MCC Ukraine aid tops $2 million; partner assists those who’ve left everything behind

Charitable Foundation Uman Help Center, a Mennonite Central Committee partner, provides food and basic supplies for people fleeing the war in Ukraine. — UMAN Charitable Foundation Uman Help Center, a Mennonite Central Committee partner, provides food and basic supplies for people fleeing the war in Ukraine. — UMAN

June 3 marked 100 days since the Russian military invasion of Ukraine. In that time, MCC has allocated $2.1 million through its partners in Ukraine, reaching about 16,000 people with emergency food, fuel, shelter or other forms of relief.

With increased demand for supplies in Ukraine and other countries, MCC’s inventory is getting low. Donations of comforters, towels, soap and other kits are greatly needed.

One of MCC’s partners in Ukraine is UMAN (Charitable Foundation Uman Help Center), which is assisting people displaced by the war. Many have left everything they know behind.

UMAN operates in Uman, a city about 124 miles south of Kyiv. Due to its central location, it has become a hub for the mass movement of displaced people. Hundreds of thousands of people pass through. Some stop for a night or two on their way to the west, and many others choose to stay.

Dima Krotik, UMAN’s founder and director, said about 100,000 displaced people have resettled in the oblast surrounding Uman, a city of 80,000 before the invasion.

“The supply chain for food has been inconsistent, but it’s improving,” he said. “We still had a container with comforters and hygiene kits left in it, so we’ve been distributing those as well. MCC responded very quickly by providing some funds, so we were able to be effective very quickly.”

MCC is shipping five more containers of emergency supplies like that one to Ukraine. More are planned for later in the year.

“People are sharing with me that just a couple of days ago they had everything — a house, a car, jobs. Or they might get into the city in a very nice car but have nothing else but the clothes on their backs, and now they are coming to us for food and secondhand clothes,” he said. “They’re not fleeing poverty, they’re fleeing war.”

Sign up to our newsletter for important updates and news!