Funding from the Nordic and Baltic countries has helped provide essential support to people displaced as a result of the war in Ukraine.
On 24 February 2022, Russia launched a military invasion of Ukraine. One year on, 5.3 million people are estimated to be internally displaced in Ukraine, while a further 8 million people have fled the country to other European countries, including the Nordic and Baltic states.
The large-scale humanitarian emergency is still ongoing, and the swift response from donor countries has helped UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, to respond with protection and assistance to both the war-affected populations inside the country as well as the refugees from Ukraine, hosted in other countries.
During the winter months, UNHCR launched a winterization response aimed at helping displaced people survive the cold weather. This program has been centered around providing shelter support, light repairs of damaged homes, winter clothing, and direct cash assistance.
Over 4.3 million people affected by the war were assisted within the borders of Ukraine by UNHCR as a part of UNHCR’s emergency response, with the aid spanning everything from blankets and kitchen sets to building materials, shelters, legal assistance and counseling.
In 2022, UNHCR organized 626 humanitarian convoys in Ukraine, and further participated in 27 inter-agency convoys. These allowed people in hard-to-reach areas to receive much-needed aid. Supplies are often scant in war-torn areas, but by organizing these convoys, UNHCR and partner organizations were able to provide emergency aid to those who needed it most.
Inside Ukraine, more than 2 million people have received targeted protection assistance and information, which is a crucial step in helping refugees in times of crisis. This includes, for example, informing refugees about their human and legal rights, referring vulnerable refugees to appropriate services as well as providing psychosocial support to those forced to flee.
Over 987,000 people in Ukraine have been supported with multi-purpose cash assistance to meet basic needs. People forced to flee have often had to abandon their sources of income, and providing cash assistance have made it possible for internally displaced Ukrainians to purchase food and other essential supplies such as medication and hygiene products.
More than 1.7 million have been helped with essential items, such as mattresses, bed linen, towels and kitchen supplies, as well as winter-appropriate items such as quilts, thermoses, heaters and clothes. Many Ukrainians have been forced to leave their homes without any of their belongings, and such aid can help ensure a minimum standard of living as well as dignity for those in need.
UNHCR has helped ensure shelter and roof over the head for more than 164,000 people in Ukraine through interventions for collective centers and damaged homes. This number includes both the repairing of destroyed houses, and those who have been displaced and currently live in collective centers such as gymnasiums and warehouses that have been turned into provisional accommodation for refugees. In addition, the expansion of spaces in collective centers has helped combat overcrowding.
As energy infrastructure has been hard hit during the war, UNHCR delivered 81 generators during 2022 to Ukrainian communities in need. Securing a stable supply of electricity for those affected by the war has been vital at a time when the electrical grid has been under attack and has been a priority during the relief efforts.
In Moldova, more than 45,000 Ukrainian refugees were helped at the ten Blue Dot hubs opened in the country by UNHCR and UNICEF. The Blue Dot hubs – in total 40 such sites located in eight different countries – are staffed by trained caregivers who seek to provide a safe space and essential services for particularly vulnerable refugees.
In Hungary, more than 50,000 refugees from Ukraine have been helped with protection and legal support by UNHCR and local partner organizations. This assistance has been centered around both legal and psychosocial counseling, and has helped those in need with both rights-based empowerment and trauma support.
In Poland, interviews were conducted with more than 52,000 Ukrainian refugees, showing that their most pressing needs were accommodation, cash, access to employment, medical treatment and education. UNHCR responded in kind, providing more than 293,000 refugees hosted in Poland with cash assistance.
In Romania, more than 165,000 refugees arriving from Ukraine have received essential winterized non-food items such as warm quilts and heating sources in order to survive the freezing weather. In addition, more than 43,000 refugees hosted in Romania have received cash assistance from UNHCR in order to meet basic needs.
Denmark as a donor
Denmark donated over USD 106.9 million to UNHCR in 2022. Of this, more than USD 35.6 million was unearmarked. More than USD 13 million of Denmark’s contributions to UNHCR has gone toward the situation in Ukraine. In 2022, Denmark was our eighth biggest donor and increased its donations from the previous year by USD 5.7 million.
Norway as a donor
Norway donated over USD 118.2 million to UNHCR in 2022. Of this, more than USD 72.5 million was unearmarked. Norway is the second highest donor in contributions per capita and increased its donations by more than 10% last year. More than USD 26.9 million of Norway’s contributions to UNHCR has gone toward the situation in Ukraine.
Sweden as a donor
Sweden donated over USD 145.6 million to UNHCR in 2022. Of this, more than USD 99.2 million was unearmarked, which was by far the largest amount of unearmarked money donated by a single country. More than USD 15.3 million of Sweden’s contributions to UNHCR has gone toward the situation in Ukraine.
Finland as a donor
Finland donated over USD 27.5 million to UNHCR in 2022. Of this, more than USD 8.2 million was unearmarked. More than USD 5.8 million of Finland’s contributions to UNHCR has gone toward the situation in Ukraine.
Iceland as a donor
Iceland donated over USD 4.1 million to UNHCR in 2022. Of this, more than USD 1.5 million was unearmarked. In the last year, Iceland has increased its donations to UNHCR by more than 50% and is now our seventh biggest contributor per capita. More than USD 1.1 million of Iceland’s contributions to UNHCR has gone toward the situation in Ukraine.
Estonia as a donor
Estonia donated USD 700,283 to UNHCR in 2022. Of this, USD 119,474 was unearmarked. USD 247,811 of Estonia’s contributions to UNHCR has gone toward the situation in Ukraine.
Latvia as a donor
Latvia donated USD 131,435 to UNHCR in 2022, a large increase compared with the 2021 numbers. All of it was earmarked toward the situation in Ukraine.
Lithuania as a donor
Lithuania donated USD 225,225 to UNHCR in 2022, a large increase compared with the 2021 numbers. Of this, USD 112,613 was unearmarked which could be used for sudden emergencies.