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Western Ukraine: HI staff, Jeremie, describes the humanitarian situation


Jeremie, coordinator of Humanity & Inclusion's programs, describes the humanitarian situation in western Ukraine.

Medyka, Poland. Alla (in the wheelchair) and her family arrive at Medyka after crossing the border from Ukraine to Poland.

Medyka, Poland. Alla (in the wheelchair) and her family arrive at Medyka after crossing the border from Ukraine to Poland. | © Tom Nicholson / HI

Chernivsti, a city of refuge

"Humanity & Inclusion (HI) has a team in Chernivsti, in the southwest of Ukraine, a few kilometers from the border with Romania. The city has not yet been directly affected by the conflict, although sirens can be heard regularly through the day. Until this week, only one alert had been heard since the beginning of the conflict.

This changed on Monday, when air raid sirens were heard six times, then a dozen of times on Tuesday. This forces us to take shelter underground. Locals are working to protect the public infrastructure and the city’s historic monuments. It is a strange atmosphere...

Many Ukrainians come to Chernivsti to escape the violence. For the moment, most of them are welcomed by relatives; and many continue their journey to nearby Romania or Moldova.

Helping Ukrainians with disabilities

Jérémie, HI coordinator in UkraineIn Chernivsti, we are helping people with disabilities who are often forgotten in crisis situations, and can have a hard time reaching safety. For example, how do you flee fighting when you are in a wheelchair? When you are deaf or hard of hearing, how are you warned of an air raid siren? When you are a person with learning disabilities, is information on humanitarian aid or evacuation plans adapted to your needs?

In Ukraine, people with disabilities live mostly in institutions. You don't see them included in public life, so it is not always easy to identify them and to get in touch with them. We are supporting a center for people with disabilities in Chernivsti, as the center has doubled its capacity. The center welcomes many or older people coming from centers affected by the fighting. HI provides residents with mobility aids like crutches and wheelchairs. We also provide the center with hygiene items, such as incontinence diapers or bedpans ."

Date published: 03/24/22


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