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Humanitarian aid must be prioritised as Ukraine enters year two of conflict


Civilians are paying with their lives as the war shows no sign of abating

Edinburgh-based aid agency Mercy Corps is urging governments to prioritise humanitarian aid in Ukraine as the conflict enters its second year.

Mercy Corps executive director in Europe Harpinder Collacott arrived in Poland, marking the one-year anniversary of the war by meeting local organisations assisting Ukrainian refugees in Warsaw. 

Against the backdrop of President Biden’s visit with Polish and European leaders, Mercy Corps said the necessity for the international community to pursue a humanitarian deal securing access to territories currently occupied by Russia.

This, along with the cessation of hostilities against civilian infrastructure targets in Ukraine such as the national power grid, upon which cash-based aid is distributed, must be on top of the UN agenda, and will dramatically improve the situation of millions of Ukrainians trapped behind frontlines or surviving without electricity as winter continues, the aid groups said.  

Collacott said: “As we reach this unfortunate and stark milestone, it is clear that inside Ukraine, and across the region, humanitarian aid is saving lives - and I urge gove/rnments in Europe to maintain this level of support as an urgent priority. Amidst constant attacks on civilian infrastructure, and shifting frontlines, our partners continue to deliver for people against incredible odds. 

“President Biden was right to commend the European response to this humanitarian crisis.

“The international community must ensure long-term support and funding for all those in need, facilitate access to territories currently occupied by Russia, and protect civilian infrastructure like the energy grid, which ensures we can continue to provide support to the people of Ukraine.” 

Since the escalation of conflict in 2022, Mercy Corps has supported local partners across Ukraine and neighbouring countries, providing urgent cash assistance, household, food and hygiene kits for the coming winter, and information services for newly arrived refugees to Poland.

The organisation previously worked in Ukraine from 2015-2017, delivering humanitarian assistance to over 200,000 following the 2014 conflict.

Assistance included emergency cash, food, water and sanitation supplies, restoration of war-damaged homes, and provision of small-business development grants and training to help people earn income and support themselves and their families.



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