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URGENT: Help deliver aid for families facing crisis in Ukraine and other emergencies around the world…

War in Ukraine

Active Emergency
February 24, 2022
Ukraine, Eastern Europe

The War in Ukraine

On the morning of February 24th, 2022, Russian forces launched a multi-pronged invasion by land, air, and sea on Ukraine. The deadly conflict continues unabated. Even as Ukrainian forces made significant ground gains, strikes by Russia against Ukraine on civilian targets exacerbated concern for humanitarian needs in winter.

One year later, 17.7 million people need humanitarian assistance and nearly 8 million refugees from Ukraine have been recorded across Europe. In Ukraine, 6.3 million people are internally displaced, and 6.9 million people are sheltering in place. The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine reports that from February 24 to December 26, 2022, 6,884 civilians in Ukraine had been killed and 10,974 injured. The real numbers are likely much higher.

A year of war has caused widespread destruction, reducing some cities to rubble, damaging or destroying hundreds of thousands of homes along with critical infrastructure and leaving millions of people with limited or no access to electricity, water or heat. Many people are living either in collective centers or damaged buildings, without basic needs for daily life and vulnerable to a range of health threats. Internally displaced persons living in collective centers are most at risk with the majority being women, children, the elderly, and people with disabilities. Overall, an estimated 14.5 million people in Ukraine need health assistance.

Updated 5/15/2023

A mother plays a colorful game with her daughter in the JCC safe space in Krakow.

Video: Refugees and the People Working to Help Them

According to the World Health Organization, over 700 attacks on health care facilities have been reported since the start of the war, resulting in more than 100 deaths and creating even more barriers to health care access in Ukraine. In addition to support for health facilities in Ukraine, we work with local partners to provide a safe space and health care, including mental health services for refugees.

Watch the video report from Poland on our programs now helping people affected by the war deal with the trauma of violence and loss. Just click on the arrow.

Our Response

Americares is meeting health needs of children and adults affected by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine through its support of local organizations in Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Ukraine.

To download a pdf of the report on our work in Ukraine in the first year, CLICK HERE.

People living in Ukraine face barriers to care: a shrinking health workforce (due to safety concerns and displacement), rising health care costs, declining or disappearing incomes and mass displacement. The WHO reports roughly one-third of people in active combat zones or Russian-controlled areas report they cannot access the medicines they need. Children and adults are going without vital vaccines, and people with chronic conditions – such as diabetes or dementia – have suffered dangerous interruptions in care.

Since the start of the war, we have provided total aid valued at more than $84 million to 77 local organizations assisting those affected by the war. Aid includes grants and shipments of medicine and medical supplies, including those delivered by volunteer Medical Outreach teams.

To date, Americares has awarded over 85 emergency grants valued at nearly $4 million to 57 organizations working in Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Ukraine.

Going forward, Americares will continue to support local organizations with medicine, medical and relief supplies and technical support, including training.

Despite what I can only imagine was an emotionally and physically restless night for him, Vaclav has already provided an updated needs list for our team to review — before I’ve even had my morning coffee. After 12 months, rest remains elusive for our partners, who risk their own safety to serve those in need.

I receive messages every day from doctors, health providers, and first responders in Ukraine and partners in Poland, Romania, and Slovakia telling me what they need to protect and improve the health of people, of the millions at risk right now. Read Jake’s interactive blog post on his typical day.

Our work now focuses on three main areas: 

  • Medicine and other support for health workers and facilities
  • Mental health
  • Safeguarding and protection

Take a look below by clicking on the plus sign to see what we are doing in each area.

Medical Aid

Supply Chain


tons of supplies to Ukraine


in value



The supply chain challenges are great, but the needs are greater. Americares emergency response team in Kraków, Poland is coordinating shipments of medicine and supplies into Ukraine to support local partners. Since the start of the invasion, Americares has shipped more than 400 tons of medicine and relief supplies – valued at more than $76 million – to health facilities and first responders in Ukraine.

In addition to essential medicines, there is a critical need for medical supplies, including antibiotics, insulin, IV fluids, wound care supplies, labor and delivery supplies, trauma kits and diagnostic equipment for our partners. Americares is prepared to meet those needs — and more.

In medicine, a quick diagnosis can save a life.

Ultrasound imaging is a critical diagnostic tool for doctors and first responders, especially in Ukraine, where deadly bombs cause injuries far too often.  In one instance, through the Institute of Emergency Medicine in Poland, Americares provided handheld Butterfly iQ ultrasound probes to 15 hospitals in Ukraine, including the regional hospital where pediatric anesthesiologist Aleksji Obolonskij works, saving the lives of young trauma patients.

