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Ukraine Crisis Situation Update 02 (12 March 2022)

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Humanity First
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The Russia-Ukraine Crisis began on 24 February 2022. Since then, an estimated 2.5 million refugees, mainly women and children or elderly people have fled Ukraine out of 4.4 million displaced through the conflict. There are significant numbers of disabled or seriously ill children amongst those making it through, some of whom have been transferred for ongoing critical care soon after arriving in Poland.

Humanity First sent a first responder team from Germany to the Polish-Ukrainian border on 27 February, and since then they have been providing medical and food assistance to Ukrainian refugees with volunteers on rotation. HF is collaborating with UN agencies on the ground such as WHO, WFP and OCHA. Other HF branches across Europe have been supporting with resources, funds and volunteers. Medical volunteers with experience of working in emergency situations from North America and Europe are currently on standby to assist.

Most of the refugees in this part of Poland have been arriving via Lviv by car, coach or train and, having crossed the border, many have been able to get onward logistics and shelter arrangements through the excellent organisation by Polish authorities in Przemsyl, or further afield in Krakow and Warsaw.

Our medical volunteers have been working with Sauvetures Sans Frontieres (SSF) and Intersos. Due to the lengthy process of reaching the border and long queues of people waiting to be processed in the winter conditions, most patients have been presenting with a combination of fatigue, headache, sore throat and fever, and daily patient numbers have varied considerably. So far, our medical volunteers have seen and treated over 500 patients.

Humanity First also established a gazebo at the border. Every day, our team has been providing warm drinks and warm meals to those crossing into Poland. The queues on the Ukraine side have been lengthy and slow, so for the last couple of days, HF has been providing hundreds of warm meals to those in the queues. So far, HF has provided more than 5,000 warm meals (often rice and lentils) and more than 5,000 warm drinks of tea or coffee. Refugees have been struggling to contact their loved ones, so our team has also handed out 150 free mobile SIM cards.

Local authorities have been assigning refugees to accommodation options very efficiently, so from our assessment on the ground, there is no current need for HF to collect and send clothing, shoes, toys or hygiene kits to the border areas. Most of the refugees have the belongings in a suitcase and do not have room to take additional items. Funds raised are being used to access resources locally based on the demand we are seeing from the refugees themselves.

Refugees from Ukraine have also been crossing the borders into Moldova, Hungary, Slovakia, Russia and Romania, and HF continues to assess needs at these other locations.