More than 11 million people are believed to have fled Ukraine since the conflict began eight weeks ago, according to the United Nations. As well as the five million who have left for neighbouring countries, another 6.5 million people are thought to be displaced inside the war-torn country.
The main needs continue to be: shelter, medical care, food and psycho-social support. The Order of Malta – through its associations, relief and volunteer corps and by mean of its diplomatic network – is continuing to deliver relief and basic goods to the population in need both in Ukraine and in the neighbouring countries.
Projects for displaced people, targeting children in particular, continue both in Western and Eastern Ukraine, either live or online. Accommodation is provided to displaced people in Lviv and Ivano Frankivsk. In Berehovo, near the Hungarian border, the Order of Malta Ukraine manages 24/7 a warehouse in charge of the collection and distribution of relief goods to refugees.
In Hungary support and pick-up services at the border in Beregsurány are offered. Three hotspots are running in Budapest to help incoming refugees access medical care as well as legal and logistic assistance while many of the them continue their journey across Europe. Other two hotspots in the country ensure distribution of relief goods and assistance, including a logistics centre in Biatorbágy near Budapest.
In Poland services for incoming refugees at the Ukrainian border include shuttle services, medical points at border crossing in Hrebenne and Korczowa on the Ukranian side, food distribution at Lubycza Krolewska. Furthermore, the establishment of a volunteer service to coordinate non-medical volunteers has been established. Ad advanced Medical Post is running in Krakow with the support of the Order of Malta France and Spain.
Romania is also active in different locations: at Sighetu Marmației, Siret and Satu Mare where accommodation and cross border pick-up services for vulnerable people is ensured.
The Order of Malta in Slovakia and Lithuania continue to support the relief operations by distributing aid and organising accommodation to incoming refugees.
The Italian relief corps of the Order of Malta has deployed teams of volunteers to Romania and has delivered relief goods to Ukraine, Hungary and Romania. In addition the Order of Malta Italy is ensuring delivery of goods with the establishment of a logistics centre in Verona. Ordre Malte France has organised the delivery of tons of medicines to various Ukrainian cities.
The Order of Malta Germany has also organised the transport of aid material (including food tents, field kitchens and camp beds) amounting to some 2,610 tons and has evacuated wounded or sick people and disabled children.
Many other national associations of the Order of Malta, across Europe, but also in the United States have offered support by organising fundraising campaigns and shipping humanitarian goods.
All the relief efforts put in place are facilitated by the diplomatic network of the Order of Malta: many of its embassies in the region are currently making sure that aid is delivered timely and that humanitarian staff are protected under the international law rules.