In the first two weeks of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Vostok Donetsk has transported five trains and five trucks of humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
In the East, we have been supplying drinking water by trucks to villages whose water supply systems have been damaged by shelling. We also operate a truck distributing jerry cans of water to those who need them.
Thanks toVostok Donetsk’s local partners and staff, additional aid is reaching the worst affected areas. Vostok Donetsk has financially supported the operations of dozens of local NGOs to provide the most needed items for internally displaced people and for the population in the areas where the fighting is ongoing. People in Need was the first major humanitarian organization to provide large scale humanitarian aid in Ukraine.
War-damaged water pipes
Shortages of drinking water have plagued eastern Ukraine for a long time, and the Russian invasion has made the situation significantly worse. Due to the fighting, water pipes have been damaged. In many places, constant shelling and the threat of danger make it almost impossible to make repairs. Additionally, many places are entirely cut off from the water supply due to heavy fighting. A consequence of this is that people resort to sourcing water by catching rain or melted snow.
“Water has become a life-saving commodity in Ukraine at the moment. People are hiding in basements, shelters, garages for hours and sometimes days and in the most affected places they face lack of water,” says Mrkvička, official of our Relief and Development Department.
We are helping internal refugees in the East
Vostok Donetsk currently has 30 staff members working in eastern Ukraine. Two of our humanitarian trains have already arrived in the city of Dnipro with food, hygiene, sleeping bags, mattresses and medical aid. Through our partners, the aid from the trains has reached Kharkiv, the Donetsk region, and other places in the East by a fleet of local truck. “As soon as the humanitarian corridor opens, we are ready to send supplies to the hard-pressed port city of Mariupol,” adds Jan Drbohlav, Regional Director for the Eastern Partnership and the Balkans.
Vostok Donetsk plans to distribute cash to those fleeing who could only take the essentials with them. In many places, markets are still functioning. Therefore, Vostok Donetsk is distributing money so people can buy the essentials they need most.
In places such as Sviatohirks or Kharkiv, either submerged by internally displaced people or partially cut off by fighting, shops have been completely emptied of goods. Vostok Donetsk is sending food and hygiene parcels to make up for shortfalls in locally available items to aid those in need in these areas.
Hundreds of thousands of refugees await further developments
In the days after the invasion, Vostok Donetsk moved its main office to Lviv. Dozens of collective centres have been set up in western Ukraine for internally displaced people who have fled and are now waiting to return home or be forced to flee across the border. Vostok Donetsk will deliver blankets, sleeping bags, mattresses, kitchen equipment, cookers, pots of food, baby food and hygiene kits to these centres.