CARE Australia

02/27/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 02/26/2024 21:29

CARE on the two-year mark of the war in Ukraine: Life on the frontline is a daily lottery

Photos taken in Izium, Donestk Oblast, East Ukraine. A destroyed residential building which was hit by a missile directly.

Dnipro-Odesa-Kyiv-Lviv, Ukraine - As February 24th marks the somber anniversary of the escalation of conflict in Ukraine, the world reflects on two years of relentless turmoil, suffering and devastation. The ongoing war has brought unprecedented challenges, leaving millions on the frontlines grappling with fear, uncertainty and dire living conditions. CARE is especially alarmed about the situation of those over 3.3 million people - including 800,000 children - who are living close to the frontlines.

"People on the frontline tell us that their lives have become a lottery, because they don't know if they will live or die in the next hour. They only go out for short distances and only for vital activities like collecting water, supporting their elderly relatives or buying medicine or bread," says Franziska Joerns, CARE Ukraine Deputy Country Director. "When they leave their house, they don't know if they will be attacked, if they will step on a landmine or if their home will still be standing when they come back. This is currently the harsh reality for millions of Ukrainians."

In the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine, over 3 million people endure daily the harrowing reality of shelling and scarcity. Stripped of basic amenities, many are confined to cold, dark basements, facing the constant threat of violence and displacement. The toll on civilian infrastructure has been catastrophic, with 1,523 medical facilities, 1,600 schools, and nearly 400 bridges reduced to rubble. Vital utilities such as electricity and water supply have been decimated, exacerbating the humanitarian crisis. The destruction has left nearly 720,000 people in the worst-affected parts of Ukraine with no access to adequate and safe housing. Over the last two years, the conflict has internally displaced nearly four million people. In total, 14.6 million, roughly 40 percent of Ukraine's population, will require humanitarian assistance in 2024, according to the UN humanitarian response plan.

The impact of this war has been particularly devastating for women and girls. With families torn apart, childcare facilities scarce, schools shuttered and social services diminished, they have shouldered an increasing burden of unpaid care responsibilities, particularly for children and elderly relatives.

Moreover, the pervasive lack of security, stability and control over one's own life, compounded by the overwhelming need for support, has given rise to a myriad of psychological challenges. While addressing basic needs is imperative, it is equally crucial to prioritize psychological well-being to restore a sense of harmony amidst the chaos of conflict. As Franziska Joerns emphasizes, "Healing from those traumas will require more than just a year or two; it necessitates long-term support for the people of Ukraine."

Background on CARE´s assistance

CARE initiated its operations in Ukraine in March 2022. Over the past two years, CARE's programs have reached over 1.2 million individuals, providing them with essentials for survival. Initially focused on housing and basic needs for internally displaced persons, CARE is now increasingly addressing psychological support, gender-based violence, conflict-related violence, housing rehabilitation, and women's leadership development in emergencies. CARE strengthens institutional capacities in frontline regions, working to restore water supply networks and provide municipal services with new equipment to ensure quality and essential services to the population.

ENDS

For media enquiries contact Briony FitzGerald on 0404 117 927 or [email protected]

About CARE Australia

CARE Australia supports women around the globe to save lives, defeat poverty and achieve social justice. We work in partnership with local communities to provide equal opportunities for women that they have long been denied: the ability to earn an income, gain access to their fair share of resources, to lead and participate in decisions that affect their lives, and to be able to withstand the increasing impacts of climate disasters and other crises. www.care.org.au