Less than one month since the war in Ukraine began, millions of people require humanitarian assistance. As of March 18, over 3.2 million Ukrainians had fled to neighbouring countries. Those remaining in Ukraine are in desperate need of essential services, including food and other emergency support.

Through the ACT Alliance, PWS&D is supporting Hungarian Interchurch Aid (HIA) as they respond to the ever-changing situation. Since the beginning of the conflict, HIA has been assisting both those who have fled into Hungary, as well as those displaced within Ukraine.

Larysa, her husband and daughter fled Ukraine and are now in Hungary.
Credit: Antti Yrjönen / FCA

Every day people are leaving their homes to find safety. Larysa is one of them.

Larysa, her husband, daughter and their cat Bella, escaped Kharkiv on March 1, after having spent four nights in the basement of their home due to bombing in the city. “Everyone wanted to travel out of Kharkov. There were a lot of people at the train station. The train ride was free of charge, but getting on the train was difficult due to the crowds,” shares Larysa.

The family found shelter in a refugee centre supported by Hungarian Interchurch Aid. “We are happy to have a place to sleep and where it is warm. We get food three times a day, we can wash and do our laundry, because there is also a washing machine here.”

Refugees and displaced people, like Larysa and her family, are receiving cash assistance and emergency mental health and psychosocial support. In total, HIA will assist 14,000 households. As part of this response, PWS&D is helping provide emergency food assistance and other essential non-food aid, including hygiene kits and medical supplies. HIA is also helping to restore emergency basic services in Ukraine, including sanitation and drinking water.

Larysa hopes for peace in the future. “We would like to live in Kharkov again, but right now we can’t live there because there are bombings and people are dying. It is safe here. I am glad our children are alive.”

Canadian Foodgrains Bank members are also planning a response with urgently needed food assistance.

In Ukraine, The Presbyterian Church in Canada partners with the Transcarpathian Reformed Church. Read more here.

With content from ACT Alliance.