Response in Ukraine
Humanitarian response to war - 2022
Hungarian Interchurch Aid (HIA) has had a permanent presence in Ukraine for more than 25 years. In February 2022 we were among the first to support the war affected population in Ukraine and to provide all kinds of assistance to IDPs in Western Ukraine and refugees in Hungary. Together with other members in the ACT Alliance we are working on a large-scale aid programme as a response to the humanitarian crisis following the war. HIA is present on both sides of the border and is delivering help for those in need, wherever they are seeking help. In Hungary, the organisation provides temporary and long-term community shelters to refugees, and supports host communities as well.
refugees fled Ukraine
internally displaced people
tonnes of aid delivered
HIA is officially registered with the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine as a nation-wide organisation. Coordinated from its regional offices in Berehovo and Lviv, HIA has already carried out country-wide humanitarian and development work since 2015. Our current programme in Ukraine encompasses 12 regions from Berehove in the West to Zaporizhzhia in the Southeast.
Berehove – Regional Office
We have reinforced our Regional Office in Berehove, which is supporting tens of thousands of IDP’s arriving in the region. We continue to supply durable food and hygiene supplies from Hungary in response to the current shortage of goods and food, and a new warehouse is being built in the town We support more than 250 different locations hosting internally displaced persons and communities in all 6 raions of Transcarpathia. In addition to the refugee shelters and local social institutions, we also support those who remain in need as a result of the war.
Lviv - Regional Office
A humanitarian coordination centre and warehouse have been set up in Lviv to effectively assist refugees and host communities. In addition to tangible assistance, we are also paying attention to the special needs of children and provide psychosocial support. By establishing a new humanitarian centre with a corresponding logistics base we plan to scale up our activities in the war-torn country to match the increasing need for assistance and development.
Kyiv - Humanitarian centre
As the first three months have passed, we have been able to continuously expand our assistance to new geographical regions and new methods. As military operations shifted from the Kyiv area, we immediately started working in the areas recently liberated. For this reason we established a new humanitarian centre in Kyiv currently housing HIA and Finn Church Aid (FCA), which can later also be home to all ACT Alliance members working in Ukraine.
Hungarian Interchurch Aid works in close cooperation with several partner organisations in the field in Ukraine. These groups are already well-embedded in the civil societies of the cities and regions where they operate, allowing for a localised, quick, and effective assistance to the people who have been most affected by war. Some of these collaborations started as early as 2015 – with the start of the invasion HIA has significantly increased their funding to scale-up their activities. We are one of the first international aid organisations to bring core relief to the regions in the southeast. Our partners in Ukraine include Santis Foundation in Zaporizhzhia, Zlatograd Foundation in Dnipro, Liga Women in Cherkasy and Poltava, and Etalon Foundation in Ivano-Frankivsk.
Our institutions in Debrecen, Miskolc and Budapest welcome refugee families in need and support them with food and shelter and psychosocial support. Thanks to the donations of our partners, we also have significant additional shelter capacity, accommodating hundreds of refugee families in need. For those arriving by train to Budapest, we provide assistance at the transit shelter in the BOK Sports Hall.
We also help those families waiting at Budapest Liszt Ferenc Airport by running a child-friendly space and providing them with temporary accommodation until their departure.
How We Help
From tangible, in-kind food aid to psychosocial and legal assistance, our response to the humanitarian crisis is multi-faceted and flexible. Working with several local partners in the field, our organisation has the means for localised responses and emphasises a needs-based approach.
Every week several truckloads of aid crosses the Hungarian-Ukrainian border, most of it being durable food, sanitary- and childcare products.
Apart from the tangible, hands-on aid work we also provide individual support to refugees and IDPs following the international cash assistance methodology, and through psychosocial help, which is available in multiple locations. In several regions we work in close cooperation with a network of partners since the 2014 outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine, but centres of coordination will remain in Lviv and Berehove.
Food, security and livelihoods
Non-food-items and shelter
About Hungarian Interchurch Aid
Hungarian Interchurch Aid (HIA) was founded in 1991 by Hungarian historical Protestant and Orthodox churches. The founding churches are now working together as a growing community of professionals, volunteers, donors and responsible corporate partners to help those in need.
As one of the largest, internationally recognized charity organisations in Hungary, HIA has carried out humanitarian and development work in over 40 countries, providing assistance to those in need in many countries around the world regardless of nationality, religion or world view, meeting the highest professional and transparency requirements. HIA has its Headquarters in Budapest, Hungary, and operates Regional Offices in Ukraine, Iraq, Afghanistan and Ethiopia.
Hungarian Interchurch Aid has had a permanent presence in Ukraine for more than 25 years. We have opened an office in Berehove in 1998, which is still operating. We are officially registered in Kyiv as an aid organisation with nation-wide operations.
In addition to humanitarian aid provided after disasters, the aim of our activity is to deliver long-term sustainable development model programmes and to provide capacity building for our local partners.
Since 2014 – following an international request – we have been involved in the care of internally displaced persons in several locations, providing tangible support for the internally displaced in 10 regions of Ukraine. In the first years of the crisis, we opened 2 more offices in Kyiv and Zaporizhzhia. In addition to distributing aid packages containing food, hygiene and household items, we have renovated community accommodation units, delivered hundreds of tons of fuel, and provided psychosocial assistance to those who lived through the traumas of war.
Before the 2022 war, we have carried out significant humanitarian and development work in 10 regions and 543 settlements of Ukraine, directly benefiting over 578,000 people.
In the first days of the coronavirus epidemic, we started to support institutions in Ukraine in their efforts to combat COVID-19. Several shipments of COVID-19 health protection equipment (masks, hygiene products, and 220 respirators) were delivered to Ukraine by HIA as a donation of the Hungarian Government.
Read more about our work
Read our Situation Reports