As you know, Pope Francis has asked all the Catholic churches of Europe to take up a special collection on 24 April to fund humanitarian relief. On behalf of Caritas Europa, I would like to encourage you to support this call and share the information included in this email with your diocesan and parish Caritas, as well as to your bishops and bishops’conferences organisation.
“My thoughts go to all the populations that hunger and thirst for peace, and in particular, of the drama of those suffering the consequences of the violence in Ukraine, of how many remain affected by hostilities that have already taken thousands of lives, and of how many have been driven to leave by the grave situation that still continues,” said Pope Francis on 3 April 2016.
The conflict in Ukraine is already in its third year. More than 5 million people are affected by it. 1.7 million people have fled their homes and have settled somewhere else in the country, over 1 million people have fled to neighbouring countries; and more than 2.5 million people are in urgent need of help.
The situation is hard. 3 year on, Ukrainian are still suffering from traumatic stress, destruction, poverty, unemployment and all kinds of shortages: food, medicines, energy, care, etc. Elderly and children are the most vulnerable and defenseless; particularly those living along the demarcation line and in the non-governmental areas of Donetsk and Lugansk.
"We do not have peace, there are shootings every day, we want peace," testified Father Ivan Lypka to Caritas Spain.
With the support of brothers and sisters from across the Caritas family in Europe and over the world, Caritas Ukraine and Caritas-Spes Ukraine have helped over 175,000 people across the country. But much more could be done with enough means.
According to the United Nations, humanitarian organisations, including Caritas, would need EUR 298 million to provide the necessary assistance to the 2.5 million people who are in most urgent need of help. This far, only 13% of the amount has been reached.
Pope Francis' decision to dedicate 24 April to a special collection for Ukraine is a clear message from the Holy Father to not forget the fate Ukrainians. Caritas Europa supports this decision and thanks all parishes in advance, for their commitment and expression of solidarity with Ukraine.
Caritas Europa supports this decision and thanks all parishes in advance, for their commitment and expression of solidarity with Ukraine.
- Download Caritas Ukraine’s special brochure “Special Collection for Ukraine under Pope Francis’s Call” with important background information.
- Download a mapping of all the activities of Caritas Ukraine across the country.
- Download the information sheet with all the most important facts and figures about the conflict.
Caritas Ukraine | Caritas Spes-Ukraine
Jorge Nuño Mayer
Secretary General of Caritas Europa