Russia-Ukraine: International armed conflict

Two years since the escalation of international armed conflict in Ukraine, the devastation continues to affect every aspect of people's lives. Many of the millions who fled are unable to return, and those who remain face dire conditions, with limited access to water, heat, health care and other essential services. The impacts on people's mental health, inside or outside of Ukraine, continue to grow. A recent study, commissioned by the IFRC found that more than half of people affected still have urgent unmet needs that force many to assume debt or to accept underpaid, marginalized or dangerous employment. This Emergency Appeal helps the IFRC support the Ukrainian Red Cross and other National Societies in the region who are standing side-by-side with communities, providing crucial and long-term humanitarian aid to meet a wide range of needs, from cash support to mental health services.

After a bridge to Demydiv, Ukraine was damaged in hostilities in April 2022, Ukrainian Red Cross emergency response team volunteers built a crossing over the river and helped evacuate more than 15,000 people.

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Two years on, humanitarian needs only growing

Healing the invisible wounds of conflict and upheaval

A Ukrainian Red Cross Society volunteer comforts a woman from Ukraine affected by the ongoing international armed conflict in February 2023.

A Ukrainian Red Cross Society volunteer comforts a woman from Ukraine affected by the ongoing international armed conflict in February 2023.

Photo: Ukrainian Red Cross Society

The kind of life-changing upheaval caused by armed conflict can have enormous impact on people’s mental well-being. Red Cross and Red Crescent staff and volunteers, therefore, not only provide essential material support but also mental health and psychosocial support that is critical to helping people cope and recover. 

Sometimes it’s just a listening ear: helping people to heal invisible wounds and breaking down the stigmas that often make people wary of seeking out mental health services. At times it means providing a safe place or phone hotlines where people can turn to when they need to talk.

This is why National Red Cross Societies in Ukraine and 24 other European countries have united with the IFRC and the IFRC Psychosocial Support Centre to provide vital mental health and psychosocial support services. Funded by the European Union’s EU4Health initiative, these services include special hotlines staffed by trained specialists who speak Ukrainian. Some of those who offer or who coordinate these services are themselves refugees

'We've helped 18 million' but needs are still immense

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