A boy fleeing conflict in Ukraine.

How are Action Against Hunger supporting people fleeing conflict in Ukraine?

The ongoing conflict in Ukraine is threatening the lives and livelihoods of millions of civilians. So far, our emergency response to the crisis has reached 150,000 people in Ukraine and neighbouring Poland, Romania and Moldova.

More than 11 million people have been forced to flee their homes and more than 4 million crossed borders to escape the conflict in Ukraine. Leaving behind jobs, belongings and loved ones, they need shelter, food and water.

Heavy fighting, shelling and air strikes are having devastating consequences for ordinary people – critical infrastructure such as health facilities, water supplies and schools have been damaged or destroyed.

Here’s how we’re supporting people in Ukraine, Poland, Romania and Moldova. 


The situation in Ukraine couldn’t be any more serious, with 18 million people in need of humanitarian aid.

A man stands next to an unexploded missile in Mykolaiv, Ukraine.

A man stands next to an unexploded missile in Mykolayiv, Ukraine. Photo credit: Gert Jochems/ Agence VU’ for Action Against Hunger.

In western Ukraine, we’re focusing on supporting mobile health clinics, setting up mental health support services and providing families with cash so they can buy food and other essential items.

In eastern Ukraine and the Donbas region, we’re working through local partners to provide food, hygiene kits, mental health support and medicine.

A study of adults affected by the conflict revealed that a third of Ukrainians are experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). That’s why we’re providing mental health support across the country – especially as there is a lot of stigma attached to mental health, generally linked to a lack of awareness.


Poland has received the most refugees from Ukraine so far, with more than 2.7 million people arriving so far.

Ukrainian refugees cross the border into Dolhobyczow, Poland.

Ukrainian refugees cross the border into Dolhobyczow, Poland. Photo credit: Adrienne Surprenant/ Action Against Hunger.

Our response in Poland so far includes:

  • distributing cash in Rzeszow so refugees can buy food
  • providing essential items, such as blankets and toiletries, to over 10,000 people in five refugee centres
  • recruiting psychologists to provide mental health support
  • assessing the need to improve access to clean water and safe toilets


More than 500,000 people have arrived in Romania from Ukraine.

“The more time passes, the more vulnerable people who arrive are.”

Julien Eyrard, an Action Against Hunger water, sanitation and hygiene expert in Romania

We’re working with local partners to set up mental health projects in Lasi, near the border with Ukraine.

We’ve also set up a cash transfer programme in Bucharest, Lasi and Suceava so families can buy food, essential items or anything else they need


With a population of 2.6 million, Moldova is one of the poorest countries in Europe. It’s receiving the most refugees per capita than any other of Ukraine’s neighbours at four for every 100 residents.

Ukrainian refugees arrive by bus to Palanca, Moldova.

Ukrainian refugees arrive by bus in Palanca, Moldova. Photo credit: Edu Leon/ Action Against Hunger.

Action Against Hunger’s emergency teams have been working in Moldova and its borders with Ukraine since the conflict started.

Our response in the country includes:

  • developing a health and nutrition strategy across the country to support Ukrainian refugees
  • recruiting new staff so we can expand our programmes
  • designing new programmes with local organisations that specialise in breastfeeding and maternal health
  • providing 200 hot meals per day at the border crossing at Palanca
  • providing hygiene kits, including essential items such as toiletries, in Causeni and Palanca

This article was first published on 7 April 2022 and was updated on 29 April 2022. 

A family fleeing conflict in Ukraine.

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