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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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/