Ukraine Crisis

Information for Red Cross people, partners, donors and supporters

Updated 23 June 2022

We are asking all Red Cross people (staff, members and volunteers), as well as our incredible supporters, partners and donors, to share our Ukraine Crisis Appeal and to promote the Appeal with their friends, families and networks.

So we’ve put together a list of resources, including a summary of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement response, images, videos and key links for more information and that you can share in your channels. Because together we can have an even bigger impact.

We encourage you to use this content on your internal and external communications and social media channels. All images and videos have consent and can be downloaded and used. Please ensure credits and captions are retained correctly when republishing. We’ll update this page as new content becomes available. Please check back regularly.

Thank you for acting for humanity.

The situation in Ukraine

The escalation of international armed conflict in Ukraine has taken an immense toll on civilians since February. Millions of people have poured across Ukraine’s borders to seek safety. Others have lived much of the last few months underground seeking shelter. Homes, schools, hospitals, and other critical civilian infrastructure have been destroyed. Entire cities, like Mariupol or Volnovakha, have been heavily damaged. This all comes on top of eight years of grinding conflict in Donbas. Injuries borne by the civilian population, both physical and mental, will last a lifetime.

Health is a top priority. Critical medical supplies are becoming increasingly scarce in areas affected by the conflict, including medication and oxygen, placing growing pressure on an already deficient healthcare system. More than 260 health care facilities have been attacked in Ukraine and 1.4 million people are currently without running water across Eastern Ukraine.

The Red Cross Red Crescent Movement response

The Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is coordinating its response, both in and outside Ukraine. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Ukraine Red Cross Society (URCS) are continuing their work across the country coordinating closely with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC), who are supporting a number of Red Cross National Societies across Eastern Europe with their operations.

As uncertainty grows for the millions who have left the country, Red Cross continues to adapt in meeting the needs of people where they are. The Red Cross is providing aid that is flexible in meeting individual needs: emergency cash to use for things like transportation, medication, shelter, or any other needs; food and water, language courses to help people navigate new environments and help people find jobs; support to host families; and continual mental and emotional support.

ICRC: The ICRC has massively scaled up its response to meet the urgent needs in Ukraine. Over 500 tons of medical supplies, food and relief items have arrived since the escalation of the conflict and they have deployed 230 additional staff to the region (700 staff in country). They are present now in 10 different locations in Ukraine.

The ICRC is concerned about the precarious environments citizens are living in, where the fighting is heaviest. They have made detailed proposals regarding safe passage and evacuations for civilians to ease the massive suffering taking place places like Mariupol, but need concrete agreements to move forward. Today, civilians are taking the life-and-death decision to flee when there is no ceasefire or other agreements in place that would allow them to leave safely. The militaries on the ground need to give civilians and humanitarian organisations security guarantees and practical agreements to allow aid in and for those who wish to evacuate safely.

In addition to stepping up their operational response on the ground, ICRC continue their confidential dialogue with all sides on the conduct of hostilities as well as on the protection of the civilian population, reminding them of their obligations under international humanitarian law. In these conversations, the ICRC raise pressing humanitarian concerns, including the safe passage of civilians and the delivery of humanitarian assistance.

The IFRC has delivered more than 2.3 million kilograms of critical life-saving aid in support of people displaced by the conflict. Collectively, the Red Cross has reached more than 3.49 million people with life-saving aid, within Ukraine, in neighbouring countries, as well as other European countries. Support includes food, hygiene items, blankets, clothing, water, first aid and psychosocial support.  

The IFRC has also launched its largest ever rollout of emergency cash assistance, targeting more than 2 million people. Cash assistance is a fast, efficient, and dignified way to provide humanitarian assistance to those who so desperately need it. It enables people to purchase items specific to their individual needs, supports local economies, and helps in a person’s recovery from traumatic events as they take an active role in decision making. To date, more than 4.8 million CHF is in the hands of more than 60,000 people in need.

Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies across Europe: With support from the IFRC, Red Cross teams across Eastern Europe are supporting the millions of people arriving and who have arrived from Ukraine.

