Older people on the edge of survival in eastern Ukraine
Friday, March 4, 2022
For immediate release
Older people living in sub-zero conditions and heavily shelled areas of Eastern Ukraine desperately need food, clean drinking water and medication, according to a survey released today.
The survey taken by HelpAge International staff and volunteers offers a glimpse of the conditions older people in the oblasts of Donetsk and Luhansk are already facing.
The organization’s network of volunteers carried out the survey of more than 1,500 over-60s as they continued to make phone calls to older people to provide emotional support as shelling targeted the region.
The survey reveals:
Justin Derbyshire, HelpAge International’s CEO says: “It is heart-breaking to hear what is happening in Ukraine and the terrible hardship that older people are facing, most often alone.
“Our staff and network of incredible volunteers are continuing to contact older people who are unable to leave, and we are determined to do all we can to get the assistance they need to them.”
Older people make up a third of all people in need of assistance in Ukraine, making this conflict the ‘oldest’ humanitarian crisis in the world. One in four people in Ukraine are over 60-years-old and Ukraine has the largest percentage of older people affected by conflict in a single country in the world.
HelpAge International has been operating in Ukraine since 2014 and has a network of partners and volunteers to provide dedicated support to older people. Together they were working with 4,800 people along the contact line.
At the start of this conflict, 2.9 million people were already in need of humanitarian assistance in Ukraine.
Olga, 71, told staff: I constantly hear explosions, and I don’t know if they will reach me.”
The survey will help identify and prioritize the emergency response, which is focusing on getting food, water and hygiene items to those who need it most.
|Find more information on the HelpAge Humanitarian Response for older people and their families and communities in Ukraine here.|