Seventeen Integral Members are responding to the Ukraine Crisis, as part of our latest Integral Response. Four Members are working directly in the region (in Ukraine, on the borders of Poland, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Moldova), others are supporting Partners in the region including networks of churches. A number of Members are fundraising for their work or the work of fellow Integral Members. We have two Members who specialise in supplying medicines, and others in Emergency Response, supporting displaced people and refugees with their immediate needs and providing psychological support. Humanitarian needs are growing as the conflict continues to cause mass displacement, and impacts food security and healthcare in particular. UNOCHA recently revised their estimates, now predicting 24 million people will need humanitarian assistance in the months ahead, around half of Ukraine’s population. Additionally UNHCR are estimating the number of refugees from this crisis will rise from the 5.2 million (as of end April 2022) to over 8.3 million by the end of the year [source here].
Transporting supplies and medicines into Ukraine is complex, but our Members report that shipments are being received and have been able to get to warehouses in Ukraine for onward distribution. Local churches have become significant distribution points. As well as providing much needed medicines, food and non-food items, our Members are meeting needs through distribution of cash (electronically) which gives funds directly to people in need so they can buy what they most need. There is a UN led cash working group for Ukraine, common standards followed by all agencies undertaking this mode of relief, and a very well-regulated system around this which bypasses some of the constraints and difficulties around transporting, storing and distributing supplies.
Jan Eyre, Integral’s Head of Disaster Management and Programmes, says “It has been inspiring to see how Integral Members are working together around the Ukraine crisis. Ten Integral Members are providing support for one of our Members based in Slovakia, who have been able to respond quickly using their long-held partnerships across the region. Another Member is acting as a Lead Agency for a common local Partner, so lifting the burden of having to communicate with multiple organisations. Essential medicines and medical supplies have been shipped by a Member for the work of others in the region. Fundraising campaigns have been launched using shared media material and cooperational Members – those without work directly on the ground, can give funds to those who do. This response is a wonderful example of the outworking of our value of complementarity – that we have greater reach and impact when our Members combine their strengths and work interdependently.”
See the Integral values here.