in need. Since 2014, we have used mobile teams to reach villages along the line of contact in the eastern conflict—and we have continued this work, despite the war. Psychologists, case workers and community-based facilitators have established support groups to provide people—including caregivers—throughout the country with psychosocial support.

As the war continues, we are continuing to increase the availability of comprehensive MHPSS services to address emotional distress, provide psychological first aid (and train others to do so), and prevent and treat mental health conditions, both in Ukraine and in surrounding countries. We are increasing mental health services by hiring mental health staff in primary healthcare centers; building the capacity of psychosocial support providers through training; providing psychoeducation, sensitization and mass media campaigns; and providing MHPSS support to MoH staff within International Medical Corps-supported healthcare facilities. We also are focusing on community-based activities involving psychosocial support for host communities and internally displaced persons (IDPs), as well as activities for children, to help host communities and IDPs better cope with the effects of the war.

Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and Protection Services

In situations of conflict and displacement, women and girls face new and heightened protection risks, which are compounded by interruptions in services and support networks. International Medical Corps has experience in Ukraine that can help. From 2015 to 2020, we delivered GBV prevention and response programs in partnership with local organizations and communities, organizing women’s and girls’ safe spaces, training caseworkers to provide individualized care for women and child survivors of violence, and mobilizing communities to reduce risks and prevent incidents of violence.

We also have supported children and adolescents residing in areas of conflict by creating safe spaces that promote well-being, as well as social and emotional development. And we have promoted essential life skills among these groups, including self-awareness, group and community interaction, peer and family relationships, and leadership.

Now, we are working to ensure that women and girls inside Ukraine, as well as those crossing into neighboring countries, have access to safe spaces, material support and focused response services for survivors of rape and other forms of gender-based violence. We also are working to ensure the safety of children and adolescents, who are particularly vulnerable during times of war.

Aid to Refugees

In addition to expanding our existing programs in Ukraine, International Medical Corps has set up hubs in Poland, Romania and Moldova to provide humanitarian services throughout the region—procuring medicines, supplies and equipment based on requests we are receiving from hospitals and primary-care centers within Ukraine; securing routes to get these critically needed items to our hubs; and moving them across the border. We also are working with government agencies to provide medical care, mental health and psychosocial support and protection services to refugees, and forging partnerships to implement programs while we pursue registration in those countries.

For example, in Poland—where we are a registered NGO and have set up a robust country program—we are working with partners to provide health and MHPSS services to refugees, as well as to communities in Ukraine located near the Polish border. We also are distributing health- and WASH-related supplies—as well as non-food items (NFIs), such as diapers and towels—to shelters and reception centers, and offering employment opportunities to displaced Ukrainians with specialized skills to provide services to fellow refugees. We also are providing technical assistance on protection-related issues, with priorities including GBV prevention and response, child-friendly spaces, and psychosocial first aid (PFA) support and training.

In Moldova, we are working with the Ministry of Health to strengthen its health system, particularly along the border with Ukraine, and have provided shipments of health- and WASH-related supplies to facilities and reception centers there. We also are providing training to strengthen the health system and help it prepare for potential additional waves of refugees.

International Medical Corps has established corridors from Poland, Romania and Moldova into Ukraine, to ensure that we can continue to deliver critical medical supplies to responders inside the country, helping to ensure continuity of care. If requested by national governments, we can deploy our Emergency Medical Team (EMT) Type 1, in either fixed or mobile configuration, to provide medical and other care to refugees. We are the only NGO in the world classified by the WHO as an EMT Type 1 provider for both configurations.

 

 

Media Alerts

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Resources

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