Global Emergency Update March 2022

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Ukraine Emergency Response in Moldova


Catholic Relief Services is pleased to share the highlights of our key emergency response and recovery activities, as well as the most urgent humanitarian needs—and opportunities for global impact. This work is possible thanks to the generous support of private and public donors, the dedication of our local partners, and the unwavering presence of Caritas and the Catholic Church.
Ukrainian refugees arrive on foot at the border town of Otaci in Moldova.
Photo courtesy of Marijn Fidder for Caritas Internationalis
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has killed and injured thousands of people and has forced millions to flee their homes, either to relatively safer areas of the country or to neighboring countries. Throughout Ukraine, people are facing shortages of food, shelter, water and transport, as they suffer increasing trauma and loss. Many of those fleeing spend days waiting in lines in freezing weather, with small children and elderly family members. To date, more than 3 million people have fled to neighboring countries including Poland, Moldova, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia.
Years of conflict along the eastern border had already displaced people from their homes and claimed 14,000 lives. Throughout this time, Caritas Ukraine, with support from CRS, has been providing emergency relief and recovery.
More than 3 million people have fled from Ukraine to neighboring countrfies including Poland, Moldova, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia.
Mahamudoff Gazym’s family has been sleeping in their car in a dirt parking lot for days. They are among the thousands of Ukrainian refugees who have crossed the border at Otaci, Moldova. 
Photos by Schimbator Studio for CRS/Caritas Moldova


CRS is supporting our Caritas partners in Ukraine with a range of support, including:

  • Field kitchens that provide hot meals.
  • Reception services at Caritas offices, train stations and other locations, providing displaced people with clothing, information, referrals, food, water, hygiene items and counseling support.
  • Transportation of displaced families to friends, families and local social services.
  • Evacuation centers providing shelter, food, emotional care, case management and child‑friendly spaces.
  • Recruitment and training of volunteers to pack kits and assist at Caritas centers.



With CRS support, Caritas Moldova has been providing food and relief items to refugees at government‑run reception centers and has established three accommodation centers in the capital. Caritas plans to establish a further five centers, and priorities include:

  • Mobilizing transportation of refugees from the border, and providing them with information.
  • Providing accommodation, food and counseling support.
  • Activating host community support to provide vacant properties for refugee families, and to bring such properties up to minimum standards of accommodation. With the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the government of Moldova, CRS will also support cash assistance to provide critical support for all refugees in the country. 



With CRS financial support, Caritas dioceses have mobilized volunteers, equipped facilities, and are operating reception and accommodation centers at three border crossings in the north of the country. All centers are at capacity, serving hundreds of refugee families crossing the border. Caritas diocesan offices near the border have also organized day centers for hundreds of refugee children. All ongoing activities in Moldova and Romania are funded by CRS and local contributions


Caritas Poland is providing assistance to arriving Ukrainians at border crossing points. CRS is helping them to prepare a cash assistance program with the UNHCR to be scaled up to reach an estimated 300,000 families. In coordination with the Polish government, Caritas is providing shelter to refugee orphans in existing care homes.

Caritas Poland and Caritas Moldova are also organizing cross-border shipments of humanitarian supplies into Ukraine.


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