GOAL’s Emergency Response Team is establishing an operational base in Lviv from this week, and is preparing to scale up its programmes in Eastern Ukraine. The Eastern region is where thousands of internally displaced people, mostly women, children and elderly people, are caught on the frontline of the conflict.
GOAL previously responded to the humanitarian crisis in the Donbas region of Eastern Ukraine between 2015 and 2017, as a result of the 2014 conflict and is the only Irish aid agency currently registered in Ukraine. The 2022 conflict has now seen over 4.3 million people flee Ukraine, while over 7.1 million people have been internally displaced.
GOAL brings 45 years of expertise in understanding the nature and impact of humanitarian emergencies and conflict, working in acute and protracted crises worldwide. As the Ukrainian conflict becomes more protracted and entrenched, GOAL’s in-depth knowledge of the complexity and risks involved in working in volatile conflict zones provides a platform to overcome the myriad of challenges that are emerging, such as humanitarian access. GOAL remains one of the leading aid agencies supporting conflict-affected and vulnerable people in Northwest Syria since 2012 and continues to work in fragile contexts such as South Sudan and Haiti.
The Ukraine conflict, now entering its seventh week, has also resulted in an extremely heightened risk for children, women, the elderly and those with disabilities. GOAL has specific expertise in safeguarding, encompassing child protection, prevention of gender-based violence and protection from sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment. GOAL will be focusing on these areas as it scales up its operations in Eastern Ukraine.
Speaking about the GOAL response in Ukraine, Dr Georgina Jordan, Head of Emergency Response, GOAL said “There are multiple factors to respond to in this horrific conflict. GOAL continues to deliver vital first aid kits, food kits and other essentials to those affected within Ukraine. We are also preparing to provide cash and voucher assistance, legal advice and psychosocial support to internally displaced people in the eastern part of the country.”
“GOAL’s focus will be to work from the ground up, with local organisations and within local systems to sustainably lift affected populations in Ukraine out of this crisis, so that they can continue to function and thrive in the face of future shocks and stresses. Essentially it will be GOAL’s aim to build resilience for future crises” continued Dr Jordan.
Also speaking about GOAL’s response, Eamon Sharkey, Director, Fundraising, Marketing and Communications at GOAL said “Without the generosity of people and companies across Ireland, and the support of the Irish government, GOAL and our partner aid agencies in Poland would not have been able to respond so rapidly. People around the country have been fantastic in donating funds and rallying their communities with fundraising drives. As the conflict enters its seventh week and counting, we need the continued help of the public to support Ukrainians in such desperate need to survive this crisis and then rebuild their lives.”