News Alert: Humanitarian Catastrophe in Ukraine a Devastating Possibility as Conflict Escalates

23 February 2022

The global organization Mercy Corps warns that as conflict escalates, a humanitarian and displacement catastrophe in Ukraine and in the region is now a devastating likelihood which could threaten lives, infrastructure and livelihoods, drive food shortages, and cause significant mass displacement. The destruction of infrastructure, including hospitals and health services, could lead to a rapid spread of diseases, including COVID-19.  

Craig Redmond, Senior Vice President of Programs at Mercy Corps, says:

“Currently, we project that an escalation of conflict along the existing front line could cause up to 100,000 displaced people.

“The situation is escalating by the hour. We are increasingly concerned that any large-scale military conflict will only worsen the already dire humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and severely test the capacity of humanitarian organizations to respond. 

“Every effort must be made to minimize a humanitarian catastrophe and protect the innocent men, women and children most at risk.”

2.9 million Ukrainians today are already in need of urgent humanitarian assistance due to ongoing conflict and 1.5 million Ukrainians are displaced within their country. 

Mercy Corps provided humanitarian assistance to over 200,000 people in Ukraine from 2015-2017, 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.