IOCC has a long history of humanitarian and development programming in Eastern Europe, beginning in the early 1990s following the collapse of the Soviet Union. With strong partner relations across the region, particularly within the network of the Orthodox Church, and a portfolio of humanitarian response in Romania, Ukraine, and the western Balkans, IOCC is now addressing people’s immediate and long-term needs in both Ukraine and neighboring countries.
IOCC is a humanitarian aid agency. Inspired by our Christian faith, we respond to Christ’s call to serve people in need. In Ukraine this entails working with partners on the ground to provide fuel for heating, bath and bedding essentials, food and personal hygiene items, water, medicine, and support to those who are helping refugees.
IOCC’s mission is to help those who need it most without discrimination. We believe that all people of goodwill can work together to help with the immediate needs of the children and families caught in the conflict, all while working to develop a long-term response plan.
The conflict in Ukraine has greatly affected millions of people, forcing them to flee their homes seeking safety. The result is the largest displacement of people in Europe since World War II.
The global crisis response strategy brings together the United Nations, nongovernmental organizations like IOCC, and local partners. Combined efforts are helping ensure safety for refugees fleeing Ukraine and are providing humanitarian assistance in-country and supporting host-nations across the region.
IOCC has identified the following key areas of programmatic response:
- Humanitarian support for people in Ukraine.
- Assistance for refugees in neighboring countries and for the families and institutions hosting them.
- Leveraging IOCC’s expertise in providing emotional care and counseling in crisis situations, plus other psychosocial support, including protection for women and children.
IOCC Response in Ukraine
In Ukraine, IOCC is working with local partners to provide:
- Distributions of food, water, medicine, heating fuel, hygiene items, and essential bedding supplies to displaced persons and families accommodating them.
- Renovation of a community center to provide safe accommodation and support services (including social assistance and counseling) for women and children.
- Training for clergy and social workers in self-care and counseling in crisis situations.
IOCC Response in Romania
In Romania, working with a long-time Church partner, IOCC is serving refugees and host communities:
- Transporting refugees to safe accommodation, and providing transportation for refugees staying with host families to essential shopping and services.
- Delivering grocery vouchers and essential items to refugees staying in accommodation centers and with host families and institutions.
- Support for the numerous families the Romanian Orthodox Church has enlisted to provide temporary accommodation for Ukrainian refugees.
- Humanitarian protection and safeguarding training: IOCC is offering critical training and certification for all volunteers transporting refugees, helping keep particularly vulnerable women and children safe from harm and human trafficking.
- Through our Romania partner, IOCC also worked with a Church partner in Moldova to provide food, hygiene items, household cleaning supplies, heaters, and other essentials to Ukrainian refugees there.
IOCC Response in Poland
In Poland, in coordination with Polish authorities and a local Church partner, IOCC is assisting refugees through:
- Supplies for shelters: Serving refugees in accommodation shelters in various cities with food, hygiene, and other humanitarian items.
- Educational assistance: IOCC purchased laptops to establish 26 online learning rooms in accommodation centers for school-age students so they can continue their education remotely.
- Host family support: Many families in Poland have provided accommodation for Ukrainian refugees at their own expense. IOCC is distributing household-support packages for 700 host families including food, toiletries, baby care products, and household cleaning items.