On 1 April 2022 in Irpin, an ICRC team evacuated one homeless person in a critical condition and brought him to the State Emergency Service of Ukraine. Alyona Synenko/ICRC

What you need to know about our action in Ukraine

As the international armed conflict in Ukraine enters its fifth week, the level of death, destruction, and suffering that continues to be inflicted on civilians is abhorrent and unacceptable.
Article 04 April 2022 Ukraine

Over 4 million people are reported to have left their homes into neighbouring countries, more than 6.5 million people still in Ukraine have been displaced from their homes, while hundreds of thousands more are trapped in cities desperate for a safe escape.

The ICRC is massively scaling up its response to meet the urgent needs in Ukraine. Over 700 tons of medical supplies, food and relief items have arrived since the escalation of the crisis, with more arriving in country daily.

What are you doing to help people in Ukraine?

Where are you working?

How long have you been in Ukraine?

What is the ICRC's role in the Ukraine Conflict?

Why are you speaking to the parties of the conflict?

How can I find out more?

I have been affected by the conflict, can the ICRC help?

What are you doing to help people in Ukraine?

The people affected by the conflict in Ukraine are in desperate need of food, safe water, medical assistance and shelter materials. The ICRC has been working to urgently assist those living through the extreme dangers of this conflict.

Medical support

We are donating medical supplies to hospitals to help them deal with serious trauma injuries. At the same time, we are working to help hospitals wherever we can with supplies and medicines for more chronic conditions. We are supporting hospitals and ambulance services in Poltava, Kyiv, Odessa, Dnipro, Zhytomyr. Personnel support is also being scaled up, for example an ICRC surgical team are in Poltava right now to support the Regional Central Hospital. Our staff are administering first aid training, both physical and psychological to volunteers and staff of the Red Cross Movement, across the country. Mental health support in being given in shelters, along with a 24/7 support line.

Essential items

We are providing food, water and essential items like blankets across Ukraine. Food and water are being distributed to people in locations like shelters and train stations, including in Dnipro, Lysychansk, Severodonetsk and Sviatohirsk.

We've supplied materials that can help people make urgent repairs to their homes and shelters. For example, our donation of tarpaulins and plastic sheets to reinforce homes for over 1,200 people in Makeevka, Novoazovskyi, Pervomaisk and Dokuchaevsk.

We have also provided financial support to the Ukrainian Red Cross Society so they can purchase essential items to help alleviate the suffering of civilians.

Safe passage for civilians

As of March 31, we have been directly involved in two evacuations of people in Ukraine – they took place in Sumy on March 15 and 18, when we facilitated the voluntary safe passage of civilians out of the city. On both occasions thousands of people willingly took buses leading them to another Ukrainian city, Lubny. We are also in constant dialogue to bring about much-needed safe passage for people in various places, for people and humanitarian aid.

 Where are you working?

Bases have been set up and field mobile teams created to ensure we have an agile and rapid response. We are scaling up our regional support to address urgent needs, including in countries like Poland, Moldova and Hungary. We have deployed about 140 additional staff, joining a workforce of about 600, including medical staff, weapons contamination specialists and other emergency team members.

How long have you been in Ukraine?

The ICRC has been working in Ukraine since 2014, supporting people affected by conflict. We have worked there for eight years and that will not stop now.

What is the ICRC's role in the Ukraine Conflict?

The International Committee of the Red Cross is an impartial, neutral and independent organization whose exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence and to provide them with assistance. The ICRC also endeavours to prevent suffering by promoting and strengthening humanitarian law and universal humanitarian principles.

Meaning we:

  1. Deliver life-saving aid to those who need it most.
  2. Advocate for the respect of the Rules of War.
  3. Engage in bilateral and confidential dialogue with the parties to the conflict to ensure they abide by their international humanitarian law obligations.
  4. Work to ensure there is space for neutral, impartial and independent humanitarian action and that this is protected.

Why are you speaking to the parties of the conflict?

We continue our confidential dialogue with all sides on the conduct of hostilities as well as on the protection of the civilian population, reminding them of their obligations under international humanitarian law. In these conversations, we raise pressing humanitarian concerns, including the safe passage of civilians and the delivery of humanitarian assistance. As a neutral, impartial humanitarian actor, ICRC is mandated to speak with ALL sides of a conflict to advocate respect for international humanitarian law, or the law of armed conflict, to protect civilian life and to ensure aid is able to reach those most in need.

How can I find out more?

We keep our Twitter account regularly updated – you can follow tweets from our team in Ukraine as well as our global account.

I have been affected by the conflict, can the ICRC help?

We know that your current situation is incredibly dangerous and distressing for you and your loved ones. You are not alone. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Ukrainian Red Cross Society and other partners are doing their best to help you. For more information see this page: Useful information for people affected by the conflict in Ukraine