Follow our work in helping people affected by the Ukraine crisis
The Finnish Red Cross is helping those affected by the crisis in Ukraine
We will be updating this page with the latest information about our aid work.
How can I help?
- You can help by donating to the Disaster Relief Fund.
- If you want to train to become a Red Cross volunteer, register in our volunteer reserve.
The crisis in Ukraine has been escalating for two years
(19 February 2024)
Over the past two years, we have directed over 28 million euros from our Disaster Relief Fund to help those affected by the crisis in Ukraine and its surrounding areas. Thank you to all who have donated.
Among other things, the support has included
- cash assistance, allowing families to purchase essential supplies
- tents, blankets, medical supplies and cooking tools for those who have fled from their homes
- a health clinic and ten mobile health units
Additionally, we have dispatched over 70 aid workers for logistics, healthcare, emotional support, and communication tasks.
The need for assistance remains immense. Both the people living in Ukraine and those who have fled the country will be needing assistance years after the fighting eventually stops. Many have lost not only a home and family members but also the opportunity to support themselves.
In particular, the need for basic healthcare, physical and mental rehabilitation, and livelihood will persist for a long time. We are providing long-term support to the Ukrainian Red Cross, including through volunteer training and the development of social services.
Important assistance from health clinics and cash distributions
(15 December 2023)
“The Red Cross mobile health clinics are providing basic healthcare services to areas where services have disappeared due to the conflict. Distances to the nearest health centre or pharmacy can be extremely long, and especially in winter, mobility is further hindered,” says our aid worker Heidi Saarinen from Ukraine.
“Many people have been forced to flee their homes to safer areas due to the conflict and are living in temporary accommodation. For them, mobile health clinics may be the only way to access healthcare services. Our mobile clinics treat common illnesses, provide necessary medications and offer psychosocial support as needed,” Saarinen continues.
Harri Hiekkanen, a Finnish Red Cross international aid worker, says that the need for assistance is increasing with the arrival of winter. Therefore, the Red Cross has increased cash aid distribution in Ukraine.
“Assistance is provided to people who have had to leave their homes and move to safer areas.”
An additional three million euros of support for those affected by the crisis in Ukraine
(16 October 2023)
The approaching winter brings increasing costs for those living in the midst of the crisis in Ukraine, such as rising heating expenses.
We are directing an additional three million euros from our Disaster Relief Fund to support the International Red Cross cash assistance programme, which helps those affected by the crisis in Ukraine. The amount of cash assistance to be distributed is being increased due to the rising costs of winter.
Cash assistance is provided to people who have been forced to flee their homes and have moved to safer areas, as well as to those accommodating refugees.
Approximately 350,000 people who have lost their homes are living in locally provided accommodations.
Healthcare work and cash assistance in Ukraine
(4 September 2023)
The clinic we established in Uzhhorod, Ukraine, has already had over 16,000 patient visits. With our support, ten mobile health units have also been established in Ukraine.
We continue to support the Ukrainian health care system, as well as the distribution of cash donations that help the people in the most vulnerable positions.
Assistance for those affected by the flood disaster
(9 June 2023)
The aid workers and volunteers of the Ukrainian Red Cross were there from the start to help the people suffering from the consequences of the destruction of the Kakhovka Dam.
The Ukrainian Red Cross is assisting authorities in evacuating the flood area and aids with the basic needs of those affected by the disaster by providing water, food, shelter, hygiene items and emotional support.
The International Red Cross is currently assessing, in collaboration with the Ukrainian Red Cross, what additional assistance the communities affected by the flood disaster may need.
On-site, the Red Cross is also preparing for water purification and distribution, as well as disseminating information about diseases transmitted through contaminated floodwater.
We strengthen the well-being of volunteers and people who have fled to Finland
(6 June 2023)
We have launched the "Turvallinen mieli" project to promote the mental resilience of those who have fled to Finland. The project is part of a broader collaboration with the Ukrainian Red Cross and 23 other Red Cross branches.
At community events organised by our volunteers, participants of all ages identify their strengths, learn ways to manage stress, and gain new insights into mental well-being. In workshops led by Red Cross psychologists, adults who have experienced conflict can safely process their traumatic experiences under professional guidance.
We also invest in the well-being of our volunteers by developing peer support practices and creating opportunities for debriefing discussions. We offer open training sessions on the topic.
The project is funded by the European Commission, and the Finnish Red Cross will complement the funding from its Disaster Relief Fund.
Shelters providing assistance for youth
(2 June 2023)
Many children or adolescents who have fled from Ukraine are experiencing symptoms due to the things they have experienced in the midst of the conflict.
In groups held at the Finnish Red Cross youth shelters, difficult experiences are discussed, and methods for calming both the body and mind are taught.
"For many young people, the groups we hold have provided the initial impetus for coping with trauma," says Marika Määttänen, a crisis and family worker at the youth shelter in Tampere.
Mobile health units bring aid to those who have fled their homes
(24 March 2023)
With support from the Finnish Red Cross, seven mobile health units have been established in Western Ukraine.
