The light at the end of the tunnel: ADRA helps people to survive during the war

Their lives fell apart overnight. The war entered their ordinary lives and changed them beyond recognition. Many of them lost property, loved ones; they often lost everything. The affected people hid in basements and shelters for several days or weeks, not knowing what the following day would bring. They left their homes hastily and empty-handed to escape the terrors of war. They took refuge in safer parts of the country and became internally displaced persons. Right now, ADRA in Ukraine is helping them to get through these challenging times before they can return home or start anew.

According to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), there are currently over 7 million displaced people in Ukraine. Most of them fled from the war zones and temporarily settled in more peaceful parts of the country. Some found refuge at collective centres or at places of their relatives and friends, others had no other choice than to rent a place. One way or another, their funds are limited and running out fast, some have already found themselves penniless. These people are ADRA’s beneficiaries.
In the first weeks of the war, we were providing mostly food aid. Now, as part of a longer-term project supported by the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) program, we provide the local population with multi-purpose cash assistance that enables them to buy goods according to their current personal needs.


“I am from a small town in the Luhansk region called Popasna. In February, active hostilities began and we spent three weeks in the basement. Then we dared to leave the city, that was completely destroyed. First we went to the Donetsk region, then Dnipropetrovsk and to Kyiv. We live here now. There was nothing left at home. Nothing. We have been here for two months already. We left with the clothes that we were wearing when we were staying in the basement. Jackets, warm clothes, trousers, sweaters. That’s everything we managed to take with us,” says Olha Zhizhimova. She found out about the support from the ADRA organization on social networks.

“The assistance was very appropriate. We have just arrived at the rented apartment and due to the assistance now we have bed linen, towels, the first necessities of life.”
– Olga Zhizhimova

Like Olha, people find out about the possibility of receiving support from the ADRA organisation on social networks, from their friends, humanitarian workers or from our website. ADRA Ukraine also arranged an informative spot that aired on Ukrainian TV. We received plenty of responses. The process of distribution of financial aid starts with an application that the person in need makes through a phone call. According to the documents sent via the Telegram application, the operators verify where the applicants are from, what their living conditions are, and whether they are already receiving help from another organisation (non-profit organisations in Ukraine share this information). The criteria for providing assistance are given in advance – priority is given to single-parent households, children, women (especially pregnant and breastfeeding), elderly, disabled people and other vulnerable individuals.


“When we fled from Mariupol, I told everyone that we were in hell. We lived for almost a month in the basement at the temperature of -12 without water and food. The water we drained from the boilers and batteries simply froze. When an airstrike hit our yard at 09:20 am on March 13, a terrible thing happened. We immediately buried 13 people in the yard, then my child was injured. We carried her covered with blood, we all were covered with blood. The hospital was still working, then. There were still doctors, they provided help, applied stitches. Two hours later, when we returned from the hospital, the yard was unrecognizable. All the cars in the yard burnt down. There were not even windows. Just empty windows. Our car also burnt there. We spent a week of hell there and were able to escape from Mariupol only on March 21st.” Inesa and her children then reached Kiev, where she heard about the financial assistance provided by ADRA to victims of the war. She was grateful for the help coming at the right time. “I didn’t even expect that they would help us so quickly. Really very quickly. We just filled in the form and literally in a week we received assistance. This money will help us a lot. We will use it to buy clothes, school supplies, household items that we really lack.”

We are currently providing 3 months of financial assistance in the amount of 2,200 Ukrainian hryvnias per month. This amount equals approximately 70 euros. This way, we can support up to 11,300 people. ADRA considers financial support to be the most effective way of helping in the current situation, because people can decide for themselves what they need most and what is most important to them at that moment.


Mrs. Olena Slobodianiuk explains what she needs the money for: „We moved from the Kherson region. The road was very difficult. We need financial assistance to pay for the accommodation and food because we didn’t have any funds after 3 months of occupation. There is no work in Kherson. We arrived with almost no money. ADRA Ukraine was like the light at the end of the tunnel for us. We had no hope and we didn’t know whom we could address. In addition to assistance for displaced persons, your organisation has helped us a lot and supported us in a difficult moment. Please continue to help the people in Kherson and in the region, those who needs help.”

Help People in Ukraine

The war in Ukraine continues and its end is still out of sight. Millions of people cannot return home and are without resources. Help us provide them with the basic needs.


This project is supported by funds from the European Union and Czech private donors.