Helfen Sie Ukrainerinnen auf der Flucht
András D. Hajdú
War in Ukraine

Your solidarity is required!

War in Ukraine: HEKS/EPER provides emergency aid

Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine with undiminished military force. The civilian population has become the target of this gruesome war. Millions of people are holding out in the war zone, while more than three million have already fled into neighbouring countries. HEKS/EPER has launched a two-million-franc humanitarian aid programme that will also assist people who have fled Ukraine for neighbouring countries and for Switzerland.

Emergency aid in Ukraine

HEKS/EPER is supporting the "Reformed Church in Transcarpathia" in western Ukraine in its work of caring for the elderly and for people with disabilities, even in this difficult situation. Many of them have stayed behind, while mostly women and children have left the country. Moreover, the church has been organizing accommodation for refugees from the contested regions and providing them with the vital necessities. Some 250,000 people have meanwhile sought sanctuary in Transcarpathia, and finding accommodation is becoming an ever greater challenge.

HEKS/EPER partners from Hungary and Romania are also supplying urgently needed goods to western Ukraine, and HEKS/EPER is currently exploring ways of delivering more support to internally displaced people.

With a humanitarian team stationed in Odessa, HEKS/EPER has been scaling up emergency aid measures since 11 March. The aim is to provide people in the contested cities in southern and eastern Ukraine with the most essential items: food, emergency packages, and medicines. The HEKS/EPER team is currently mounting a cash support programme in Cherson for internally displaced people and households affected by the conflict. The team is also working on internal supply lines: food items such as potatoes, tomatoes or cereal are bought from farmers in Odessa and sent by rail to cities being especially impacted by the war in the east and south of the country.

HEKS leistet Nothilfe in der Ukraine
HEKS/Tom Robinson

Emergency aid in neighboring countries

Emergency aid at the Romanian border

In Romania, HEKS/EPER is working with Diaconia, the Open Fields Foundation and a network of social organizations (FONNS). HEKS/EPER is now present at the three border crossings in Siret, Halmeu und Sighetu and in the cities of Iași and Satu Mare. Refugees are being received and given assistance, in close cooperation with civil society groups and the authorities. Their most pressing needs are shelter, food and medical care. At the Iași railway station, FONSS operates a welcome centre with the help of volunteers. A reception centre has also been installed in one of the city’s administrative buildings with a capacity of 400 persons. There, HEKS/EPER is caring for children, organizing mobile showers, washing machines, clothes dryers and meals.

Now it needs your solidarity!

The price for this war is once again being paid by the civilian population, who have lost their homes or their security. Several million people are currently in need of humanitarian aid. Please support us in alleviating their suffering. Thank you very much for your donation.

Assistance in Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic

In Hungary, HEKS/EPER is operating a cash project to support the work of the "Refugee Service of the Hungarian Reformed Church" at border points and major railway stations in Budapest. Refugees receive cash, with which they can buy food, toiletries and medicines, pay for communications with their relatives, or help fund their onward travel. The Refugee Service also arranges longer-term accommodation possibilities for refugees and is building up an integration assistance programme under which, for example, children can quickly resume school attendance, and psycho-social support is provided.

In Slovakia, the "Diaconia of the Reformed Church" has erected a tent at the Vysné Nemecké border crossing, where refugees are given warm meals and are able to rest and organize their onward journey. Volunteers are also organizing accommodation options for refugees wishing to stay in the region.

The Czech Republic too has become a country of transit and destination for Ukrainian refugees. HEKS/EPER is supporting the refugee work of the "Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren" (ECCB).

Assistance in Switzerland

In Switzerland too, HEKS/EPER is supporting people who have fled Ukraine. All refugees must be provided first and foremost with safe accommodation. HEKS/EPER works closely with federal authorities, cantons and charities in that regard, under the coordination of the Swiss Refugee Council (SRC). 
First, people are required, upon arrival, to register at one of the Federal Asylum Centres (FACs), where they receive information and shelter. In eastern Switzerland and in Basel, HEKS/EPER is responsible for placing refugees with host families. Refugees arriving at the federal asylum centres in Basel and Altstätten and are assigned by HEKS/EPER professionals to host families who have signed up to provide private accommodation.
The second step addresses the long-term monitoring of refugees and host families. The provision of needs-based support for refugees in Switzerland under current HEKS/EPER programmes is now being explored.
Hilfe für Geflüchtete in der Schweiz
HEKS_Gabriela Alfanz

Practical information

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