Photo: Paul Jeffrey/ACT Alliance
On Thursday February 24, Russia launched military attacks against Ukraine in more than a dozen locations across the country, including near the capital, Kyiv. In the days since, we have joined with you and with people around the world in praying for peace. We have also joined our ecumenical partners to put those prayers into action.
In the first few days, it has been reported that nearly half a million Ukrainians have been displaced, fleeing to safety in nearby countries as military attacks consume their homes.
Our partners, through ACT Alliance, have already responded to the immediate needs by shipping 28 tons of food to support those fleeing to Hungary, and staff have been working with refugees at the Ukraine/Hungary border. Shipments of canned food, flour, sugar, oil, rice, pasta, biscuits, long-life milk, tea and hygiene products are arriving at centers for families forced to flee their homes. Shelter capacities are being scaled up, and humanitarian information points are being established to help those arriving to the border and awaiting entry.
Immediate needs are for food, shelter, medicine, hygiene. With the likelihood that this will be a long-term event, our partners are also mobilizing for ongoing response.
We have connected with International Ministries of the American Baptist Church and their work through the European Baptist Federation. As news and local sources report over 500,000 people fleeing into neighboring countries, partners in Poland and Hungary were already starting to have people show up at their church doors on Friday - in Poland, twenty arrived at the pastor’s door while our partners were on a call with him.
Week of Compassion is focused on providing relief in the immediate days and weeks, while also strategizing with our global and domestic partners for a long-term coordinated response. Because of the ongoing conflict, large numbers of refugees can be expected in the neighboring countries with huge numbers of internally displaced people inside Ukraine. Internal displacement raises issues including shelter, water and sanitation, food security, health and protection needs. These concerns are expected to increase rapidly in the coming weeks and months.
Disciples have already asked how to help, and we are grateful to serve together.
Contributions can be made online or by check,
designated for Ukraine Relief
where 100% of your gift will go to people who are impacted by this crisis.
The situation is evolving rapidly on a daily basis. Our ecumenical response, our mission to work with partners to alleviate suffering throughout the world, continues - as do our prayers for safety, freedom, and peace in Ukraine.
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