Crisis in Ukraine Update
After 91 days of fighting, the war continues in Ukraine with no end in sight. Millions of Ukrainians, including tens of thousands of Jews, have fled the country, many to Israel. Jewish Federations and our partners continue to work together to ensure that urgent relief reaches the neediest.
- A total of 959 Ukrainian soldiers, including 80 wounded, have so far surrendered at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol. Ukrainian President Vlodomyr Zelensky said on Tuesday that negotiations on evacuating the last soldiers continue.
- The United States said it would give an additional $215 million in new emergency food assistance for Ukraine and called on other countries to help in light of the growing global food crisis due to the war.
- In another sign that the tide of the war may be turning, the Ukrainian Armed Forces say they have recaptured another settlement in the Kharkiv region, as troops continue counterattacks in the area. According to an unnamed NATO military official, experts are seeing “momentum in the war shifting significantly in favor of Ukraine.” According to the official, the debate within military circles is now over whether it is possible for Ukraine to retake Crimea and the Donbas territories.
- In a dramatic development in European security and geopolitics, Sweden and Finland have formally applied to join NATO in response to the war in Ukraine. US President Joe Biden is met with the two countries’ leaders, as part of a show of support by the United States for their applications to join the military alliance. For now, Turkey is objecting to the approval of the new potential members.
- According to the UN Human Rights Council, some 6.31 million refugees have fled Ukraine since the beginning of fighting. More than 1.85 million refugees who initially fled Ukraine have since returned.
REFUGEES, FEDERATIONS, AND PARTNERS ON THE GROUND
Jewish Federations continue to raise money for Ukraine relief efforts, and have collectively raised more than $62 million since the fighting began - triple the amount of the initial goal of the Ukraine emergency campaign, launched on February 24th, 2022, the day that war broke out. Click here to see a presentation about the allocations process for these funds. Through both directed and collective grant making, Federations are supporting over 46 NGO’s that are operating on the ground in Ukraine and neighboring countries, including Jewish Federation partners, The Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), and World ORT; as well as United Hatzalah, Hillel International, Nefesh B'Nefesh, HIAS, the Israel Trauma Coalition, Hadassah Medical Organization, Chabad, Shma Yisrael, Project Kesher, JCC Krakow, Jewish Community Vienna, the Emergency Volunteer Program and others.
In the US Congress last week, the House overwhelmingly approved President Biden%u2019s request for $40 billion in emergency aid to Ukraine, which is significantly higher than his original $33 billion request. This relief package includes vital security, economic, and humanitarian aid, in addition to funds to help resettle Ukrainians in the US, which is a major focus of our attention as we prepare our community to help with this influx. Importantly, the legislation also makes Ukrainian refugees in the US eligible for certain federal benefits. Jewish Federations will continue to advocate that the Senate urgently pass this critical aid package. In last week’s JFNA Ukraine webinar, Darcy Hirsh gave an update on these initiatives.
Federations continue to run a volunteer hub in support of refugees fleeing Ukraine. The initiative is taking place in partnership with the Jewish Agency, JDC and IsraAID. To volunteer for this program (please note that only those who speak Russian and/or Ukrainian are being selected at this time), click here.
To donate to this critical effort please click here.