Media CenterCRS and Caritas Ukraine Warn of Potential Humanitarian Catastrophe in Ukraine

Photo courtesy of Matthieu Alexandre/Caritas Internationalis

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Megan Gilbert
Catholic Relief Services
[email protected]
(443) 825-3640


BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, Feb. 22, 2022 – Sean Callahan, president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), released the following statement on the possibility of war in Ukraine.

"As tensions in Eastern Ukraine continue to rise, Catholic Relief Services, together with our partner Caritas Ukraine, stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian people and are preparing to provide assistance to civilians affected by an escalating conflict.

At the same time, we recognize that the humanitarian crisis resulting from an invasion of Ukraine would completely overwhelm the capacity of the aid agencies in the region. The freezing winter temperatures, likely damage to health facilities and other vital infrastructure, and the enormity of the civilian population in harm's way, could lead to suffering on a scale we have not seen in Europe in our lifetimes.

We hope and pray that diplomacy prevails, and the situation comes to a peaceful resolution."

Over the past eight years, CRS has been working with Caritas Ukraine on a variety of humanitarian efforts, including food, water and shelter to internally displaced families. CRS has also supported Caritas Ukraine in providing counseling and community-based activities meant to normalize social life in the midst of the upheaval. Emergency preparedness activities for a possible incursion are underway in both Eastern Ukraine and nationwide.


Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding. For more information, visit or and follow Catholic Relief Services on social media in English at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube; and in Spanish at: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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