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As Winter Approaches and Conflict Intensifies, Project HOPE Expands Mobile Medical Units into Eastern Ukraine

Washington, DC (18 October 2022) – Project HOPE – the global health and humanitarian aid organization – has expanded into newly liberated areas of Eastern Ukraine to address the urgent health needs of those who are most impacted by the crisis. With winter swiftly approaching and a recent escalation in civilian casualties, it is critical that we protect humanitarian access, increase support for re-establishing vital health and medical care – particularly in the newly accessible areas – and double down on our commitment to support our friends throughout Ukraine.

In the last month, Project HOPE has established an office in Kharkiv and is expanding deeper into the newly liberated territories – including Balakleya and Izyum – with mobile medical units to support those who have been cut off from accessing medical care. Many of those who were unable to evacuate – including the elderly and people with disabilities – have been without access to primary medical care since late February.

“Healthcare facilities throughout Eastern Ukraine have sustained heavy damage and many healthcare providers evacuated to safety with their families when the conflict broke out. Those who stayed behind have been overburdened and left to treat war-related injuries that are unfamiliar to them,” said Karina Meyer, Program Officer for Ukraine, Project HOPE. “In eastern Ukraine, medical supply chains have been cut off for months, forcing healthcare facilities to rely on unsafe methods or deny treatment altogether. Moreover, care for chronic illnesses in conflict-affected communities is even more scarce. And when treatment for chronic illnesses does exist, people cannot afford it with incomes and pensions as low as $100 per month. We are proud of the efforts of our heroic mobile medical teams, but they can only do so much.”

With the fall and winter season approaching, the living conditions of internally displaced people (IDPs) are particularly alarming. Nearly a quarter of IDPs are without adequate housing for winter conditions, and over a third of those are unable to relocate, mostly due to a lack of funding. Among the two million IDPs in villages, 30% have no access to medical services. Over 700,000 households and businesses across the country remain without power and nearly 600,000 are without gas, which will be deadly as temperatures continue to rapidly decline.

The humanitarian situation in Izium and Kupiansk, in Ukraine’s Kharkivska oblast, is extremely concerning after months of intense hostilities have left behind a path of destruction. In Izium, essential services have been decimated, leaving between 8,000 and 9,000 people completely dependent on humanitarian aid to survive.

“We are bearing witness to a once-in-a-generation war that is ravaging communities, tearing families apart, and sending ripple effects across the globe,” said Chris Skopec, Executive Vice President of Global Health, Project HOPE. “As Project HOPE teams continue to gain access to newly liberated areas, we see the devastation of war everywhere we go – in the ravaged towns, ransacked medical facilities, and in the faces of Ukrainians who have endured so much. And, as the temperatures swiftly plummet and missiles continue to rain down in civilian areas, humanitarian and medical access is a matter of life-or-death.”

How Project HOPE is Responding in Ukraine:

  • Supporting 97 health facilities in Ukraine with medicines and medical supplies, including a neurosurgical microscope, 22 pallets of sutures, 3,000 packets of cancer medication, and a variety of health and surgical kits
  • Operating four mobile medical units (MMUs) to provide primary health care in the Dnipro, Zaporizhzhia, and Chernihiv areas, providing over 17,000 consultations
  • Donated 22 hospital-grade generators and 4 vans to health facilities and partners to continue providing life-saving support
  • Provided trauma training courses to 548 trauma surgeons and students in 15 health facilities in Ukraine
  • Completed multiple reconstruction projects in hospitals in Irpin and Bucha cities
  • Provided personal legal consultations for IDPs in partnership with Infection Control in Ukraine
  • Conducted “Physical and Occupational Therapy in Emergency Contexts” trainings in partnership with USAID and Momentum Wheels for Humanity Ukraine for 205 medical professionals from 31 separate healthcare facilities in Ukraine

Project HOPE continues to implement a highly coordinated, comprehensive humanitarian intervention in Ukraine and in the neighboring countries of Moldova, Poland, and Romania. Emergency programming in Ukraine focuses on supporting local primary and secondary health facilities with essential medical equipment and supplies. In the surrounding countries, Project HOPE has partnered with 11 local organizations to target gaps in essential services including primary health, mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS), and protection. In all locations, Project HOPE continues to work closely with government officials, local partners, and coordination clusters to ensure efforts address the most pressing needs.

To schedule an interview, please contact Courtney Ridgway: media@ProjectHOPE.org

About Project HOPE
Founded in 1958, Project HOPE is a leading global health and humanitarian organization operating in more than 25 countries around the world. We work side-by-side with local health systems to save lives and improve health. Our mission is at the epicenter of today’s greatest health challenges, including infectious and chronic diseases, disasters and health crises, maternal, neonatal and child health and the policies that impact how health care is delivered. For more information on Project HOPE and its work around the world, visit www.ProjectHOPE.org and follow us on Twitter @ProjectHOPEorg.

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