The Russian invasion of Ukraine, which started on 24 February 2022 shows no sign of diminishing and continues to demand increasing humanitarian needs. The escalation of the conflict forced people to flee their homes seeking support and assistance. Millions of Ukrainian refugees have crossed the borders to find protection and safety in neighbouring and other European countries.
Since the beginning of the war, Georgia has received thousands of Ukrainian refugees. Often Mothers with their children. Most of the arrivals in Georgia are from the occupied territories, frontline and areas of active combat, all of them situated in the Eastern Territories of Ukraine. It is one of the first transport hubs – not controlled by Russia – to reach Europe and the rest of the world. Recently reported war crimes and the widespread destruction of infrastructure have uprooted the inhabitants of cities from their living environment. The only way to secure their lives is to leave their areas and seek safety abroad. Before arriving in Georgia, many had to go through different obstacles, such as filtration camps, Military check points with oppression and humiliating processes in the territory of the aggressor. Especially for women but especially for children these events have been extremely stressful and traumatizing, causing psycho-social problems.
Ukrainian refugees are welcomed and supported in Georgia. The government of Georgia, as well as, different NGOs and INGOs provide various assistance to Ukrainians, who have arrived in the country, including accommodation, food, transportation, access to social services, information provision, etc. Importantly, mostly one-time, crowdfunding initiatives were also implemented to support them. However, the budget is limited and there is no reimbursement system for Georgia to support Ukrainians, while, the number of refugees crossing the border is increasing.
ASB Georgia (the German Samaritan Association country office Georgia), together with its local partner organizations SSK (Georgian Samaritan Association) and Unite for Ukraine, has conducted this need assessment to evaluate the actual situation of Ukrainian refugees in Georgia, to summarize existing programs and services provided by the state agencies and local/international organizations, and identify existing challenges in the country in terms of the support of the Ukrainian refugees.
According to the survey, conducted with 1 173 Ukrainian refugees (975 adults and 198 minors2 ), the main needs of refugees in Georgia are: cash and job, accommodation, medicine, food, and inclusion service. The data indicates that for minors, extra-curricular events, as well as, involvement in language classes are the most wanted activities. Based on the analysis child and elderly care services are also necessary for Ukrainian refugees.