Media CenterCRS Concerned by Growing Needs of Refugees Fleeing the Conflict in Ukraine

Photo courtesy of Marijn Fidder/Caritas International

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

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, March 8, 2022 – Sean Callahan, Catholic Relief Services’ president and CEO, issued the following statement in response to the unprecedented number of refugees fleeing the conflict in Ukraine:

"It's alarming to see the scale of the suffering caused by the war in Ukraine. More than two million refugees have fled the country in less than two weeks, almost all of them women and children. Millions more have been displaced within Ukraine. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, we're witnessing the fastest-growing refugee crisis since WWII.   

Our partners and staff inside Ukraine, and in Moldova and Poland, have spoken of the immense suffering they've seen. We’ve heard of children dragging bulky luggage, their faces wet from tears. We've heard of crowds huddling inside bus terminals for shelter, knee-deep in their belongings. The weight of the trauma lives on the faces of young and old alike. We are also witnessing tremendous acts of solidarity and generosity from the populations receiving refugees, as well as from those donating to the relief effort around the world. CRS and our Caritas partners are providing food, shelter, relief items, counseling and information services to displaced people within Ukraine, and to refugees in Moldova, Poland and Romania. This work is made possible through the generosity of our supporters. 

With all of this in mind, we join the pope in calling for an immediate end to the fighting. As we know all too well from the wars in Syria and elsewhere, people will continue to suffer until there is peace.” 

To find out more about CRS’ response, visit our Ukraine crisis watch page here.


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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Nikki Gamer

Senior Public Affairs Manager

Nikki Gamer
March 8, 2022

Based in Baltimore, MD

Nikki is the Senior Public Affairs Manager for CRS and connects journalists to regional stories and sources related to the agency’s life-saving development work. Previously, Nikki worked as the Communications Officer for the Middle East, Europe, and Central Asia. She has covered CRS’ response to the Syrian refugee crisis and the mass displacement...More