In the three months since the invasion of Ukraine, we have helped more than one hundred thousand people

Published: May 19, 2022 Reading time: 12 minutes
Ukrajinské matce s dítětem jsem poskytli poradenství ohledně humanitární dávky a pomohli ji vyhledat dětského lékaře.
© Lukáš Hanusek

In the past quarter, we have provided aid worth €18,9 million to Ukrainian victims of the war. In Ukraine, we have helped more than 100,000 people. In the east, we are still supplying people with food and hygiene supplies, and we are distributing blankets and drinking water; and in the west equipping refugee collective centres. We are also distributing financial support to the most vulnerable and helping others through an extensive network of local charities. Directly in Ukraine, we have 171 employees working from offices in Lviv, Dnipro, and Kyiv. We also operate material aid warehouses in five locations.

In the Czech Republic, we work in ten Czech regions; we are training Czech teachers to work with children who fled the war; we are running a phone helpline for Ukrainians who have fled here, and we are undertaking other activities to aid Ukrainians. To maximise our effectiveness, we have financially supported 67 other aid organisations working in areas we cannot cover on our own.

Following our SOS UKRAINE emergency appeal, many individual citizens, companies, and foundations have contributed more than €74,9 (CZK 1,851,844,615) to help victims of war. Nearly 500,000 donors have contributed to the relief effort. In addition to this, we are also able to help in Ukraine thanks to the support of institutional donors. Among the most important are the European Union, UN agencies, and several governments.

Read our summary of aid to people affected by the war in Ukraine.




"In the first three months since the invasion of Ukraine, we have been able to help those most in need across the country. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we have become the largest supplier of humanitarian aid to Ukraine in the first month," says Šimon Pánek, Director of People in Need.


Food, hygiene, and blankets for besieged cities and refugees


Just three days after the invasion began, a trio of PIN trucks loaded with humanitarian aid set off for Lviv, where our team had relocated after the invasion. A week later, we dispatched trains loaded with food and other aid to Kyiv and Dnipro. At the same time, we were equipping collective centres for refugees, and our teams provided psychosocial support to those who needed it.

"We are implementing a huge humanitarian aid operation in Ukraine with our partners, such as People in Need. An organisation that was one of the few to get aid to the most needy places at the beginning of the war," said Janez Lenarčič, the European Commissioner for Crisis Management and Humanitarian Aid.

In the first three weeks, we delivered over eight hundred tonnes of aid to Ukraine. PIN trucks gradually reached the besieged city of Sumy, and later also Sievierodonetsk, Bucha, Irpin and Chernihiv. In total, we have dispatched fourteen trains and thirty-six trucks so far.

In the last three weeks, we have delivered food and hygiene supplies to sixteen thousand people in Zaporizhia, Mykolaiv, Dnipro and Kharkiv. We have delivered five hundred mattresses to bomb shelters and medical facilities in Kharkiv. We delivered ten tonnes of food for seven hundred people in the Donetsk Oblast. Another forty tonnes of food and hygiene supplies should arrive in the coming days in the towns of the Donetsk Oblast.

"We are going to gradually replace the import of humanitarian aid by buying goods locally, in areas where the market has already stabilised, so as not to increase prices for locals. In eastern Ukraine, for example, we plan to get locally sourced food aid to 45,000 people. In addition, we are also distributing seeds in western Ukraine to help people make it through the agricultural season, and we have already distributed 15,000 seed kits in the Sumy Oblast. In Chernihiv, we are delivering shelter kits for basic house repairs and also providing financial support to vulnerable groups," said Petr Drbohlav, PIN’s Director of Eastern Partnership and the Balkans.

Ukrainian Emergency Appeal:

We are supplying water to tens of thousands of people


We continue to supply water to tens of thousands of people in eastern Ukraine; we regularly distribute six to ten litres of water per person in jerry cans and bottles. Whilst we try to buy water locally, our trucks from the Czech Republic have also taken bottled water and empty jerry cans to Ukraine.

In the last month, we have delivered water to eighteen thousand five hundred people in Donetsk, Luhansk and Zaporizhia Oblasts. In the Mykolaiv Oblast, we distributed water to thirteen thousand people, and in Kharkiv, we distributed twenty-one thousand litres of bottled water to five thousand people. But drinking water is not a given in western Ukraine either; for example, we will be supplying water pumps to the town of Irpin, near Kyiv, and we are planning to restore the centralised water supply.

"They can decide independently what to spend their money on, and there is no surplus of one thing and no shortage of another," added Petr Drbohlav.

We are equipping collective centres


Within days of the invasion, we began equipping collective centres for internal refugees in western Ukraine. We regularly supply them with pillows, mattresses, blankets, washing machines, and hygiene kits. Last week, more than three thousand internal refugees in the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast received twenty-nine pallets of non-perishable food, fifty sets of bedding, pillows and duvets, towels and other aid.

We have been focusing on collective centres in Zaporizhzhia in southeast Ukraine in recent weeks. We are delivering hygiene supplies, food, mattresses, blankets, washing machines, and other equipment. We are building safe spaces for children to talk to psychologists and to have the opportunity to tutor or join distance learning classes, which are taking place in many schools despite the war.

We are distributing cash for internal refugees


We know from previous conflicts that one of the most effective forms of aid is financial contributions directly to the people who need it. In places where shops operate, people choose what to buy, supporting the local market, and this prevents them from having to sell their items below cost.

"They can decide independently what to spend their money on, and there is no surplus of one thing and no shortage of another," added Petr Drbohlav.

People register for cash assistance on their own or through non-profit organisations that have been working in a particular area for a long time. Based on several criteria, we select the most needy families, who receive the equivalent of about €70 per month. The amount is paid for three months and we aim to financially assist eighteen thousand nine hundred people soon.

