A man walks in front of a destroyed building after a Russian missile attack near Kyiv. USAID deployed a Disaster Assistance Response Team to coordinate U.S. response efforts following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022. / Dimitar Dilkoff, AFP

Four Ways USAID is Responding to the Crisis in Ukraine

On February 24th, Russian military forces conducted an unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. The people of Ukraine have been caught in the middle of conflict for nearly 8 years, and there are currently 2.9 million in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.

Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine have been areas most in need of humanitarian aid during eight years of conflict. / Map: Sara Schmunk, USAID

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes, according to the UN Refugee Agency, and this figure — as well as humanitarian needs — is expected to rise. Prior to this latest round of attacks, most of the humanitarian needs had been centered in Ukraine’s easternmost regions, particularly in Donetsk and Luhansk, where fighting along active frontlines since 2014 resulted in civilian deaths and injuries and damage to civilian infrastructure, including critical water supplies.

Here are four ways USAID is responding to the crisis in Ukraine to help the Ukrainian people during their time of need.

1. Deploying a USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team

USAID Administrator Samantha Power traveled to Poland on February 26, 2022, where she met with the USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team leading the U.S. Government’s humanitarian response to the crisis in Ukraine. / USAID

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has deployed an elite Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to lead the U.S. Government’s humanitarian response to the growing crisis in Ukraine, working in close coordination with European allies and partners who will be on the front lines of the response. The team, which comprises 17 disaster experts from USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, will identify critical needs, conduct humanitarian assessments, and work with partners to scale up humanitarian aid to communities affected by the conflict.

2. Providing Critical Relief Supplies

USAID is sending critical relief supplies by plane and over land to Ukraine to help tens of thousands of people. The first tranche of blankets have already arrived in Ukraine. / Graphic: Jacquie Frazier, USAID

In this initial phase of response efforts, USAID is working with partners to deliver relief supplies and commodities to meet the immediate humanitarian needs. Ongoing fighting continues to damage water pumping facilities and water pipes, threatening access to safe drinking water and worsening hygiene and sanitation conditions. USAID will be delivering hygiene supplies — including soap, laundry detergent, and hygiene cloths — to help keep more than 52,000 people healthy.

Days after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, USAID airlifted relief supplies from our Dubai warehouse to help Ukrainians displaced from their homes. / USAID

In addition, we already airlifted high thermal blankets from our warehouse in Dubai to Lviv, Ukraine, to help more than 23,000 displaced people vulnerable to harsh winter weather, including those displaced from their homes, people with disabilities, and older people. More commodities are on the way.

3. Providing Additional Humanitarian Assistance and Ramping Up Programs

For the past eight years, USAID has been working with partners on the ground in eastern Ukraine to provide food, water, hygiene materials, shelter, emergency healthcare, improved sanitation, and more to communities in need. / UNICEF, ICRC

The United States is providing nearly $54 million in additional humanitarian assistance to meet increased needs following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This aid will enable our partners on the frontlines to ramp up efforts to provide critically needed healthcare and supplies, food, safe drinking water, sanitation, hygiene items, winter supplies, as well as protection for vulnerable children.

Since 2014, USAID has been working with partners on the ground in eastern Ukraine to provide food, safe drinking water, hygiene materials, shelter, emergency health care, improved sanitation, and critical relief supplies to communities in need. This support helped the international humanitarian community reach more than 1.5 million people in 2021. USAID will continue working with our partners to enable them to ramp up, expand, and adapt their programs to help as many people as possible despite constantly changing conditions on the ground.

4. Coordinating Efforts with the Government of Ukraine & the International Community

Left: The upper floors of a building in Kyiv was reportedly struck by a Russian rocket on February 26, 2022 / Daniel Leal, AFP. Right: In the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, people wait for a train to Poland. According to the UN, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have fled from their homes. / Yuriy Dyachyshyn, AFP

To support the Government of Ukraine’s response efforts, USAID will provide technical support to the State Emergency Service of Ukraine. We are also working closely with European allies and partners who will be on the front lines of this response, as well as the United Nations and NGOs, to coordinate among various responders, identify additional needs and tailor the response to the situation on the ground.

The United States is committed to supporting the Ukrainian people and is one of the largest donors of humanitarian assistance in Ukraine. Since the conflict began nearly eight years ago, the U.S. has provided nearly $405 million to vulnerable communities across Ukraine, including nearly $169 million from USAID. For ways you could help the Ukrainian people during their time of need, please visit https://www.cidi.org/disaster-responses/ukraine-crisis/

For eight years, USAID and State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration have provided humanitarian assistance to help the people of Ukraine. / Graphic: Mardri Gaston-Williams, USAID

Get more information on USAID’s response to the Crisis in Ukraine.

Follow USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn for updates.

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