The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has triggered a war that is having devastating humanitarian effects. It has led to the displacement of the population, both within Ukraine and on the borders of neighboring countries. As people are evicted from large cities and head to borders, they often bring only what they can carry with them. Many refugees end up traveling long distances on foot due to the limited operation of transport systems and damage to infrastructure such as roads and bridges. When they reach the borders, they find long lines of people. Some have had to wait up to 20 hours.
In partnership with the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in Romania and ADRA Ukraine, the Norwegian Refugee Council is supporting “Hope for Ukraine,” an initiative that seeks to assist Ukrainian refugees fleeing from conflict zones. The initiative provides for the essential needs of refugees, including food, personal hygiene items, and clothing items adapted to climatic conditions, among others.
Beneficiaries of the initiative, which is part of the organization mission to “Assist socially disadvantaged people,” are 10,000 Ukrainians who have fled from their home towns, ADRA Romania leaders reported.
The 30-day special push began on March 16, 2022, ADRA leaders said, as the Adventist humanitarian agency and its partners seek to make the whole traumatic process more bearable for those who flee from conflict areas.
ADRA Romania reported that the Norwegian Refugee Council is supporting the project with US$100,000, as several agencies partner to assist a group that comprises women, children, and babies, people with disabilities, the elderly, and vulnerable people. The agency said that no fixed criterion has been established, as all those who travel to the borders are vulnerable. ADRA, however, “will target locations where more vulnerable people gather or where there are those who travel on foot,” the agency said. “Under the project, beneficiaries will receive ready-to-eat food that can be cooked or prepared in the busiest border points, water, teas, hygiene kits, and tent heating units.”
The key is moving as fast as possible, ADRA Romania project manager Bogdan Stănică emphasized. “We want to be fast and reach a large number of beneficiaries, so they are free, as much as possible, from worries generated by lack of food or hygiene items,” Stănică said. “We want to provide for their immediate needs, so they can focus on their plans for the future.”
The Norwegian Refugee Council is a non-governmental humanitarian organization that protects the rights of people affected by displacement. It includes refugees and internally displaced persons who are forced to flee their homes as a result of conflicts, human rights violations, and acute violence, as well as climate change and natural disasters.
Established in 1990, ADRA Romania is especially involved in development projects that benefit the entire population under its motto “Justice. Mercy. Love.” The agency promotes a better future, values, and human dignity. An accredited social services provider, ADRA Romania is part of the ADRA International network, the global humanitarian organization of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, which is active in 118 countries. ADRA assists people without regard to racial, ethnic, political, or religious difference, with the mission to serve humanity so all may live as God intended.
The original version of this story was posted by the Adventist Development and Relief Agency in Romania.