One year since the war in Ukraine escalated, a recent assessment by International Rescue Committee (IRC) reveals that almost all families surveyed are struggling to meet their most basic needs for warmth and food, while 58% of people interviewed are grappling with psychological trauma, stress and anxiety. As the conflict shows no signs of abating, 17.6 million people inside the country are in need of humanitarian assistance, while the official UN estimates indicate that 27% of their needs have reached “catastrophic” levels. 

For nearly a year, the IRC together with local partners have been providing cash, protection, legal aid and emergency items to displaced people and families living close to the frontlines. Across Europe and in the US we are working to support those fleeing the violence and seeking to rebuild their lives. We are committed to staying and delivering for all conflict-affected people as long as needed, and we encourage international donors to continue to provide essential funding to support the humanitarian response inside Ukraine and across the region. 

Marysia Zapasnik, IRC’s Country Director, said:

“One year since the war escalated, our survey demonstrates the devastating impact the conflict has had on the people of Ukraine. With the country experiencing a bitterly cold winter, 27% of the people we spoke to told us they didn’t have sufficient heating. 93% said they could not meet their basic needs. What families need right now is protection, safety and warmth, access to humanitarian assistance to survive today and economic support to allow them to rebuild their lives tomorrow.

“To date, the IRC together with our local partners has reached over half a million people with critical humanitarian assistance. We are providing support directly to the displaced families, so that they can buy food and children’s clothing, and pay their bills. We are working with the older people who are unable to reach medical facilities, and those who are struggling to heat their homes. Our teams also strive to address the less visible, but no less damaging, psychological impacts of the war by assisting women and children to cope with acute anxiety, stress and trauma. 

“But we cannot stop here. One year on, the world must not forget Ukraine. It is vital that donors sustain the humanitarian efforts to support the people in need in Ukraine  - and those displaced beyond its borders.”


Notes to editors:


The IRC has been responding to humanitarian crises in Europe since 2015, where we launched an emergency response to the peak in migration in Greece and relaunched operations in Serbia. The IRC started responding to the war in Ukraine in February 2022, working directly and with local partners to reach those most in need. In Ukraine, we are focusing our response in the conflict-affected areas in the east and southeast. We are distributing essential non-food items, providing cash assistance to the most vulnerable households, improving access to health care, and providing a variety of tailor-made protection services, including safe spaces for women and children. Our emergency programmes are also active on the ground in Poland and Moldova. Working along the entire arc of the crisis, we are running activities targeting Ukrainian refugees in Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Czechia and Bulgaria, as well as in Germany, Italy, Greece and the UK.