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A devastating flood in Ukraine

We've renewed our emergency appeal for Ukraine after floods have forced thousands of people to leave their homes after the Nova Kakhovka dam was destroyed. 

The full impact of rising water along both sides of the frontline Dnipro river has yet to be seen but the UN fears it could be an environmental disaster.

The Ukrainian authorities say at least 37 towns and villages have been flooded and 16,000 people have left their homes since the dam exploded yesterday morning. Christian Aid and Blythswood Care’s local partner Heritage Ukraine got to work immediately by supplying food, water and shelter.  

Over the coming days Heritage Ukraine, plus Christian Aid's other partners, Alliance for Public Health and World Jewish Relief, will be providing humanitarian supplies to people who have had to leave the affected areas of southern Ukraine. 

Image credits and information i
Ukraine map showing Nova Kakhovka dam Credit: Christian Aid
Ukraine map showing flooding area

The floods started while our team was already delivering food in the Mykolaiv region as part of its continuing relief work right next to the Dnipro river. They filled up their van with as many people as they could take back to the safety of their hub in Odesa.

- Iryna Dobrohorska, Christian Aid's Ukraine Response Director.
Help us provide humanitarian relief

Through our local partners, we're able to respond to affected people's needs immediately to supply food, water and shelter.  

On 24 February 2022, Russia launched a military offensive against Ukraine.

The invasion by Russian forces is destroying the homes and the freedom of Ukrainian people to lead their own lives. An estimated 15.7 million Ukrainians need humanitarian assistance. This includes 7.1 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) living in private homes with host communities and in collective centres.

Millions of Ukrainians are living in damaged homes or in buildings which are inappropriate for their needs and which will not provide sufficient protection from the harsh Ukrainian winter ahead. Temperatures can plummet to as low as -20C in parts of the country.

Christian Aid is working with partners to provide hope and to ensure people survive and rebuild.  

Every prayer, every gift, every action brings hope to the people of Ukraine. By joining us, you can give hope to our brothers and sisters in Ukraine

Funds Raised: £23m

Since the 24th of February 2022, we have raised £23m from generous supporters and institutional donors.

People reached: 800,000

As of August 2022, we delivered emergency assistance to over 800,000 people affected by the war in over 20 Oblasts (regions) across Ukraine and the border areas of Hungary and Romania.

A prayer for the one year anniversary of the war in Ukraine

We are inviting churches across Britain and Ireland to join together in an act of witness to pray for Ukraine on Sunday 26 February, for an end to the conflict and for all those affected by the terrible impact of war.

Our response

We’re working with partner organisations including:

  • Hungarian Interchurch Aid (HIA) in Ukraine and Hungary

HIA has carried out significant humanitarian and development work directly assisting over 578,000 people. HIA have provided shelter and distributed lorryloads of food into Ukraine as well as life-saving medical equipment and hygiene kits for those forced to flee their homes. In Hungary they are providing refugees with temporary rest and support them with job seeking, legal advice and interpretation services.

  • Crown Agents in Ukraine

The Crown Agents have provided life-saving medical supplies and equipment in Ukraine including 34 baby incubators, 1,000 lifesaving drugs for babies born with respiratory issues, 100 oxygen concentrators and 125 patient monitors, 9,100 thermal blankets and 9,000 trauma kits.

  • Alliance for Public Health (APH) in Ukraine

APH have partners working in every Oblast in Ukraine including occupied territories. Apart from their core HIV/AIDS work, they also provide drugs for Hepatitis and TB. They have used their 23 mobile health units to deliver vital drugs and conduct health consultations along with providing relief items to the frontlines. The same small vans were also used to safely evacuate people. They have set-up 11 safe spaces for families to receive psychological support and 53,359 people were provided with cash assistance.

  • Blythswood in Ukraine and Romania

Blythswood is a Scottish charity that’s been operational in Ukraine since the Kosovo war. They work through small church groups who are responding in different ways. In both Ukraine and Romania, they have provided 6 tonnes of relief items to hardest-hit communities every 2 weeks. They also provide support to displaced families by providing temporary shelter and organising protection support activities for the elderly, women and orphans.

  • Swiss Church Aid (HEKS) in Ukraine, Hungary and Romania

Since the start of the fighting, HEKS has been implementing a range of emergency aid measures in Transcarpathia region. They have provided hot meals, toiletries and drinking water to over 116,000 people in high risk, hard to reach areas in Ukraine. In addition, they have set up a cash support system to 4,000 people across Khersonska, Mykolaivska, and Zaporizhka Oblasts. HEKS is also on the ground in neighbouring countries of Hungary and Romania welcoming refugees, providing them with the most essential items, with psychological help, and is organizing accommodation for those wishing to stay in the region. So far, 76,653 people received support through 27 information points to help them adjust to their new life in the host country. They received advice on how to find permanent housing, job seeking or medical needs, and legal matters.

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Natalia, and her two children, are the first family to stay in a shelter supported by HIA in Lviv, western Ukraine Credit: Finn Church Aid/Antti Yrjonen
Picture of a woman holding a baby, with her son sitting next to her in a church shelter in Ukraine

Our response

Natalia, and her two children, Igor, 9, and baby girl Nastia, 2 months, are the first family to stay in a shelter supported by our partner Hungarian Interchurch Aid in Lviv, western Ukraine. Nastia is also the youngest internally displaced person there.

The shelter is in a church building and was established at the very beginning of the war. A priest runs it and says they shelter 150 refugees daily. Some refugees rest for a short time there and some stay longer. Women and children are prioritised so that they don’t need to sleep at overcrowded railway stations

Natalia and her children arrived to Lviv by bus. The family comes from the Kyiv region. Natalia’s husband is in the army.

'Our village was destroyed. There was bombing every day. I feared for my family. I’m afraid for my husband.'

Natalia says she wants peace for her children. She says she wants to stay in Lviv until the end of the war, because the bombings in her home village were incredibly stressful.

'When there was bombing at night, I did not know where to go. We feared that our building would be destroyed. In this shelter, I feel peaceful.'

Dr Justin Thacker, our Just Scripture Advisor, leads us in a prayer for Ukraine.

Christian Aid has called for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine, and urged the UK Government to support humanitarian efforts and welcome vulnerable people fleeing the conflict.


Join us as we pray for the people of Ukraine

Dr Justin Thacker, our Just Scripture Advisor, leads us in a prayer for Ukraine.

Christian Aid has called for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine, and urged the UK Government to support humanitarian efforts and welcome vulnerable people fleeing the conflict.

A message from our chief executive Patrick Watt:

'Ukraine is witnessing a terrible humanitarian tragedy. After an eight-year war, thousands of lives have been lost and hundreds of thousands have been displaced. All-out war is putting many more at risk.

'Our message is simple: immediately agree a ceasefire and unequivocally commit to protect civilians and key services. All parties must abide by international humanitarian law.

'The UK Government must also stand ready to support humanitarian efforts, including welcoming vulnerable people fleeing the conflict.'

Image credits and information i
Dr John Sentamu and faith leaders at a prayer vigil outside of the Ukrainian Embassy Credit: Jess Hurd
A man speaking into a microphone with Ukraine flags behind him

Christian Aid was founded in 1945 by British and Irish churches to help refugees after the Second World War. Back then, we worked with partner churches to alleviate suffering by raising the equivalent of £3 million plus in today’s money.

We supported, equipped and enabled partner churches in mainland Europe to provide what people needed. Nearly 80 years later, we are doing the same.

If we raise more than our partners need at this time, rest assured your donation will be used to help people facing crisis across the world, from Ethiopia to Afghanistan.