Currently there are 12 million people who are in need of humanitarian assistance in Ukraine as a result of the ongoing Russian-Ukraine war. 1.9 million people are internally displaced, 4 million people are expected to be crossing the border into neighbouring countries and already 2.8 million people have fled from the country. According to the Order of Malta’s worldwide relief service, Malteser International the main needs are shelter, provision and medical care.
With this massive influx of people, the Order of Malta is raising attention on the risk of refugees falling victims of human traffickers. To this end its Polish embassy has issued an alert containing safety rules for refugees which is being distributed along the main exit routes in Ukrainian, English and Polish.
Malteser International is coordinating the global effort of the Sovereign Order of Malta, whose associations and relief and volunteer corps are on the ground to assist the refugees.
In Ukraine volunteers of the Order of Malta are providing psychological first aid to the people fleeing the war and accommodation is offered in Lviv and Ivano Frankivsk in the western side of the country. Food is also distributed in 6 different locations in Lviv where a medical centre is being set up. A field kitchen is running in Krakowez where teams are also providing psychological support. Near the Hungarian border, in Berehove, the Order of Malta is supporting refugees who are trying to cross the border and is distributing relief goods. Baby food and basic items are being sent to Kharkiv.
In Hungary support and pick-up service are offered at the border in Beregsurány, where accommodation and assistance are also provided to incoming refugees. Shelters and medical premises are running in Budapest.
The Order of Malta in Poland is providing 24/7 service to incoming refugees at the Ukrainian border. This includes a shuttle service, mobile medical points in Kroscienko, and food distribution at Lubycza Krolewska.
In Romania, a service to incoming refugees is running at the Ukrainian border at Sighetu Marmației, Siret and Satu Mare. Slovakia is also providing transportation and accommodation in the border town of Vysne Nemecke. Slovenia is also providing housing to Ukrainian refugees, and a team has joined the Slovakian volunteers to support them. Germany is also at the forefront coordinating shipment of humanitarian aid and providing transport to refugees.
The diplomatic network of the Order of Malta is also supporting the ongoing relief operations, calling for full protection of international law through the erection of a humanitarian corridor and for the humanitarian aid to be safely delivered in Ukraine to the people in need.
Many Order of Malta national associations are also contributing to the assistance operations. In addition to the many fundraising campaigns launched, the Italian Relief Corps of the Order of Malta is transporting to Ukraine supplies of humanitarian goods and is organising accommodation in Italy for refugee families. The Relief corps also drove an ambulance to the Romania-Ukraine border to pick up an oncological child who has been admitted in an Italian hospital. The Grand Priories in Italy also collected basic necessities to be sent to Ukraine and the Order’s Italian Association is providing clinics for specialist visits.