New York, NY, March 21, 2022 — IRC is concerned about the almost 10 million displaced people in and from Ukraine in need of humanitarian assistance, in what has become the largest and fastest displacement crisis since World War II. Almost 3.5 million people have become refugees and an estimated 6.5 million people have become internally displaced within Ukraine. A further 12 million people are estimated to be stranded or are unable to leave Ukraine due to increasing violence, destruction of bridges and roads, as well as lack of resources or information on where to find safety and accommodation
Heather Macey, International Rescue Committee’s Team Lead in Poland
“This is like nothing we’ve ever seen before - the speed of displacement is unprecedented and the humanitarian needs are soaring each day - especially for women, children and the elderly that make up the majority of those displaced. We’ve seen that people are arriving at the Polish border, with goodwill and intent, offering homes and transport to people who have fled the crisis, but this of course poses a massive security risk for vulnerable people who could fall victim to crime, exploitation or trafficking.
“Within Ukraine, well over 6 million people have become displaced and are in need of basic necessities such as food, water, shelter, medical care and heating. The number of attacks and airstrikes have significantly increased in the last few days, putting the lives of civilians and humanitarian aid workers at risk and making it extremely difficult to access those that need support and assistance. We’re already seeing widespread need both in Ukraine and in bordering states where almost 3.5million people have fled. With the speed and scale of displacement in this crisis, we are plummeting further into a humanitarian catastrophe- there must be an end to the violence to avoid further suffering.”
The IRC is working with partners in Poland to provide information services through an existing hotline, offering legal counseling and psychological support, and will facilitate access to services (through social workers, interpreters, and cultural assistants) to displaced people. With partners in Ukraine IRC is also providing evacuation services and essential items to those that have become displaced according to individual needs. This could include blankets, sleeping bags, warm clothes or cash assistance.
The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is at work in over 40 countries and over 20 U.S. cities helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future, and strengthen their communities. Learn more at www.rescue.org and follow the IRC on Twitter & Facebook.