Countries including Poland, Russia, Hungary, Moldova, Slovakia and Romania have seen hundreds of thousands of new arrivals and are supporting them through: distribution of relief items at border and transit areas, first aid and healthcare services, psychosocial assistance, support in temporary accommodation facilities, support with Restoring Family Links including SIM cards, and referrals to social services and information.

Restoring Family Links

Conflict can separate family members as people flee the fighting and communication lines become disrupted. Although people are trying to get in touch with family in Ukraine, lack of electricity, phone and internet connectivity is currently hampering efforts in many places.

As in every crisis, Australian Red Cross stand ready to address tracing needs as they arise. Our Restoring Family Links (RFL) team can register queries if people have lost contact with loved ones. If you have lost contact with family members in Ukraine or Russia as a result of the current and recent situation, you should first attempt to contact them directly. If you cannot establish contact, call our hotline on 1800 875 199 for assistance. We can collect an enquiry but it may take some time before we can provide an update on your case.

Unfortunately, we cannot register family or friends with whom you are currently in contact, or for people on the move. As people transit across borders, RFL services from Red Cross teams across Europe will be available to help people self-manage their contact with loved ones.

Our Restoring Family Links hotline is available Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm (AEST) on 1800 875 199 or via email at tracing@redcross.org.au.

International Humanitarian Law

Amid the mounting human cost, it’s never been more important to ensure parties to the conflict respect international humanitarian law (IHL).

International humanitarian law is a set of international laws that set out what can and cannot be done during an armed conflict.

Right now, in Ukraine, the ICRC are gravely concerned for the safety of civilians, civilian infrastructure, and the protection of detainees.

Learn more about the mandate of the ICRC to ensure parties to the conflict uphold international humanitarian law.

Fundamental Principles in action

The seven Fundamental Principles are what guide the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement in all its work. They are: Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality, Independence, Voluntary Service, Unity and Universality.

Neutrality means the Movement may not take sides in hostilities. This principle ensures the Movement can enjoy the confidence of all, maintaining a dialogue with those involved in armed conflict and other violence and enabling us to reach people who need help in crises.

Throughout the eight years of conflict in Ukraine, the ICRC has maintained a confidential and bilateral dialogue with all sides to ensure that civilians and essential infrastructure are protected. It’s important this work continues into the future.

Of particular importance too are the principles of Impartiality – helping those most in need regardless of who they are and Independence - so that we can at all times apply all our Fundamental Principles.

Learn more about Neutrality, Impartiality and Independence and how they guide our work to ensure we can support victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence

Ukraine Crisis Appeal

Australian Red Cross has launched its Ukraine Crisis Appeal to help provide emergency relief and longer-term humanitarian support to people and communities affected by this unfolding crisis.

Donations to the appeal can help provide the life-saving support needed right now and, in the days and months to come. That support may include:
  • Humanitarian activities to enable Red Cross and Red Crescent partners to address immediate and longer terms needs in Ukraine and neighbouring countries, including to people who are displaced. This includes emergency relief assistance such as shelter, health, water and sanitation.
  • Specialist aid workers to assist local teams to respond to the crisis.
  • Support to help people restore contact with family members separated by the crisis by offering services to maintain family links and locate missing family members.
  • Monitoring and evaluation of the support.

Donations can be made by making a tax-deductible donation to our Ukraine Crisis Appeal at www.redcross.org.au/ukraine or by calling 1800 RED CROSS (1800 733 276).

Partner support

Red Cross is extremely grateful to our partners who have provided support for our Ukraine Crisis Appeal. The work to provide relief to people in Ukraine and those that have fled would not be possible without you.

We are grateful for all our donors, among them IFM Investor, Computershare Australia, Intrepid Foundation, Lendlease, Woolworths, Timespan Incorporated and Count Charitable Foundation.

Images and videos

We encourage you to use these images and videos on your internal and external communications and social media channels. All images and videos have consent and can be downloaded and used. We’ll update this page as new content becomes available. Please check back regularly.

Images
Videos

Where to find more information

ICRCwebsite, Twitter, Facebook, media releases

IFRC - website, Twitter, Facebook, media releases

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