Click the link and read the story of how the life of a 4-year-old boy was saved.

In war, many people, including children, learn skills to save lives.

In late 2022, Americares provided the Poland-based Institute of Emergency Medicine with more than 10,000 tourniquets, used to stop the flow of blood to a limb or extremity in an emergency. Because the tourniquets were intended for civilians, Americares also provided two-day courses in emergency medicine, taught by certified trainers. The goal was to train 100 instructors who could, in turn, train and supply 10,000 civilians with tourniquets. By the end of the December, IEM had trained more than 140 instructors in Lviv, Odesa and Uzghorod. Two of those are Natalia and her 13-year-old daughter, Olena*.

Click this link; read the full story of Mother and Daughter learning life-saving skills.

While major shipments supplied health facilities and programs, the Americares Medical Outreach program has supported trips by 20 volunteer medical teams to Poland, Romania and Ukraine with more than $3.8 million worth of donated medicines and medical products.

One of the medical teams reports that the medications provided by Americares for their team were used to fill in the gap in the Ukrainian medical supply chain system. Due to the war, all pharmacies in the affected regions in the east and northeast of Ukraine were closed or did not have supplies. Most people with chronic diseases like diabetes or thyroid disorders were without their medications for almost two months. The team provided clinics, bomb shelters and community shelters with medications that were distributed to patients who needed them. These medications were life-saving for many Ukrainians.

“I met a lady in Chernihiv, Ukraine who told me that her mother ran out of her glaucoma medication as the supplies in the pharmacies were gone. She was so concerned that she would completely lose her vision that she could not sleep at night. Once we were able to give her the glaucoma medication, she became calm and was able to perform her daily activities. The daughter said that her mother was like a new person!!!”

Esli Gollapalli, DO
Doctor in operating room in scrubs with view of some of the equipment surrounding him.

The war has affected everyone in Ukraine, but it is particularly cruel to pregnant women. The health effects on pregnant women are stark. Since the beginning of the war, a regional hospital in western Ukraine has seen a significant increase in premature births, from 3.56 percent of all births before the war to 13 percent in the first months after the war began in February.  Read a story about Americares efforts to meet this challenge.

Doctor in white lab coat in office at her hospital.

War and displacement are difficult for healthy people but can be doubly challenging for those who suffer from chronic illness such as diabetes. Since the start of the war, treatments for low blood sugar have been in short supply in Ukraine, and critical medicines for diabetes have been nearly impossible to find. Read how we are helping hospitals address this health crisis.

Facility and Health Worker Support

Of the total 85 grants Americares has provided, 33 grants have gone to 25 partners to support health workers and facilities with interventions such as trainings, logistical support and mobile medical units in Ukraine and the region. These grants total over $1.7 million.

After continued attacks on energy infrastructure over the winter, Americares worked with partners across Ukraine to provide hospitals and other facilities assisting people affected by
the war with over $1 million in power and heating equipment.

Mental Health

Trauma and Loss


individual crisis intervention sessions


frontline clinicians trained

Americares supports social service and mental health organizations in Ukraine and Poland so they have the infrastructure, technical and professional skills to ensure they can meet immediate and long-term needs. To support the mental health of people affected by the war, Americares has provided program support to 12 partner organizations in Poland, Romania and Ukraine totaling more than $650,000. Americares has also supported more than 26,000 crisis intervention sessions for internally displaced people, military personnel, veterans and refugees. Of those calls, more than 3,800 were lifesaving, that is, focused on support for a suicidal

With Americares assistance, our partners have also trained frontline clinicians in therapy techniques that address the unique trauma of war for both children and adults. And to increase the capacity of local organizations, Americares has developed new educational resources in Polish and Ukrainian to help partners and Americares teams provide improved mental health services to the community.

Yaryna fled to safety and quickly turned to helping others.

When 20-year-old Yaryna fled Ukraine in February 2022, driving her sister and family friends to Poland over three days in frigid temperatures, she had one goal: To bring everyone safely across the border. She did not know that her intense focus on that goal would be the first step to a debilitating burnout that threatened her own health and safety.

Click on this link; read Yaryna’s story of finding support among other refugees.

Americares has experience providing mental health and psychosocial support to refugees and others affected by war and instability. We know from our work in Jordan with Syrian refugees and in Colombia with Venezuelan migrants that mental health support is so critical for this population, whose lives have changed drastically. We know that mental health is fundamental to response and recovery.  

Safeguarding and Protection

Safe Space


partners in four countries


in funding

Americares helps partners to prevent human trafficking, sexual and gender-based violence and exploitation and abuse of vulnerable people affected by the war in Ukraine. Additionally, Americares helps them support the needs of people who face discrimination and marginalization. To date, Americares has supported organizations in Poland, Romania, Slovakia and across Ukraine with funding for more than 20 safeguarding and protection projects. 

