Ukraine, May 23, 2022 — In response to the latest global displacement figures, Andrew Pugh, IRC Ukraine Director, said,
“News that over 100 million people have now been forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of ongoing conflicts and crises in countries like Ukraine, Afghanistan, and Yemen should act as a wake up call for world leaders everywhere.
“The initial outpouring of support for people fleeing the violence in Ukraine has been remarkable, with civil society mobilising across the world to provide emergency support to those in need. It is vital that this support continues and the torch is carried by governments and leaders who are in a position to resource policies that can provide families with a sustainable, long-term welcome.
“Refugees from Ukraine make up 6.4 million of today’s harrowing statistic, representing the tip of the iceberg when it comes to global displacement. Beyond the Ukraine response, governments across the world must not lose sight of humanitarian needs resulting from other conflicts and crises. People enduring crisis in countries like Afghanistan and Yemen must not be left behind, and humanitarian aid must also continue to other regions in need.
“With the majority of those who have fled Ukraine being women and children, people are at particular risk of exploitation and abuse as they cross borders without their documents and in need of assistance. Countries neighbouring Ukraine should continue to ensure swift access to work, education and long-term accommodation, while those elsewhere should share the responsibility by scaling up their relocation and resettlement pledges.
“This moment must be a point of reflection for the international community, who must simultaneously step up protection and support for the millions more who are fleeing untold violence and persecution across the world.”
The IRC has been responding to humanitarian crises in Europe since 2015, where we launched an emergency response to the peak in migration in Greece and relaunched operations in Serbia. Now, the IRC provides support to refugees and migrants in Germany, Italy, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the UK.
The IRC launched an emergency response to the crisis in Ukraine Crisis in February 2022 and has been working directly and with local partners to reach those most in need. We are in Poland, Ukraine and Moldova, delivering vital services including cash assistance, mental health support, medical supplies and equipment, and specialised social service support for children and survivors of violence.
The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is at work in over 40 countries and 29 U.S. cities helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future and strengthen their communities. Learn more at www.rescue-uk.org and follow the IRC on Twitter & Facebook.