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Ukraine Relief

Emergency Response

Direct Relief has deployed more than 650 tons of medical aid and $14.7 million in financial assistance to Ukraine since the war broke out.

Emergency Medical Backpacks depart Direct Relief’s warehouse on March 1, 2022, bound for Lviv, Ukraine. The backpacks, which contain medical essentials for triage care, were requested by Ukraine’s Ministry of Health. (Lara Cooper/Direct Relief)

Quick Facts

War in Ukraine has killed thousands and injured untold more, while millions of Ukrainians have been displaced.

Direct Relief is a recognized international partner of Ukraine’s Ministry of Health and supports several groups in Ukraine and regionally with requested medical aid—including trauma kits, cancer drugs, insulin, antidotes used in chemical attacks, and more.

Direct Relief has provided more than $14.7 million in financial assistance, including $10 million in direct cash aid to help Ukrainian refugees in Poland obtain needed medications at no cost.


“Direct Relief was created out of the ashes of WWII by Europeans who fled. It’s stunning and sad that humanitarian assistance is needed again in the same neighborhood, but it’s definitely consistent with our organization’s roots, initial focus, and longstanding mission.”

– Thomas Tighe, President & CEO, Direct Relief

Direct Relief is working directly with Ukraine’s Ministry of Health and other on-the-ground partners to provide urgently needed medical aid, including emergency response packs intended for first responders, oxygen concentrators, critical care medicines, and more.

Direct Relief has firmly established relationships with Ukraine’s Ministry of Health and other organizations responding in the region. Medical aid is intended for people still in Ukraine and those who have fled to neighboring countries.

At the request of the Ministry of Health, Direct Relief has provided multiple shipments of medical aid since the war broke out, including more than 650 tons of medical assistance, including trauma kits, cancer drugs, insulin, antidotes used in chemical attacks and more.

Direct Relief has also supplied the Ministry of Health with hundreds of emergency medical backpacks intended for first responders working in the field and dealing with injuries and trauma, infections, and other acute medical needs.

(Specific aid distribution locations within Ukraine are being withheld for security reasons)

Medical Needs in Ukraine

The war in Ukraine has left 350 health facilities damaged by bombings and over 60 totally destroyed. The impact on the healthcare system is severe. Health concerns during this time include medical needs for thousands of people who have been internally displaced within Ukraine and many others who have fled into refugee camps that have been established in the neighboring countries of Moldova, Poland, and others.

Humanitarian crises invariably lead to a wide range of health problems:

  • Infectious diseases – in Ukraine, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, polio, and Covid-19 are particular concerns, especially since oxygen shortage is a severe problem in the country.
  • Loss of chronic care medications frequently leads to acute, life-threatening health crises.
  • Maternal health care and vital services are disrupted.
  • The trauma of conflict has significant consequences on people’s mental health.

Drawing on its extensive history of humanitarian response, Direct Relief is supporting overwhelmed health systems working to address these impacts as more information becomes available.

Direct Relief is also working with the manufacturers of essential medical products to facilitate donations to assist Ukrainians affected by war, whether they are still in the country or have fled to one of the neighboring nations receiving refugees.

Ukrainian Crisis: How to Help

Direct Relief is providing critical medical aid, including wound care and ICU medications, to people affected by the war in Ukraine, including those who have fled to neighboring countries.

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