For example, to help evacuate an estimated 3,000 people with disabilities from Ukraine, Americares is partnering with the World Institute on Disability to create a virtual Emergency Operations Center, where people with disabilities can access the information they need securely and safely.

For children affected by heavy bombing in Irpin and Bucha, Ukraine, with Americares support, our partner Divchata trained 10 psychologists in neuro-development and renovated a space where they work with parents and their children on tailored exercise programs. Due to the bombing and sheltering in
place, some children are experiencing loss of speech, incontinence and intellectual delay.

With Americares support, the League of Modern Women in Sumy, Ukraine, has provided women with individual counseling and legal advice, gender-based violence survivors with coping techniques and children with art therapy – all in a newly renovated safe space. Safe medical and gynecological referrals are also available at the local clinic.

With Americares support, Acceptance opened its transgender clinic in Poznan, Poland, and evacuates critical patients out of Ukraine via ambulance. Acceptance facilitated blood and
hormone-level testing for 59 LGBTQIA+ patients in Lviv and brought medication on a return trip.

And in Romania, Americares partner eLiberare is training police officers, social workers and humanitarian staff working with refugees to identify and report human trafficking. Americares funding will also support housing and other services for at-risk refugees in the country. 

Resources for Vulnerable Women from Ukraine

Displaced women and refugees from Ukraine and other war-affected areas are particularly vulnerable to physical and sexual violence. Feminoteka, an Americares partner in Poland, raises awareness about violence against women and provides counseling and resources to survivors. With support from Americares, Feminoteka created a traveling exhibit promoting its helpline for women fleeing Ukraine.

 Click on this link; read the full story about the lifeline for women and the work of Feminoteka.

Support that Builds Back Health Care

This is a newly renovated area in the basement of the Odesa Regional Center of Socially Significant Disease. This area was created in order to secure and separate TB patients to prevent spreading of the disease during an air raid alarm. Thanks to Americares grant, LifePlus, the hospital was able to renovate a portion of the basement for this purpose. Click here and read the whole story.

Finished room with four special doors on the right side of the long hallway to be used for safe storage of cancer drugs

How to Bomb-proof Medicine – When the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv came under attack in 2022, health professionals knew they had to save lives – and medicine. They found and tranformed an unlikely place. Read the story.

Up Close and Personal Stories from the Midst of War

videos, images, narratives

Fleeing a war is much more than finding a safe place. For students, teachers, husbands, wives, brothers and sisters who find refuge in Poland, they have to manage the traumatic loss of everything they left behind. Every family has their own story. They share their stories directly in the following videos, images and narratives.

Oksana stands with her two daughters on either side and their white dog in front on a leash. They stand on a cobblestone path in a wooded area in winter. Ground is covered in leaves.

“Now, I know I can come here and get medical treatment whenever we need it. For a refugee and a mother with two girls with Down Syndrome, it’s crucial,”…Oksana Z, a Ukrainian refugee – read their story of finding peace, serenity, and many helpful people.

Marta, fled Lutsk, Ukraine, with her two sons and is now a volunteer translator and Polish teacher at Coalition for Youth Foundation in Bialobrzegi, Poland, and a volunteer at the Warsaw Institute Foundation, a think tank.

“In February, the bombs replaced our breakfast. It should have been a normal day for my family. But for breakfast, I didn’t have coffee with milk. In my mind it stayed the 24th of February for a long period. That doesn’t mean that we can’t comprehend this, but we need time to adapt and understand what to do next. And these simple things [support from the Coalition for Youth] give us time to understand how we can move forward.”

Marta, a university professor and administrator

“The babies were born in February. We were discharged from the hospital on March 15, and three or four days later, a building in my apartment block was shelled, so my husband took us to the railroad station. From Lviv, we came here, and a volunteer brought us everything we needed. Now I can say that people shouldn’t be scared or worried [to leave Ukraine]. There are organizations that can help you survive and settle in. We’re grateful that we can hide somewhere from the war.

Nataliia fled Zelenodolsk, Ukraine, in March 2022 with 1-month-old twins. She receives support, including supplies for her babies, from Americares partner Coalition for Youth in Bialobrzegi, Poland.
Yulia fled Lutsk, Ukraine, with her 11-year-old son, in March 2022. In a program supported by Americares, Yulia provides psychotherapy to refugees at Salam Lab in Krakow and, via telephone, to women in Ukraine.

“People have different reactions to stress—some shut down, some isolate themselves. It’s important to decrease the effects of PTSD and stop people from sinking deeper into their traumas.”

