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Caritas: The situation in Ukraine is “sometimes not visible”

2015-07-21

Since early 2014, Ukraine has been in a nearly constant state of unrest. The president was ousted following major protests, and a new government was installed.

However, Ukraine has not fared well since then. Ten-thousand people were displaced after the Russian annexation of Crimea, and things only grew worse when the war in eastern Ukraine began.

Today, there are about 1.2 million people who have had to leave their homes because of violence in the European country. Caritas Ukraine is doing what it can to help.

ANDRIY WASKOVYCH
President, Caritas Ukraine
"We are giving shelter to the people. We are distributing food to people. We are distributing clothes to people and medicine to people, just to give them the possibility to survive. This was very important, especially during the winter time.”

Hundreds of thousands of children in the country have witnessed terrible violence and urgently need psychological care to help them cope. 

PETRO MATIASZEK
Caritas Ukraine
"Well, a lot of the children who have been displaced, a large number of those, have actually seen horrific violence first-hand. And therefore when they are resettled in new locations around Ukraine, that psychological trauma obviously follows them.”

Despite the tragedy, members of Caritas Ukraine said that they were proud of the Ukrainian people. They have a profound desire to be self-sufficient and overcome their problems.

PETRO MATIASZEK
Caritas Ukraine
"Ukrainians have a strong sense of taking care of themselves, since there is a very deep cynicism about what government should provide them with or what government even wants to provide them with. So therefore many Ukrainians grow their own food to supplement that which they can purchase in the marketplace. There's also been a large wave of volunteerism that has been expressed over the past year. So there's a high capacity to cope.”

The organization's greatest fear is that the international community may forget about Ukraine. While the people there are helping each other, they still need support to lift themselves out of the terrible conditions that the war has wrought.

ANDRIY WASKOVYCH
President, Caritas Ukraine
"For us, it's very important that people see this situation in Ukraine. That people see that Ukraine suffers from a big humanitarian crisis. And this crisis is sometimes not visible.”

A ceasefire agreement was signed in February, but violence continues. And so long as the country is torn apart by war, Caritas Ukraine will be urgently needed. 


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