From the Field

Ukraine crisis: Facts, FAQs, and how to help

The intensification of the war in Ukraine since February 24, 2022, has deeply affected a generation of the country’s population: its children. Many have lost family members and loved ones, been injured, or faced drastic disruptions to their lives. Forced to leave their homes and communities, unable to attend school, and living in unsafe environments, children continue to experience challenges no one should have to face. Their needs are expected to become even more pressing with the continuation of harsh conditions.

Ukraine crisis: Facts, FAQs, and how to help

Find answers to frequently asked questions about the war in Ukraine, and learn how to help children and their families.

Fast facts: Ukraine crisis

  • The conflict in Ukraine has displaced over 3.6 million people within the country and forced approximately 6.3 million others to seek refuge abroad as of January 2024.
  • The need for humanitarian assistance will remain substantial in 2024, with some 14.6 million people needing humanitarian aid and protection, according to the U.N. Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
  • The war has sparked economic shocks and disruption with global ramifications, impacting people in poverty and contributing to an escalating global hunger crisis.
  • Since the escalation of conflict in February 2022, children have faced immense physical and emotional challenges, with disruptions affecting education for more than 5 million.
  • As of February 2023, approximately 1.5 million children were at risk of mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • In response to the war, World Vision has provided life-saving aid, shelter, child protection, and other essentials to over 1.5 million people affected by the crisis in Ukraine, Romania, Moldova, and Georgia as of November 2023.

BACK TO QUESTIONS

Ukrainian refugees in Moldova. Dressed in winter gear, the father embraces his two children while the mother holds a baby.
Ivan and Elena, along with their three children, Peotr, Ivan, and Violeta (shown left to right), have resettled in Moldova after their home in southern Ukraine was destroyed by bombing. However, Ivan struggled to find work in a region with limited job opportunities. World Vision’s partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP), local officials, and Moldovan host families provide financial aid and housing to Ukrainian refugees like Ivan. But both refugees and host families are feeling financial pressure as the conflict continues. World Vision is also supporting Ivan’s host, Petru, and other host families with resources to cover the costs of supporting refugees. (©2023 World Vision/photo by Laurentia Jora)

What is the current situation in Ukraine?

The situation in Ukraine remains dire due to ongoing hostilities since February 2022, resulting in widespread forced displacement and increased humanitarian needs across the region, especially during the winter months.

Areas affected by the conflict face critical food security challenges as continued air strikes and bombings have caused extensive damage. Many people are living in damaged buildings without basic necessities like electricity, water, or heat. Access to essential services such as food, healthcare, education, and protection remains a daily struggle for countless citizens.

Destruction of the Kakhovka dam

A Ukrainian woman wearing tall work boots stands in the ruins of her home.
Olena, a Ukrainian mother of three, inside her wrecked home a month after the collapse of the dam at the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Station in southern Ukraine on June 6, 2023. Through our partnership with Save Ukraine, Olena was among the 22,976 people we reached with vital aid during the emergency. (©2023 World Vision/photo by Save Ukraine)

The breach of the dam at the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Station on June 6, 2023, triggered a significant humanitarian and ecological crisis, leading to widespread flooding and water contamination. It also scattered and displaced explosive devices that had been used in recent armed conflict. This disaster has severely impacted the Kherson region, causing damage to industrial facilities. Immediate needs for affected communities included access to clean water, sanitation, food, healthcare, and hygiene products.

World Vision, in collaboration with partners, swiftly responded by delivering aid, providing essential food supplies and hygiene kits to those affected by the floods. We also distributed informational leaflets to alert people in affected communities about the dangers of the displaced mines and explosives.

BACK TO QUESTIONS

How many people are affected by the war in Ukraine?

According to the United Nations (U.N.), 14.3 million people will need humanitarian aid and protection in 2024. In addition to the approximately 6.3 million refugees remaining outside Ukraine, an estimated 3.6 million people are still displaced within the besieged nation.

BACK TO QUESTIONS

A young child with blond hair and light blue pajamas looks directly at the camera as his mother, whose arms are around him, looks in the other direction.
David, pictured at 1, rests in his mother’s arms after receiving care in a hospital in Ukraine to which World Vision delivered food and medical supplies on March 6, 2022. David’s mother, Olga, said the family fled their hometown in the Kyiv region seeking safety from the escalating conflict. “We’ve been staying in the country for several days,” Olga says. “After the second bombing, we decided to leave. We were hiding in the underground shelters.” Olga said she turned to the hospital after David developed a temperature and seemed unwell. David’s health was improving, and his family also found support and shelter at the medical facility. (©2022 World Vision/photo by Brianna Piazza)

What are the impacts of the crisis in Ukraine?

With over 6 million fleeing Ukraine and millions more displaced within the country, this has become one of the largest and fastest-evolving displacement crises in the world today. It is also one of the bloodiest conflicts in Europe since World War II.

The war has devastated the lives of Ukrainian children and families and has created economic disruptions impacting child poverty far beyond Eastern Europe. It continues to threaten regional stability and has sharply raised humanitarian needs.

U.N. agencies have observed a dramatic increase in global hunger, which was already on the rise, as conflict has complicated the delivery of crucial food exports from Ukraine.