“The mobile health units work a bit like mobile libraries in Finland. A doctor and two nurses arrive from the hospital in a Red Cross vehicle and set up a health centre for the day,” says Marko Korhonen, head of disaster relief, who visited Ukraine.
The mobile units are run by the Ukrainian Red Cross Society and staffed by local personnel. The mobile units provide basic healthcare services to areas where the healthcare system is severely strained due to people fleeing conflict.
Upon the unit's arrival, information is provided to residents at local meeting points and on social media. If someone in need cannot leave their home, the doctor and nurses will visit them there. One unit assists approximately 20 clients per day.
During the spring, three more units supported by the Finnish Red Cross will be established. They are part of the International Red Cross's relief operation, which currently includes nearly one hundred mobile health units.
A year ago, the conflict in Ukraine intensified significantly, causing a massive humanitarian crisis
(20 February 2023)
During the past year, millions of people have lost their homes, facing shortages of basic necessities such as water, heating and healthcare. The mental well-being of individuals is being severely tested.
The International Red Cross Movement is helping communities by providing first aid and shelter for those displaced from their homes, as well as organising healthcare services and cash assistance for the most vulnerable.
In the first few months, Red Cross assistance reached millions of people in Ukraine and in countries where people had fled. The Red Cross also engages in ongoing discussions with the parties involved to ensure the protection of civilians and the safe delivery of aid to those in need.
Assistance provided by the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement in numbers:
- Aid to approximately 15 million people for basic needs
- Clean water provided to 10,600,000 people
- €201,865,191 in economic assistance to those in need
- Health assistance provided to 1,195,350 people
- Shelter provided to 1,897,481 people
- 15,000 visits to prisoners of war
- 124,828 Red Cross volunteers have assisted those affected by the crisis in Ukraine
The need for assistance is constantly evolving and will persist for a long time. Support is needed for both people within Ukraine and in countries where individuals have sought refuge. The consequences of the conflict are also felt far beyond Ukraine's borders. For example, the rise in prices worldwide affects the poorest countries and the most vulnerable societies the hardest.
The Ukrainian Red Cross, supported by the International Red Cross, has been on the ground assisting long before the escalation of the conflict a year ago. The humanitarian crisis is immense, and we are committed to helping people for as long as assistance is needed. To be able to provide aid, we require sustained support.
Help at home
(20 February 2023)
Over the past year, Red Cross volunteers have assisted a total of 21,932 people who have fled to Finland due to the crisis in Ukraine. We have organised emergency aid collections and provided support for housing preparation, everyday support, and food aid across Finland.
We have supported those arriving in Finland by distributing food vouchers to families with children through reception centres. Food vouchers worth over €520,000 have been distributed.
Our volunteers have organised 460 inclusive food aid events. These events have supported over 16,100 individuals throughout Finland, including those who have fled from Ukraine to Finland.
More than 238 Red Cross volunteer branches have provided support to those who have fled to Finland due to the crisis in Ukraine.
This is how we helped in the Ukrainian crisis in 2022
(17 December 2022)
We have directed approximately 19.7 million euros from our Disaster Relief Fund to the International Red Cross to assist those affected by the conflict in Ukraine and its surrounding areas. The need for aid will continue for a long time.
The support consists of both financial and material aid. The sum does not contain the costs of sending aid workers, which are also funded from the Disaster Relief Fund.
Here's what we've accomplished with donations from the Disaster Relief Fund:
- From our logistics centre in Tampere, we've sent material aid including tents, blankets, family-sized tents, medical supplies and cooking equipment to those who have fled their homes.
- We've delivered a health clinic to Uzhhorod in Western Ukraine. The clinic provides primary healthcare services during the day, functioning similarly to a day health centre.
- Experts from Finland were sent to support the establishment of the clinic.
- We're currently organising ten mobile health units in Western Ukraine. Mobile health clinics include a doctor and a nurse who provide basic health care and psychosocial support for people who have fled their homes.
- As winter approached, we sent 185 diesel heaters and two large generators to Ukraine. The heaters can be used to warm homes or temporary shelters, while the generators can serve as backup power for hospitals or health facilities.
- Our disaster preparedness unit focused on logistics organised the transportation, storage and distribution of International Red Cross material aid to Ukraine in the spring.
- We've allocated a total of 13 million euros to a cash assistance programme, which helps the most vulnerable in Ukraine and neighboring countries. With cash assistance, families can purchase essential items such as food, medicine, transportation tickets or phone SIM cards to stay in touch with relatives.
- We've directed approximately 2.6 million euros in financial support to the International Red Cross relief operation.
- We've supported International Red Cross medicine purchases with half a million euros.
Additionally, we've sent over 60 aid workers to support various aspects of the operation, including logistics, healthcare, psychosocial support, communication, and organisational development. They also assess the evolving humanitarian situation and the need for assistance.
In Finland, thousands of our volunteers supported people who fled from Ukraine. The newcomers were provided with material aid and emotional support. With the help of the Disaster Relief Fund, we distributed 7,700 food vouchers to low-income families with children and unaccompanied minors for assistance during the Christmas period.
In addition to the support provided with donation funds, our reception centres provided accommodation and reception services to thousands of people who have fled from Ukraine.
