Mercy Corps’ Statement on Urgent Humanitarian Action on Week of Ukraine War Anniversary

Mercy Corps Executive Director in Europe Harpinder Collacott has arrived in Poland, marking the one-year anniversary of the full-scale war in Ukraine by meeting local organisations assisting Ukrainian refugees in Warsaw. 

Against the backdrop of United States President Biden’s visit with Polish and European leaders, Mercy Corps reiterates the necessity for the international community to pursue an humanitarian deal securing access to territories currently occupied by Russia. This, along with the cessation of hostilities against civilian infrastructure targets in Ukraine such as the national power grid, upon which our cash-based aid is distributed, must be on top of the UN agenda, and will dramatically improve the situation of millions of Ukrainians trapped behind frontlines or surviving without electricity as winter continues. 

Mercy Corps thanks its generous donors and partners to the humanitarian efforts in Ukraine and supporting countries across Europe, including Poland, hosting millions of Ukrainians in one of the largest movements of refugees since the Second World War. As the war enters the start of a second year, now is the time to put humanitarian principles at the forefront and ensure long-term investment in all those who have fled the violence or are impacted by fighting. 

Harpinder Collacott, Mercy Corps Executive Director for Europe says: 

“As we reach this unfortunate and stark milestone, it is clear that inside Ukraine, and across the region, humanitarian aid is saving lives - and I urge governments in Europe to maintain this level of support as an urgent priority. Amidst constant attacks on civilian infrastructure, and shifting frontlines, our partners continue to deliver for people against incredible odds. 

Last night, President Biden was right to commend the European response to this humanitarian crisis. This week I am visiting our team and partners in Poland, and the refugee communities we support. One partner in Warsaw told me, "Of course we dream about the future - first, that we will all survive. And second, of course we want to quickly rebuild what has been destroyed and make our country peaceful, developed and prosperous again.”

The international community must ensure long-term support and funding for all those in need, facilitate access to territories currently occupied by Russia, and protect civilian infrastructure like the energy grid, which ensures we can continue to provide support to the people of Ukraine.”

About Mercy Corps in Ukraine

Since the escalation of conflict in 2022, Mercy Corps has supported local partners across Ukraine and neighbouring countries, providing urgent cash assistance, household, food and hygiene kits for the coming winter, and information services for newly arrived refugees to Poland. Mercy Corps previously worked in Ukraine from 2015-2017, delivering humanitarian assistance to over 200,000 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.