Disaster response Ukraine

Ukrainian Crisis

2022 - Ongoing
Published on Mar 07, 2022 03:09 PM  -  Updated on May 18, 2022 11:51 AM
In response to the war in Ukraine, a TSF team reached Ukraine’s neighbouring countries on 28 February.

Context: Conflict
Start Date: 28/02/2022
End date : Ongoing
Areas of intervention : Poland, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine

Action cofinanced by the New Aquitaine region.

+6,800 beneficiaries

+1.4 TB of data exchanged

89% of beneficiaries reporting psychological improvement upon having access to internet connection

89% of beneficiaries who have used the internet connection report having made important decisions thanks to the information found online

44% of beneficiaries could find more and appropriate information on their legal human rights

Context

In response to the war in Ukraine, a TSF team reached Ukraine’s neighbouring countries on 28 February. Since the beginning of the conflict, 3 million refugees, mainly women, children and elderly people have left Ukraine, seeking refuge in Poland, Moldavia, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia. If the war continues, the United Nations expect up to 7 million displaced Ukrainian, becoming one of the largest humanitarian crisis on our European continent in many years.

Ukraine Response Infographics

TSF's response

TSF has been coordinating since the beginning of the crisis with different United Nations agencies, the local authorities and the other humanitarian organisations active in Ukraine and the neighbouring countries in order to better understand the humanitarian response mechanism put in place and the needs TSF could meet. An operational base in Rzeszów has been set up to support refugees in Poland, but also to respond to the needs in Ukraine. "This operational base will allow us to respond to the needs of the growing refugee population, to help them to obtain information for their future and to keep in touch with their loved ones in Ukraine. It will also allow us to develop collaborations with humanitarian actors in order to help the people who are still in Ukraine," explains Sébastien Latouille, Head of the Europe base deployed in Poland.

A few days after the arrival of the first team in Poland, another team was deployed to Romania, Moldova and Ukraine. 

Connectivity for refugees in Moldova and Romania

Once they cross the border with one of Ukraine's neighbouring countries, the refugees look either for a specific destination or just for a safe place to temporarily seek refuge. This unstable situation is unfortunately conducive to the development of illegal networks that can put refugees, especially women and children, in danger. 

In Palanca, in the south of Moldova, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the UN agency for refugees (UNHCR), in partnership with the Moldovan and Romanian civil protection, set up a daily bus convoy in order to safely bring refugees to Romania. This trip lasts between 10 and 16 hours. For people who have left their home and family members in Ukraine, it's a long waiting period after stressful and trying days. During the trip, the concern about their loved ones in Ukraine and the anxiety for the next steps of their forced and difficult journey can overwhelm them. 

TSF installed a Wi-Fi connection on all the buses of the convoy, and allows the passengers to contact their relatives remained in Ukraine through instant messaging apps or social media. It's also allowing them to look for essential information for the next steps of their journey, thus reducing their level of stress.    

The refugees can decide to stop in Iasi or Bucharest. At the station in Bucharest a reception centre has been put in place for the people fleeing Ukraine, in order to direct them to a new journey or to a emergency shelter set up by the Romanian civil protection. 

Support to internally displaced people 

The TSF team in Ukraine provides support to the humanitarian operations within the country by preparing the installation of free Wi-Fi connections in emergency shelters in Lviv, where displaced people remain one or two days before continuing their forced journey. 

Connectivity support to Ukrainian organisations 

The TSF teams in Moldova and Ukraine are providing emergency telecom equipment to the organisations contributing to the humanitarian response. 

In this framework, TSF provided connectivity to the coordination centre of the NGO Vostok-SOS. From this centre they coordinate the provision of medical and food supplies to more than 100 sites in Ukraine and they support the evacuation of civilians from the East of the country, the area most affected by the conflict. 

Satellite equipment has also been provided to the municipality of Odessa in order to anticipate possible communication cuts. 

TSF's team also prepositioned equipment and prepared all the necessary logistics to respond to a possible massive displacement of refugees at the Ukrainian borders in case of further intensification of the conflict.  

With the support of