Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, over 7.4 million Ukrainians have fled and 7 million are internally displaced within the country. Humanitarian needs across the region are concentrated around securing adequate shelter, food and basic goods, health care (including mental health and psychosocial support), financial assistance, and work opportunities. Considering that over 90% of the population that has fled are women and children, there are strong gender-specific needs related to childcare, child-protection, and women’s sexual and reproductive health.
CORE's Ukraine Crisis Response launched on February 28 and covers Ukraine, Poland, and Romania. In the first seven months of the response, we have built strong partnerships with local organizations and governments working to address the needs of refugees, internally displaced people and conflict-affected communities. While the migration flows stabilized over the summer, with winter approaching a potential new wave of displacement is considered a strong possibility if heating systems in Ukraine falter or fail in October and November 2022. CORE is preparing to further scale its response to address seasonal and evolving needs in addition to its current programming in the region.
CORE's Response & Impact
CORE is running a multi-faceted, community-driven response in Ukraine, Poland, and Romania with the objective of filling the gaps to provide for the unmet and pressing needs of the most vulnerable Ukraine refugees and displaced people in the region. CORE’s programming is currently focused on the following implementation areas:
Cash: CORE has provided $795,000 of lifesaving cash assistance to Ukrainian refugees and internally displaced people in the region (as of September 1, 2022), enabling families to make priority purchases including food, clothing, healthcare, shelter, or transportation. CORE partners with Mastercard/EML Payments to provide three monthly transfers on reloadable cash cards.
Shelter: CORE is supporting collective shelters and working to increase the available stock of individual housing geared towards displaced families. In Poland, CORE partners with local actors to run a network of 11 shelters, providing operational support, capacity building on gender-based violence and humanitarian standards for shelter managers, paid work opportunities within the shelters for refugees, coordination of childcare and mental health and psychosocial support services, as well as food and basic goods distribution to residents. CORE is also building 33 units for refugee families in the town of Przemysl near the border with Ukraine. In Ternopil, Ukraine, CORE oversaw the refurbishment of a local hospital to house 60 internally displaced people and recently launched a weatherization pilot of 10 units of housing for families. CORE also provided $100,000 in non-food items to outfit 31 units in Lviv with furniture and appliances. In Romania, CORE supports shelters with direct implementation and grants for food and non-food items distributions.
Food & Non-food items:Recent waves of Ukrainians fleeing violence have fewer resources than in the early months of the crisis and area less connected to family and friends in their place of settlement. Within shelters and in areas in Ukraine where markets are not strong enough to support cash assistance, CORE is distributing food, basic goods, and winter supplies (such as winter clothing, blankets, and heating fuels) to ensure families are able to maintain adequate nutrition, hygiene, and prepare for the winter months ahead.
Local Partner Grants: CORE supports local NGO organizations in Ukraine, Poland, and Romania through funding to implement programs that directly address the needs of Ukrainian refugees and IDPs, including organizations that are refugee and IDP-led. We prioritize local partners that serve the most vulnerable among those who have been displaced – especially the elderly, disabled, ethnic minorities (Roma), and LGBTQ+ community. Since April 2022, CORE has given out over $2.4 million through more than 70 grants to local organizations across its service area.
Gender-Related Activities: Women and children are at the center of CORE's response to the Ukraine Crisis. CORE is partnering with gender experts VOICE and InterSOS in Poland to guarantee the safety and security of women and girl refugees in CORE-supported shelters and ensure our service delivery is gender sensitive. Our shelter network provides mental health services and assistance to prevent and respond to gender-based violence. In Romania, CORE funds grants to local partners that provide access to sexual and reproductive health services for Ukrainian women and distribute vital information on local resources related to women’s rights in Romania and addressing GBV and human trafficking to Ukrainians as they enter the country.
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