People across our Diocese have been asking how they might support the more than one million persons who have been displaced because of the aggression and warfare in Ukraine. Episcopal Relief and Development has established a Ukraine Crisis Response Fund, working with organizations on the ground in Europe. Their press release is below. Please pray for the people of Ukraine and about how you can support them.
Supporting Humanitarian Response to the Crisis in Ukraine
Episcopal Relief & Development Supports ACT Alliance Response to Crisis in Ukraine
Episcopal Relief & Development is supporting Action by Churches Together (ACT Alliance) as it provides critical assistance to support people affected by violence in Ukraine. Working through ACT member Hungarian Interchurch Aid (HIA) and other local organizations, ACT Alliance is providing emergency assistance such as food, shelter, water and basic supplies to refugees and people displaced within Ukraine.
The UN Refugee Agency estimates that as of March 8, more than two million people have left Ukraine since Russian forces invaded the country, making this the fastest-growing refugee crisis since World War II. Damage to civilian infrastructure has left thousands without electricity or water. Homes have been damaged and destroyed, displacing hundreds of thousands within the country. People are fleeing to neighboring countries such as Poland, Hungary and Romania and their long-term destination is unclear.
On February 27, HIA set up a refugee support point on the Ukrainian side of the border at Beregsurány where volunteers are providing hot tea, sandwiches, refreshments, blankets and basic hygiene items for refugees, who often wait long hours to cross the border into Hungary. These refugees include many children and older adults. HIA is in contact with its network of churches and organizations, as well as local governments in Hungary, to coordinate cash assistance, shelter, food and medicine for people who have been displaced.
ACT Alliance is setting up similar support points at other border towns to assist people as they leave Ukraine. It is working through local partners to provide aid for refugees in Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Poland.
Episcopal Relief & Development is also working with The Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, the Diocese of Europe, the Anglican Alliance and United Society Partners in the Gospel as the churches prepare to mobilize on potential immediate and long-term responses to assist Ukrainian refugees in Poland, Romania, Hungary and other parts of Europe.
“Episcopal Relief & Development was founded by The Episcopal Church to help people fleeing violence in World War II,” said Nagulan Nesiah, Senior Program Officer, Disaster Response and Risk Reduction, Episcopal Relief & Development. “We remain committed to supporting our partners on the ground as they meet both immediate and long-term needs created by this crisis.”
Donations to Episcopal Relief & Development’s Ukraine Crisis Response Fund will help the organization and its partners continue to provide assistance to people displaced by the crisis in Ukraine.