We are working through local organisations


Donor contributions also help us work through partner NGOs or volunteer groups in areas where People in Need does not have teams. Over 150 local groups have received financial support from us.

The organisations we support provide food and water supplies for destroyed villages and towns on the front line; they buy mattresses or generators for shelters, distribute hygiene and medical supplies, and offer psychosocial support and tutoring for children. Together, we are working to ensure that aid reaches as many people as possible.

Immediately after the invasion, we began financially supporting ten Ukrainian media outlets. We supported the news site and Babel, the website Detektor media, and seven regional editorial offices, which are essential, especially for older people without internet access.

We have provided substantial support to several organisations with different focuses, such as the 5 AM Coalition, the Ukrainian Helsinki Union for Human Rights (UHU), the Kharkiv Human Rights Group, and the Legal Development Network (LDN), which aim to protect victims, document war crimes and crimes against humanity, combat human rights violations, and much more. We have also assisted two organisations that retrain psychologists, and the DokuDays Ukraine film festival, which is creating a complete archive of war footage.

We have supported the creation of two new centres for internally displaced activists and journalists to continue their work in Lviv and Ternopil. The project includes fellowship programmes that allow civil society organisations to implement their own projects or join established initiatives to assist in alleviating the humanitarian crisis.

In late February and early March, we quickly relocated several dozen foreign activists who had fled oppression in their own country to seek refuge in Ukraine. They were at risk of ill-treatment by the Russian secret services if captured.



We help refugees in ten regions of the Czech Republic and on the helpline

Around 330,000 refugees from Ukraine have arrived in the Czech Republic since the beginning of the war. Throughout this time, we have been dealing with hundreds of requests for help every day. Whilst we naturally deal with emergency needs, we also work on longer-term support for these new arrivals. In addition, we call for systemic solutions to address these issues.

We are involved in direct assistance to refugees in ten out of thirteen regions across the country. We are supporting municipalities, cities, and organisations working with refugees; we are engaged in social work and counselling and also humanitarian aid, we support education, we are working on a decent housing strategy, and we are providing a large amount of analysis to the State and NGOs.

In the field, we are doing individual social work.

In the places with the most significant numbers of Ukrainian citizens, we have created teams of advisors who help newcomers process the necessary documents, obtain humanitarian benefits, and receive food aid. We also help refugees find housing and work, find a doctor, and enrol their children in schools and kindergartens.

Since the beginning of the war, we have hired forty workers from the Czech Republic and Ukraine, such as psychosocial workers and adaptation group teachers. And while in the beginning, we were focused on groups, we are now concentrating on individual social work.

We strive for systemic changes by proposing our own solutions.

As a member of a consortium of NGOs working with migrants, People in Need coordinates with other organisations, we meet regularly with the management of the National Assistance Centre for Ukrainians, we participate in many working groups, and we provide feedback from the field. From the beginning, we have been highlighting the importance of refugee integration. In connection with the increase in demand for accommodation, we have developed our own proposal for a solution to prevent the creation of refugee camps. We have presented an analysis of the distribution of refugees in the country to make sense not only in terms of housing availability, but also job vacancies and school capacity.

Furthermore, we have organised Czech language courses and created a database of volunteers for the future tutoring of Ukrainian schoolchildren, and we are planning to involve female Ukrainian teachers in education.

Thousands are calling the Ukrainian helpline.

Since its launch, our Ukrainian helpline has received thousands of calls. Our teams deal with fifty enquiries a day, some of which take several days to process in cooperation with field workers or volunteers.

We are supporting dozens of organisations with the money we raised

In cases of acute need, we use the money raised to help solve problems that have no other coverage. So far, we have supported sixty-seven other organisations. Another six have applications submitted or money pledged. Our material and financial assistance also goes directly to refugees who need to pay for things like translation of official documents. 

We are supporting education and teaching staff

We run adaptation groups for children, which are important for their integration into the Czech environment. We help families with enrolling their children in nurseries and schools, and we lend laptops to children so that they can join distance learning classes.

We have organised Czech language courses, and we have created a database of volunteers for future tutoring of Ukrainian schoolchildren. In cooperation with the Czech Centre Kyiv, we are also preparing an essential online Czech language course, which will introduce teachers to the professional vocabulary associated with education and also introduce them to the context of Czech schools. We are also working to support Czech teachers who will teach pupils from Ukraine. We have also prepared online courses on challenging behaviour of pupils and students.

Additionally, we have provided a wide range of materials for teachers and pupils on topics related to the war in Ukraine, such as migration, media manipulation, and propaganda.



Within hours of the invasion, countries neighbouring Ukraine experienced an onslaught of people fleeing. Already on Saturday 26 February, our team went to the Slovak border, where they helped to build mobile toilets, heated tents, and distributed hot food to families waiting at border crossings. A few days later we reinforced the existing branch in Moldova and helped in Romania.

Currently, our assistance is focused on Moldova, where over 85,000 refugees from Ukraine remain. Moldova has received the largest number of refugees per capita, and refugees are mostly hosted in private households by ordinary Moldovans themselves. We therefore financially support around 3,500 families in the north and south of Moldova who have taken refugees in. Registration for this type of assistance works by phone, or at town halls and other public places to make sure that people without a connection or mobile phone know about our assistance.

At the same time, seventeen non-profit organisations involved in refugee assistance have received financial grants from us. Thanks to this support, they can provide psychosocial support to children and their parents, help children with disabilities, and purchase material and food aid.

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.

*cover photo: Lukáš Hanusek. We advised a Ukrainian mother with a child on humanitarian benefits and helped her find a paediatrician.

Author: PIN

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