We deliver food to thousands of people near the war front, as well as providing psychosocial support. In the Czech republic, we focus on the most vulnerable

Published: Jul 21, 2022 Reading time: 10 minutes
We deliver food to thousands of people near the war front, as well as providing psychosocial support. In the Czech republic, we focus on the most vulnerable
© Foto: Člověk v tísni

Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we have provided aid worth more than 27 million of euro to the victims. Our Ukrainian team of 190 employees works in 23 out of 24 oblasts and has helped more than 317,000 people. On the edge of the frontline in the Donetsk and Kharkiv oblast, we have supplied 20,000 people with emergency food assistance over the past month, while also delivering drinking water to the affected communities on a regular basis. In the liberated areas, we are repairing water pipes and starting houses repairs. We also support reparations of collective centres so that people will have a place to spend the coming winter. Finally, a mobile team of fourteen psychologists is providing psychosocial support to internally displaced people, and another ten psychologists are assisting through a telephone hotline. Additional psychological assistance is provided by partner organisations that People in Need supports financially.

In the Czech Republic, together with our partner organisations, we have directly supported over 55,000 people fleeing the war with SOS Ukraine Emergency Appeal. We have been helping in ten regions for a long time, and we have recently launched a scholarship programme for high school students.

Read the latest summary about People in Need's assistance in Ukraine and in the Czech Republic.




We’ve sent nearly 50 humanitarian trucks and delivered water to towns on the front line

Aid worth €18 million

Over the past five months, 16 trains and 46 trucks have already delivered food, hygiene items, blankets and other essential items to Ukraine, and a total of 15 more trucks with humanitarian aid will leave for Ukraine by the end of this month.

The situation and the needs of the people vary from region to region. Tens of thousands of people remain in towns in the Donetsk or Kharkiv oblast in eastern Ukraine, often having to take refuge in shelters and basements because of intense shelling. In towns along the front line, trade is limited and people have lost their sources of income. For the most vulnerable in the Zaporizhzhia oblast, we have delivered emergency food assistance for 1,600 people and hygiene kits for more than 10,000 people. In the Donetsk oblast, we’ve delivered food for almost 20,000 people and in the Kharkiv oblast, we’ve delivered food to three thousand people, along with hygiene kits.

In the Donetsk oblast and along the entire front line, water is still one of the main problems. In some places, there has been no water for several weeks or even months.

"When you turn on the tap, it runs yellow. Filtration stations that purify the water are under fire," says Petr Štefan, who returned from Ukraine at the end of June.

In cooperation with local organisations, we supply water to the most inaccessible areas. We deliver water in six-litre barrels, traditional bottled water in PET bottles, and when possible, we install tanks into which drinking water can then loaded so that people can come and get it. In the last month alone, 1,760 people have come for bottled water in the Donetsk oblast.

We are also continue to support 180 collective centres housing internally displaced people. We also help people when it comes to returning to their homes. We have brought food to the Chernivtsi oblast for five thousand people. In two collective centres in the Lviv region, we are delivering hot meals twice a day in cooperation with a partner organisation, and 500 people in total will continue to be fed in this way for the foreseeable future. Additionally, we’re also assisted more than 11,000 internally displaced people who are not in collective centres but who have received assistance from us in the form of food kits.

We are also helping in the Zakarpattia oblast, where we work with local authorities, our partner organisation Přeshranice and People in Need Slovakia. Together we are building long-term housing for almost 500 people who no longer have homes, but do not want to leave Ukraine. In addition to housing, we are also providing food for nearly 1,000 people living in collective centres. If we are not able to provide aid ourselves, local charities or volunteer groups help with our financial support. In total, we have supported 160 partners across Ukraine in this way.

But it’s not just water, food or funds. We are already thinking about what winter will look like in Ukraine and developing programmes to plan for repairs to water mains so that water can flow into homes. Long-term repairs to houses will be necessary, since in many cases, people have nowhere to return to.

We are providing psychosocial assistance on the ground

Aid worth €77 thousand

In Ukraine, we run a psychosocial hotline where people can call and discuss their problems with a psychologist. We also offer help in the form of mobile teams.

"The collective centres are visited by a psychosocial team that comes in to help people in the form of group or individual therapy with the trauma that they are taking away from the conflict," says Petr Štefan.

Our colleagues in Ukraine work mainly in centres with internally displaced people. Olena Kravtsova, the coordinator of People in Need's psychosocial activities in Ukraine, leads a mobile team of 14 psychologists who provide psychological support in four oblasts, and 10 psychologists on a national helpline. "The psychologists on the helpline receive up to 50 calls a day. The number of calls has increased by more than 73%," she says, describing the situation after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Kravtsova adds that people will still need psychological support for at least another five years after the war is over.

In addition to the helpline works throughout Ukraine and mobile teams in Lviv, Ternopil, Kirovograd and Dnipro oblasts, we provide support through our partners in three other oblasts: Mykolaiv, Khmelnytska, and Chernivetska oblasts. 

We also help the most vulnerable people financially

Aid worth €6 million

Where business and markets work, we provide financial assistance. This enables people to plan their own purchases and get exactly what they need most.

