The conflict escalation in Ukraine caused widespread damage to infrastructure and houses, hundreds of civilian casualties, disruption of markets and essential services, and massive displacements. Since February 2022, more than 7.8 million refugees have crossed borders and 6.5 million are internally displaced. Ukrainian families have undertaken perilous and difficult journeys in the hope of finding a safe place for themselves and their relatives.

The world for millions of Ukrainians was turned upside down. Many of them lost their jobs and homes and are separated from their loved ones. No one knows when they will be able to return to their homes, if those are even still standing.

ACTED is working around the clock in Ukraine and neighboring countries to provide support to displaced families. With financial support from the Ukraine Humanitarian Fund, and in close collaboration with the local organization “Intellect of the Sumy Region”,  ACTED provides food assistance to the displaced population in the Sumy Oblast, Northeast Ukraine.

“I used to live in Slovyansk until the armed conflict started. I was forced to move to Sumy with my friend with limited mobility who has not been able to leave his apartment for 14 years. We lost everything and need to start our lives from scratch”, shared Roman*.

Roman is one of the 450 internally displaced people (IDPs) in Sumy who benefit from the hot meals provided by ACTED. The monthly payment for IDPs they receive from the state does not allow him and his friend to support themselves and cover both their food and medical expenses.

“Before the war, I worked in water utility and then in a heating system. Now I am without a job because I cannot leave my friend without care. He is severely depressed, and it is very difficult for him to get used to the new conditions. Without me, he cannot even move around. I carry him outside twice a week from the second floor. I get an income from payments for internally displaced people, and this is not enough to maintain health and buy life-saving food and medicines“, he added.

While facing recuring and prolonged power cuts, as well as other response challenges, ACTED, along with the humanitarian community, continues to provide crucial assistance to the conflict-affected population.

Oksana* shared her appreciation for the hot meal she received despite the blackout: “I am very grateful for this opportunity to receive hot meals and such a wonderful set of products. There was an air attack on our infrastructure today. As result, we are left without water, electricity, and heating. But despite that, a candlelit dinner was served in the canteen, and we are full!“

With the support of the Ukrainian Humanitarian Fund, hot meals will be provided to 13,000 conflict-affected people across the country. They will also receive individual food parcels, containing a 10-day supply for one person of the following items: buckwheat, pasta, kidney beans, canned beef, sunflower oil, sugar, iodized salt, oatmeal, canned sardines, rice, and tea.

*Names have been changed