Islamic Relief Worldwide is preparing to respond as the crisis in Ukraine escalates and humanitarian needs grow by the day.
Hundreds of people are already reported to have been killed or wounded as heavy fighting and explosions spread deeper into towns and cities, leaving neighbourhoods in ruins. There are reports of food shortages as people stockpile supplies to avoid the danger of venturing out into the streets, and health centres are already becoming overwhelmed with civilian casualties.
Islamic Relief does not currently have a programme in the conflict areas or in countries neighbouring Ukraine, but has identified trusted partners on the ground who we will work with to provide aid as the humanitarian needs increase.
We are calling for an immediate end to the military escalation, and urging all countries to keep their borders open to people fleeing the conflict in search of safety and protection.
As the conflict intensifies, civilians are increasingly at risk. Thousands of families are fleeing their homes to escape as the fighting and bombing draw closer. Others are sheltering underground.
Millions of people face being displaced in the freezing winter, and there are growing fears of a major influx of refugees into neighbouring countries such as Poland, Romania, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, as well as elsewhere throughout Europe.
Ismayil Tahmazov, Islamic Relief’s head of region, said:
“The scenes of utter destruction are devastating and there are heart-breaking reports of children terrified by the bombing and elderly people too frail to flee. The death toll is rising rapidly and it is vital that civilians are protected from violence. A cessation of hostilities must urgently be agreed and maintained.
“As the crisis escalates and the need for aid such as food, water and healthcare grows, Islamic Relief will step up to support people affected by the violence.”
Islamic Relief works to respond to crises around the world, offering support to those in need at the time they need it most. We respond in accordance with the humanitarian principles of humanity, impartiality, independence, and neutrality.