In March, HEKS/EPER provided emergency aid in Kharkiv where food was distributed to local people in the tunnels of the subway system. Over the following weeks, HEKS/EPER extended emergency aid to the south of the country to support the most vulnerable population groups who had no opportunity to flee. HEKS/EPER has been operating as close to the front line as possible in six oblasts: Odessa, Kharkiv, Mykolaiv, Kherson, Dnipropetrovsk and Donetsk. In December, the team consisted of 42 people, including 16 expats. Around 416,000 vulnerable Ukrainians have received aid in Ukraine.
In the tense and unstable situation where people had to leave and flee their homes due to combat operations, HEKS/EPER asked survivors and municipalities directly about their needs. This meant aid was provided in a targeted way and longer-term challenges were taken into account. As well as cash, repair kits were distributed so that windows and holes in walls could be sealed and houses made habitable again.
In Transcarpathia in western Ukraine where lots of people have fled the bombing, HEKS/EPER is supporting longstanding church partner organisations. The churches have provided reception centres and medical supplies and are supporting displaced persons by distributing bread and soup.
Winter aid to endure the cold
In winter, temperatures drop down to -20 °C, giving the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine another dimension and could become a matter of survival for millions of people. The targeted missile attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure have now left around 10 million people without electricity, water and heating. As well as distributing hygiene kits, food and water supplies, HEKS/EPER also provides aid in the form of blankets and warm clothing. Heating stoves and wood briquettes are being issued to heat summer houses that have no heating of their own.