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Our work in Ukraine – flexibility is key

21 August 2023

Ukraine progress

A year and a half into the Ukraine conflict, we continue to work through our partners DePaul Ukraine and Caritas Ukraine to bring relief to those whose lives have been turned upside down by the war. 

Just days after the war erupted, we launched an appeal and the Scottish people opened their hearts and gave generously. In total, £2.1m was raised thanks to your kindness, including £875,000 from the Scottish government in grants. Your generosity is being spent on helping families and communities to keep warm and power and light their homes. Our partners Caritas Ukraine and Caritas Ukraine SPES continue to assist people with their needs for shelter, food, water, sanitation, hygiene and protection. 

The beauty of SCIAF working directly with partners in country – on this occasion in Ukraine – is we know what the needs of the people are at any given time. We are also able to flex and change plans, directing the help to those people and areas most in need. 

SCIAF Programme Manager Mark Adams said:

“We were able to give relief in the form of heaters, generators, blankets, fuel and repairs to bombed homes, such as windows, roofs and radiators.   

 “The positive news we’re getting from colleagues in Ukraine, is that the authorities there have been able to make repairs to infrastructure to the extent that the country has even managed to export electricity since March. 

“This, combined with the fact that the 2022/23 winter was milder than expected, meant we were able to modify our plans with DePaul. We’re now giving greater support to repairing housing and providing vulnerable people who had stayed on with fuelwood and briquets and help repair damage to their homes - primarily broken windows - allowing families to rebuild their lives.” 

 We had also set aside funds to renovate water heating systems in blocks of flats in the Kherson region but, because local authorities are now able to carry out these works, we’ve instead been able to spend the money on renovating houses and providing blankets, mattresses and cooking items for those returning to their homes. 

 Mark added:

“Given the rapidly changing environment, it’s been a great strength having a flexible network of volunteers in most front-line communities, and support and understanding from the Scottish Government. DePaul has been given the flexibility to adapt their programme, channeling help to those sisters and brothers most in need. Together with Caritas Ukraine our partners reach across the country. With the recent destruction of the Khakovka dam and the much-heralded counter-offensive underway, this continued level of flexible response is key.” 

Please remember our sisters and brothers in Ukraine – and any conflict region – in your prayers.