In response to the humanitarian crisis that arose in Ukraine in 2014, Caritas Ukraine began assisting internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Crimea and Donbas, and to those who have suffered as a result of military action. At this time, all Caritas centers, in both western and eastern Ukraine, implement projects to help these two needy groups. In order to help people where the need is greatest, Caritas Ukraine has significantly expanded its activities, especially in the eastern parts of Ukraine in the last two years. New centers in Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia, Sloviansk, Mariupol, Dniprodzerzhynsk, Poltava, Kryvyi Rih, and Melitopol are now working with IDPs, local communities and those living in the “buffer zone.” In our work with these groups, we follow an individual approach and carefully assess the needs of each person who turns to us. Our priority focus is minors, women who are pregnant or breast-feeding, senior citizens, people with disabilities, and large or single-parent families.
Programs that assist IDPs and those who have suffered from military action, are designed to assist those who previously had jobs, homes, social status and material wealth but were left without any means of surviving in a new environment. This includes living among strangers following the annexation of Crimea and the start of armed conflict in Ukraine’s easternmost regions of Luhansk and Donetsk (the Donbas). Our comprehensive approach toward conducting needs assessments and the provision of urgent assistance to IDPs ensures that both basic needs are met and longer-term solutions are achieved.