(Vienna, March 18, 2022) – Vital resources such as water have long been in short supply in eastern Ukraine. With the start of the war, the situation has worsened considerably. Countless water pipes have been damaged by the fighting. It is almost impossible to repair them – the danger from constant shelling is too great. Meanwhile, many places in eastern Ukraine have been completely cut off from the water supply.
“In addition to the ongoing danger from attacks, Ukrainian civilians must cope with increasingly scarce vital resources. Water has become a highly contested commodity. People are dehydrated, they have to collect rainwater or resort to melting snow,” says Andrea Barschdorf-Hager, executive director of CARE Austria.
CARE’s partner organization “People in Need” has sent a loaded truck full of water containers directly from the Czech Republic. More trucks will follow shortly. In many parts of the country there are wells with water, but hardly any possibilities to store the water. Therefore, containers are provided to store water from underground wells and reservoirs. In places where there are no local water sources, drinking bottles are distributed or tankers are sent.
Seven trains carrying food, hygiene items, sleeping bags, mattresses and medical aid have already arrived in the city of Dnipro. Other relief supplies have been transported in trucks to Kharkiv, the Donetsk region and other places in the east. As soon as the humanitarian corridor is open, relief supplies will be sent to the hard-pressed port city of Mariupol.
CARE and “People in Need” are supplying the dozens of collective shelters in the west with blankets, sleeping bags, mattresses, kitchen utensils, stoves, pots, food, baby food and hygiene kits. A psychosocial counseling center has also been established. Through it, affected people can talk to specialized personnel. A mobile counseling team is also available to visit remote locations, for example.
“Many of the people in the collective shelters have experienced significant trauma. They have been forced to hide from attacks. They have said goodbye to loved ones or witnessed violence and the suffering that goes with it,” Barschdorf-Hager said.
CARE in Ukraine: CARE is supporting its local partner organization “People in Need” in providing warm and safe spaces for refugees at border crossings, as well as sending durable food, sleeping bags, diapers and other essential supplies to Ukraine.
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CARE Junior Press Officer