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Ukraine: At least one in ten refugees needs psychological support

Malteser Ukraine offers creative workshops for the children, supervised by psychologists. Photo: Order of Malta Ukraine

Cologne/Lviv. In the city of Lviv, Malteser International has further expanded psychological support for refugees. Around 200,000 people are currently staying in the western Ukrainian city near the border with Poland. "The streets are full of people. They hope that they will not be forced to leave Ukraine. But even as refugees in their own country, the psychological burden is great. They have lost their homes, left their families behind, and face an uncertain future. More than 10 percent of them need psychological support," says Pavlo Titko, head of Malteser in Ukraine.

Twelve psychologists are currently working for Malteser Ukraine. "One woman told our team that one father had been shot in front of his children and wife. These are the worst images that have been described to us. When we look at them, we see empty gazes. Many have no appetite, do not sleep, are restless. Only a few ask for psychological support because there is still a strong stigma about this topic. That is why it is important to approach mothers directly. The first thing we must do is to stabilise mothers so that their children get a sense of security. When mothers feel better, their children also feel better," says Stepan Pasichnyk, psychologist for Malteser in Lviv.

In four facilities, Ukrainian Malteser offer psychosocial support services for the people. In two facilities they provide a special offer for children with autism. They are under a lot of stress because they have been torn out of their usual routine.  The children can process their experiences in drawing classes and creative workshops. Mobile teams provide additional support for the people at the station.

"It is now important for the children to learn a new form of everyday life. We celebrated the birthday of one of our children in care a few days ago and our psychologist brought balloons. We must not forget the needs of these children and we must take special care of them," says Titko.

Germany: Interim Balance of Humanitarian Aid

Since the beginning of the war a month ago, Malteser Germany has delivered around 2,500 tonnes of relief supplies to Ukraine or its neighbouring countries. More than 70 transports arrived in Ukraine. Medical supplies, tents, camp beds, blankets, food, and field kitchens were among them. Vehicles (one emergency ambulance, one patient transport ambulance, one armoured personnel carrier, one panel van) have been sent to the Malteser centres in Ivano-Frankivsk and Lviv. Some of them have been sent to the interior of the country.

In Lviv (Ukraine), Katowice (Poland) and Fürstenfeldbruck (Germany), Malteser International has established large logistics and material centres. In coordination with the relief organization, private, communal as well as corporate initiatives also supply required goods to the different logistic hubs. Around 1,000 Malteser volunteers are currently on duty every day in Germany. Among other things, they set up shelters at short notice, look after refugees in arrival centres and shelters, provide corona rapid tests and primary medical care and help to pick up and sort donations. Full-time and voluntary staff take care of refugees in more than 60 accommodation facilities of the federal states and municipalities.

Malteser International is the worldwide relief organisation of the Sovereign Order of Malta for humanitarian aid. The organisation provides aid to people in need in around 100 projects in 30 countries – without distinction of religion, origin or political persuasion. Christian values and the humanitarian principles of impartiality and independence form the basis of its work.

Attention editors:  

Interviews/ Statements:
Oliver Hochedez, head of the emergency relief department of Malteser International in Cologne, is available for interviews and sound bites. 

Operator: +49 (0)221 9822 -7181, katharina.kiecol(at)malteser-international.org   


Further information: www.malteser-international.org 


Katharina Kiecol
Email: katharina.kiecol(at)malteser-international.org

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