Yulia, a psychotherapist

Alina and Timofy

Alina rests with her son, Timofy*, in a hotel in Krakow, Poland where she and her family are receiving displaced person’s assistance.

*name changed

Alina poses for a photo with her son, Timofy, with his new stuffed bear on a bed in a hotel in Krakow, Poland
Alina with her son, Timofy, in a hotel in Krakow, Poland (Photo/Mike Demas).

Alina left Ukraine, where she had just finished studying dermatology, to seek refuge in Poland. Her husband, who is also a doctor, was not allowed to leave the country. A friend of hers made a similar journey weeks prior and disappeared, and, while she is unsure of what has happened to her friend, she suspects that she has been trafficked. In order to avoid a similar fate, she called on her mother-in-law and father-in-law, Olena and Oleg, to come meet her in Poland. The family awaits the processing of the necessary paperwork so that they can travel to Israel together.

Alina (middle) poses for a photo with Olena (left) and Oleg (right), her mother-in-law and father-in-law, in a hotel in Krakow, Poland where she and her family are receiving displaced person’s assistance.
Alina (middle) sits with Olena (left) and Oleg (right), her mother-in-law and father-in-law, in a hotel in Krakow, Poland where she and her family are receiving displaced person’s assistance (Photo/Mike Demas).

Alina and her baby son Timofy are safe and sound in Krakow, currently staying in a hotel room provided to them by the Jewish Community Center of Krakow.

Americares awarded JCC Krakow a grant to support programs providing assistance to Ukrainian refugees, including temporary accommodation, a safe space for mothers and children, and other programs, on April 5, 2022.

Timofy sleeps on a bed with his bear in a hotel in Krakow, Poland
Timofy sleeps on a bed in a hotel in Krakow, Poland where he and his family are receiving displaced person’s assistance.

Going Forward

The unique value of Americares in the global humanitarian response to the war is, first and foremost, the close partnerships we have developed inside Ukraine with health facilities and other organizations that help the communities most at risk. We have also developed effective supply chains to deliver donated and procured product quickly into Ukraine. Unlike many other response organizations, Americares partners span several regions, working near the contact line in the south and east of Ukraine, as well as in the west where many displaced Ukrainians have taken refuge. 

silhouette of worker moving palette of emergency response supplies with americares emergency response branding on the shipment wrapping.
Members of a partner organization in Ukraine pack up and transport medical supplies and medicine from Americares to be distributed to a medical facility that has been converted into a trauma center for the wounded following the Russian invasion. March 22, 2022. (Photo Credit: Razom)

Most importantly, Americares brings an approach that is rooted in listening: We ask local hospitals, clinics, nongovernmental and governmental organizations to tell us what they need and then we work to meet that need.

Americares also brings more than 40 years of emergency response and humanitarian aid to our work. All of our emergency responses are multifaceted, not only providing medicine and supplies, but also working closely with partners to co-design, implement, and scale their outreach and services to the people affected.

As the war shows no sign of abating, Americares goal for the next phase of our response is to continue to promote health and safety through:   

  • Medicines, medical supplies and other emergency supplies, including generators and heating equipment
  • Financial support for local organizations to provide health and humanitarian programming for people affected by violence, trauma, displacement, employment and housing issues and barriers to health care 
  • Mental health and psychosocial support for survivors and frontline health and relief workers 

…and offering comfort…

Two Ukranian refugees embrace
Two Ukrainian refugees embrace in Dorohusk, Poland at the border between Poland and Ukraine. March, 2022 (Photo/Tom Remp)

Our History

Americares has a long history of supporting clinical services for refugees and migrants. In the past 10 years alone, Americares has provided more than $70 million in aid to support health care for refugees and migrants in over a dozen countries including supporting health services for families fleeing the humanitarian crises in Syria and Venezuela. Since 1986, Americares has provided more than $2 billion in aid to Eastern Europe, including more than $203 million in aid to Ukraine, which began in 1992. We also donate medicines and medical supplies to U.S.-based medical professionals traveling to Ukraine to provide care for patients in need.

Americares has professional relief workers ready to respond to disasters at a moment’s notice and stocks emergency medicine and supplies in warehouses in the U.S., Europe and India that can be delivered quickly in times of crisis.

Americares has over 40 years of experience responding to emergencies, including conflicts that lead to large-scale displacements. We respond to more than 30 natural disasters and humanitarian crises worldwide each year, establish long-term recovery projects and brings disaster preparedness programs to communities vulnerable to disasters.

We can do this work, because you care about what happens to Rita, Yulia, David and Raisa and all of the people caught in the war. Together we can help each of them and the many local organizations serving their health needs. Click on the “Please give now” button below.