"The most vulnerable families who cannot help themselves are given the equivalent of €70 in hryvnia every month for three months, so that they can buy according to their own needs and thus kick-start the local economy," adds coordinator Petr Štefan.

More than 35,000 people have already registered for this form of aid, and People in Need's expert teams select the most vulnerable based on a number of criteria and experience from other war conflicts. A total of 27,000 of the 35,000 most vulnerable people have already received a donation in the first month.

Unemployment is a major problem in the areas where people are returning. A large number of people have already returned to some towns, but do not have jobs. In the meantime, many local factories and mines have closed, and many people are out of work, and thus, without any income.

Support people in Ukraine:


Aid worth €2 million

In the Czech Republic, we have helped more than 55,000 refugees so far in cooperation with other organisations from the SOS Ukraine Emergency Appeal and the number continues to grow every day. Within the framework of our services, we have supported 12,600 refugees, a total of 9,343 adults and 3,257 children. We have also helped another 4,290 people through our Ukrainian helpline.

Most often we help in the area of social counselling, but we also work with children, mediate health care or provide necessary material support. "In order to fulfil the objectives of the SOS Ukraine Emergency Appeal, i.e. help refugees from war-torn Ukraine, we have entered into partnerships and cooperation with other helping entities, especially in areas where we do not operate regionally or do not have the relevant capacity - health care, more massive food aid, etc.," says Zuzana Ramajzlová, head of SOS Ukraine in the Czech Republic.

We monitor the situation and offer support based on specific needs

In order to reach the most vulnerable and to help where we are not physically present, we provide financial assistance to 106 entities and partner organisations. To date, they have supported 38,630 Ukrainian refugees across the country with direct work.

Our field teams provide social work and counselling in 10 regions throughout the Czech Republic where we organise or coordinate help centres for refugees. Recently, we have also supported the activities of community centres in the Pardubice Region. We monitor the situation in mass hostels that addresses the situations of refugees, mostly women with children and the elderly. We protect refugees from abuse in the housing and labour market and provide psychological assistance.

In Prague, we have helped provide humanitarian aid to mothers with young children. We focus on the most vulnerable refugees who have, for example, health problems or other special needs. We also have delivered basic humanitarian aid and provided social work for Roma refugees from Ukraine. We work with the National Centre against Organised Crime to collect testimonies about war crimes.

We help with housing, health and education issues on the helpline

The Ukrainian Helpline team (available at +420 770 600 800) continues to help address the requests of dozens of callers every day. Most of the needs are related to housing, but we also address health complications. A new education specialist is now available on the helpline.

We are involved in working groups, we participate in systemic changes

We continue to cooperate with the Consortium of NGOs Working with Migrants, and we meet regularly with the leadership of the National Assistance Centre for Ukrainians. "We are involved in most of the working groups. In the field of education, for example, we have promoted the system of adaptation groups and Ukrainian assistants. In the area of housing, we support the meaningful setup and support of “solidarity households” and social housing for refugees. We are also involved in crisis management and the coordination of regional assistance centres," says Jan Černý, Director of Social and Educational Programmes in the Czech Republic.

We support education, launching a scholarship programme for high school students

We support work with pre-school children and their mothers, for example in a new community centre in Olomouc. We involve Ukrainian children in leisure activities and continue to work in adaptation groups. We help children of all ages with Czech language.

We are preparing a strategy for the new school year to help as many children as possible to enter the school environment as effectively as possible. We will continue to work on supporting both Ukrainian and Czech teachers.

In September, we are launching a pilot SOS Ukraine Scholarship programme for young refugees in difficult socio-economic situations who are at risk of dropping out of School. The programme is open to Ukrainian students enrolled in Czech secondary schools or studying via distance learning in Ukrainian secondary schools. If they meet the conditions, students have the chance to earn a monthly scholarship of up to CZK 1 500 (€ 61). The program will include regular individual cooperation with our staff members and Czech language tutoring. Other support programs are also in the pipeline. On the topic of how to make it easier for young migrants to study at Czech secondary schools, we’ve already organised round table discussions with the participants and representatives from the Czech Ministry of Education, as well as from various regions and schools.


Aid worth €277,000

In Moldova, we financially support families who have provided shelter for those fleeing the war. At the same time, we are also support a helpline that provides psychosocial support in Ukrainian and Russian to those most in need, as well as information about their rights and access to social and health services in Moldova. In the form of grants, we have supported 17 local partner NGOs that provide assistance to refugees.

People in Need’s assistance to people in Ukraine is possible thanks to donations from the public and private sector to PIN Ukraine Emergency Appeal, financial contributions from Alliance2015, CARE, Stichting Vluchteling, King Baudouin Foundation, Avast Endowment Fund – Stichting Avast and partnership with international non-governmental organizations and institutional donors European Union, Ukraine Humanitarian Fund, USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic or World Food Programme.

*introductory photo: A small village near Korosten in the Zhytomyr region was one of the first to be attacked during the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This family's house was completely burned down by a rocket during the fighting. They lost everything.

Autor: PIN

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