BACK TO QUESTIONS

A Ukrainian mother lifts the hood of a new jacket over her son’s head as he zips up the winter coat
In Chernivtsi, Ukraine, Lyudmyla, a mother of five, helps her son with a new winter coat. The family received help staying warm in the winter because of a World Vision–supported cash assistance program that helps families pay for coats, shoes, and other necessities. (©2022 World Vision/photo by Oleksandra Shapkina)

How are children being impacted by the war in Ukraine?

The conflict in Ukraine has exacted a heavy toll on children, leaving approximately 4.1 million in need of humanitarian aid as of late November 2023, according to UNICEF. These children face extreme vulnerabilities, including significant mental and emotional stress, compounded by disruptions to their education and loss of homes and family support due to war.

Tragically, the violence has led to the deaths and injuries of more than 1,500 children, as documented by the U.N.

“I woke up hearing the bombs dropped in our small village located near Borodyanka,” said Nina, who with her two sisters endured shelling in northwest Kyiv, one of the first areas to be hit by airstrikes in late February 2022. Bombings forced the local school to shutter. The family, terrified of the fighting, stayed inside their home for one month. “It was a terrible time. During my visit with our next-door neighbors, we were all crying,” added Oksana, Nina’s sister.

World Vision’s programming through a local partner helped support children like Nina and her sisters with ongoing psycho-social care in Borodyanka.

BACK TO QUESTIONS

A young boy in a tan sweatsuit and a woman with long brown hair play with toys.
Yullia and her son, Marat (pictured at 3), play at World Vision’s Child-Friendly Space at Romexpo. For more than 30 years, World Vision has been active in Romania and currently supports refugees from Ukraine as well as host communities and institutions with 19 partners in 10 municipalities. (©2022 World Vision/photo by Christopher Lete)

What’s World Vision doing to help people affected by the war in Ukraine?

Since the onset of the conflict, World Vision has continuously supported the most vulnerable people with life-saving aid, shelter, child protection, and other essentials, bringing our global expertise in partnering to respond to the Ukraine crisis.

Operating across every administrative region, known as oblasts, in Ukraine, World Vision collaborates with trusted local and international partners — including the WFP and UNICEF — to assist conflict-affected communities. We’ve also implemented a cash assistance program managed by partners in Ukraine, Romania, Moldova, and Georgia.

Beyond immediate relief efforts, our focus extends to long-term support, such as offering psychosocial services and educational programs for children and adults. These efforts involve education programming, child protection and mental health services, livelihood support, and more.

BACK TO QUESTIONS

Team sets up tables in front of a trailer that says "free connectivity" and has logos for World Vision, N50, and ComputerAid
Staff from World Vision, Computer Aid, and Geeks Without Frontiers set up a mobile CommsHub at Romexpo in Bucharest, Romania. The mobile hub helps refugees connect to the internet to gather information and services, plan their onward journeys, and communicate with loved ones who are still in Ukraine. (©2022 World Vision/photo by Brianna Piazza)

How many people has World Vision helped since the start of the war in Ukraine?

We’ve been responding since the first week of the crisis. As of December 31, 2023, our staff have provided essentials for over 1.6 million people across the region. Here are some highlights:

  • 541,552 people have received emergency food assistance.
  • 97,653 people have received temporary shelter assistance.
  • 318,307 people have been reached with hygiene kits.
  • 107,796 people have benefited from mental health and psychosocial activities.
  • 89,096 children have been supported with child protection programs.
  • 253,469 children have benefitted from educational programs.

In Ukraine, our efforts have supported over 1,020,038 people, nearly half of whom are children.

In Romania, we’ve provided more than 301,114 people with support, including food, shelter, protection resources, and education and hygiene kits.

In Moldova, 263,631 people have been reached through our programming. We continue to support Moldovan families hosting refugees in 17 districts through our partnership with WFP.

In Georgia, we’ve helped support over 23,419 people with education, child protection, and programming, including vouchers for food, hygiene, clothing, and pharmacy costs.

Adorned with a red rose wreath, a blonde woman proudly lifts a hexagon-shaped box filled with dried fruits.
Olga, a Ukrainian refugee and mother of two, showcases her traditional fruit confectionery, pastillas, at Eco-Local Farmers Market in Moldova in December 2023. Following a month-long training program, the “Treats from Ukrainian Artisans” event opened opportunities for refugees like Olga to exhibit and sell their unique products, promoting cultural exchange and community unity. Supported by World Vision and partners WeWorld and Katalyst Kitchens, the initiative seeks to foster self-reliance, social integration, and entrepreneurship among refugees in Moldova. (©2023 World Vision/photo by Eugene Combo)

BACK TO QUESTIONS

How can I help people impacted by the crisis in Ukraine?

  • Pray: Join us in praying for the most vulnerable communities affected by the war in Ukraine.
  • Give: Become a vital partner in World Vision’s work to deliver help and hope to refugees and displaced children and families.

BACK TO QUESTIONS

Disaster Relief

View All Stories
A young girl with dark hair and brown eyes looks at the camera. A dish of fruit rests on the table in a dark room.
From the Field

Lesser-known crises and World Vision’s impact

A farmer tending to his crops with a raised hoe on the lush, terraced hills in northern Rwanda.
From the Field

From disaster response to partnership for lasting change

Eastern Europe

View All Stories
A young girl with dark hair and brown eyes looks at the camera. A dish of fruit rests on the table in a dark room.
From the Field

Lesser-known crises and World Vision’s impact

A woman squats to give a smiling young girl a loving, motherly kiss.
Prayers

Matthew 25: Prayer for women and girls