The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) is now scaling up its efforts inside Ukraine and in neighbouring countries to provide aid to tens of thousands of people forced to flee. Over the past three weeks, NRC has deployed additional emergency teams to Ukraine, Poland, Moldova, and Romania.
Starting this week, NRC is with local partners providing welcome centres and warm meals to hundreds of people in Lviv, western Ukraine. In Warsaw a transit centre will be constructed and run with partners at the central train station. NRC teams are also providing information and legal assistance to help Ukrainian and non-Ukrainian displaced people obtain protection and access essential services in several locations across the country, including in the eastern and west regions.
“The situation for millions of people inside Ukraine is growing more desperate by the day. We are therefore organizing food, water, sanitation, shelters, and legal support. But most of all the vulnerable families need protection from the ruthless bombing and shelling that engulfs them,” said Jan Egeland NRC’s Secretary-General.
NRC is working with a large number of national partners in Poland, Moldova, and Romania, to ensure Ukrainian refugees have somewhere safe to sleep, that children can go to school, and that families are able to access existing national social support systems. In the coming weeks, NRC will work to provide cash directly to thousands of displaced mothers and fathers so they can take care of the basic needs of their families, both inside Ukraine and when they become refugees. Agreements have been signed with financial providers, partner organizations and needs assessments have been carried out in Ukraine and Poland.
NRC has also started cross-border operations into Ukraine through neighbouring countries and has so far provided food and other aid supplies along evacuation routes.
“Our brave colleagues are working day and night under extreme conditions to meet the growing needs of exhausted children, women, and men. We have used and committed all our private donations and funding received from the Norwegian government, USD 17 million, to aid displaced and conflict-stricken Ukrainians. Without more funding faster from more donor countries, we will run out of resources to continue our emergency work by April,” said Egeland.
So far, NRC has entered partnerships with 15 local organizations in Ukraine, Poland, Moldova, and Romania that effectively can deliver services. NRC will also provide training for an effective response in accordance with humanitarian principles. NRC’s regional crisis response plan sets out to assist 800,000 people with a total cost of US$82 million in the next six months. The organization needs an additional 65 million to reach its operational goals across the region.
NRC’s Ukraine crisis response:
- NRC has been working in conflict-affected parts of Ukraine since 2014, assisting over 700,000 people through its legal aid, food security and livelihoods, water and sanitation, hygiene, and shelter programmes.
- Following the escalation of conflict on 24 February, NRC’s team of close to seventy staff have relocated to parts of Ukraine where there are high concentrations of displaced people and are working to upscale the response to meet their needs. At least 1.85 million Ukrainians are internally displaced, according to UN OCHA.
- NRC launched a Ukraine Regional Crisis Response Plan on 7 March detailing plans to target 800,000 people with assistance through operations across Ukraine, Poland, Romania, and Moldova. The response plan is costed at US$82 million over six months. It will focus on aid to people inside Ukraine; cross-border relief; refugee support in Poland, Romania, and Moldova; and principled advocacy.