By Vatican News staff reporter

August 26 2022

On the day marking six months since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, Caritas Internationalis launches a new appeal for peace, drawing attention to the high cost of the war in terms of human lives and the heavy consequences both at the local and global levels.

As Ukraine marks six months since the Russian invasion began on February 24, and its Independence Day, Caritas Internationalis adds its voice in calling for “immediate peace” giving Ukrainians the “chance to start rebuilding their lives and their country”.

“This conflict has continued for so long,” says Caritas Internationalis Secretary General Aloysius John, “but unfortunately, the political will to unconditionally end the violence continues to be lacking.”

Devastating impact of the conflict at the international level

Mr. John also emphasises the devastating impact of the conflict at the international level.

“This war is contributing to an unprecedented global economic and humanitarian crisis, with food insecurity dramatically escalating and prices of essential goods skyrocketing. As always, it is the poorest and most vulnerable who are paying the highest price.”

Ongoing support to Caritas Ukraine and Caritas Spes-Ukraine

The interntional confederation of Catholic relief, development and social service organizations continues to sustain Caritas Ukraine and Caritas Spes-Ukraine, which have been supporting the population since the outbreak of the war.

The two Ukrainian Caritas organisations have provided humanitarian assistance to more than 3.5 million people through more than 50 local centers across the country.

More than 2.8 million meals and food packages, and over 900,000 hygiene kits have been distributed. Some 300,000 people have been assisted to find housing. About 100,000 people received medicine and medical assistance. At the same time, psycho-social support services and legal assistance have been ensured. In many of the Caritas centres, children’s areas have also been set up, and educational programmes provided.

Support from neighbouring Caritas organisations

Caritas organisations in neighbouring countries – such as Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Slovakia, and Hungary – have also been active in welcoming and providing assistance to the millions of refugees fleeing the war.

The Caritas response to the conflict has been immediate and has continued to grow and adapt to the increasing needs of the population.

“Our operations have not slowed down. On the contrary, they have become more extensive and more organised,” says Tetiana Stawnychy, President of Caritas Ukraine. “In the first days, we were helped by the generosity of local people, then we gradually expanded the number of our centres from 19 to 37, also involving 448 parish centres. Each of these centres has staff or volunteers who work tirelessly.”

Caritas Spes-Ukraine has also significantly increased its outreach in the six months of conflict and now has 24 local offices and operates in 23 regions of the country, including conflict areas.

Father Vyacheslav Grynevych, Secretary General of Caritas Spes, emphasises the valuable support offered by the entire Caritas Confederation and its benefactors. “During these six months of war, we have seen many destroyed faces and heard many dramatic stories; but thanks to solidarity, we have been able to continue our work.” – Vatican News

 

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