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MCC responds to crisis in Ukraine

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This mother and son* received canned meat, comforters and other relief resources from an MCC partner in Nikopol, Ukraine. In partnership with MCC the organization offers support like food, school kits, medical accompaniment and legal counsel to those in difficult life circumstances. (MCC partner photo) *Names withheld for security

In the early hours of Feb. 24, Russian military forces began an invasion of Ukraine by land, sea and air. Missiles have struck major cities in Ukraine, including the capital city Kyiv and casualties continue to grow.

MCC is accepting donations to support its response in Ukraine. “Ukraine is experiencing major upheaval, but our partners have supplies ready to help vulnerable and displaced people,” says Rebecca Hessenauer, MCC representative for Ukraine.

MCC will be working with local partners to scale up existing programs that support vulnerable people and extending those services to internally displaced populations. The long-term response will likely include psychosocial support and trauma healing, temporary emergency housing, emergency distributions of locally purchased emergency supplies such as blankets, and distribution of food packages.

“One hundred years ago, we responded to crisis in Ukraine,” says MCC U.S. Executive Director Ann Graber Hershberger. “A century later, we find ourselves walking alongside the people of Ukraine in crisis once again. They are pleading for our prayer and support — and a reminder they have not been forgotten during this time.”

MCC has worked in Ukraine since the organization’s beginnings, opening soup kitchens to provide relief to thousands of starving families. In the early 1990s, MCC renewed efforts to offer humanitarian assistance in Ukraine. On, Feb. 13, MCC relocated all international staff from Ukraine and continues to monitor the situation for staff still in country. Safety and security of staff are of primary concern.

Current MCC work in Ukraine includes projects in relief, peace, health, education, sustainable livelihoods and peacebuilding. Since the beginning of the conflict in east Ukraine, MCC has worked with partners to assist internally displaced people (IDPs) and to build peace. And MCC advocacy offices continue to press Canadian and U.S. governments for non-military support for peacebuilding around the world.

To learn more about MCC’s work in Ukraine, read Fleeing war, finding hope or “In God’s name, bread!”. And to donate in support of MCC’s Ukraine response, visit donate.mcccanada.ca/ukraine.

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