Our volunteers assisted in furnishing apartments and raised funds for emergency aid. Our volunteers also supported the integration of those arriving in Finland by organising activities such as friend visitor activities, language clubs and homework help.
Generators and heaters en route
(5 December 2022)
We sent a truckload of heaters and generators to Ukraine.
Large generators can be used as backup power for hospitals or health facilities, ensuring operations continue during power outages.
Diesel heaters are used to warm distribution points or temporary shelters for those who have fled their homes. One heater can keep a large tent warm even in freezing temperatures.
Two generators and sixteen heaters departed from the Red Cross logistics centre in Tampere. We will send more aid as we receive additional equipment in our warehouse.
Aid workers support healthcare in Ukraine
(18 November 2022)
Tuomo Hämäläinen works as a paramedic in ambulances in Ukraine as part of the International Committee of the Red Cross relief operation.
"Our tasks include assisting local healthcare in emergency care missions in collaboration with the Ukrainian Red Cross. Additionally, we provide training for the local Red Cross rescue team.”
Finnish Red Cross gives 10 million euros to help those most vulnerable in Ukraine
The Finnish Red Cross will provide 10 million euros from its Disaster Relief Fund to the cash aid programme of the International Red Cross. The programme supports the most vulnerable people in Ukraine.
"As the winter grows colder and the air strikes continue, people’s survival is at stake. The price of housing and food has increased rapidly, and heating is a concern, especially in areas where homes and energy plants have been destroyed," Marko Korhonen, Head of International Disaster Management of the Finnish Red Cross, describes the situation.
The Red Cross will allocate cash aid to people who are accommodating refugees from other parts of Ukraine for free and to veterans who were severely injured before the current crisis and whose pension does not cover everyday necessities.
"These groups were selected based on their level of vulnerability and because they do not have sufficient access to other forms of help", Korhonen says.
"As the conflict has been prolonged, the resources of the families housing refugees have been spread thin. As for the severely injured soldiers, they receive only small sums of social security, which makes it difficult to manage when prices rise. These people also depend on assistive devices or other people, which is why they and their families are especially vulnerable."
The international Red Cross will carry out the aid programme in cooperation with the Ukrainian Red Cross and local authorities. The programme will reach over 600,000 people. Aid will be provided to registered recipients for four months.
The aid sum of 10 million euros will be distributed in full by July 2023.
Aid provided in cash or on a payment card is a flexible form of support in cases where people’s situations and needs may vary. The aid recipient can decide for themselves how they will use the sum received.
"In our experience, cash aid is effective since people use it for basic needs: such as food, housing, heating, medications or bus fares. In the middle of a crisis, it is also important that everyone gets to make their own decisions about their life," Korhonen points out.
The support of 10 million euros to the cash aid programme is one of the largest single sums ever provided by the Finnish Red Cross.
"The sum is a significant one because the need for aid is immense. We are very grateful for the donations made to the Disaster Relief Fund since they allow for long-term support to those who need it the most."
Ten health clinics to Ukraine
With the help of our disaster fund, we will arrange for ten health clinics to be included in Ukraine's aid operation. Mobile clinics provide basic health care to refugees within Ukraine.
“An estimated 7 million people have had to flee their homes internally, some of whom have moved to remote areas in western parts of the country that they consider safer. The area is very mountainous in places, and people's opportunities to travel to seek treatment and help are limited,” says Marko Korhonen, Head of International Disaster Management at the Finnish Red Cross.
Mobile health clinics include a doctor and a nurse who provide basic health care and psychosocial support to refugees fleeing from their homes. Treatment and medicine provided in the clinics are free of charge for patients.
We will direct 700,000 euros from the disaster relief fund to mobile health clinics. The funds will go towards the establishment of new clinics as well as operating costs of the clinics.
Clean water to Ukraine
In Finland, we often take clean water for granted. In Ukraine, however, large areas suffer from a lack of clean water, electricity and natural gas for heating.
“I am currently on my way to Ukraine in a convoy of seven vehicles: four trucks full of aid supplies and three tank trucks for the distribution of clean water,” said our aid worker Keijo Eklöf from Ukraine.
This year, more than eight million people in Ukraine have received clean water through the Red Cross. The Finnish Red Cross has also supported the work of the International Red Cross to help those suffering from the crisis in Ukraine.
Six months of crisis in Ukraine
Since the Ukrainian conflict escalated six months ago, more than 13 million people have fled their homes. Those who stayed in their homeland also need help.
Key figures of the Red Cross aid operation:
- More than 100,000 Red Cross volunteers and employees have been involved in aid activities.
- Five million people have been provided with aid supplies.
- Eight million people have been provided with clean water.
- 718,000 people have been provided with health services.
- 368,000 people have been provided with psychosocial support.
- 626,000 people have been provided with cash grants.
Although the aid operation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent International Movement in Ukraine is large, the need for assistance is also enormous. The coming winter will make the situation even more difficult, and aid will be needed for a long time to come.
Cooking and accommodation supplies to help refugees fleeing from their homes
We sent cooking and accommodation supplies to support the aid operation by the Ukrainian Red Cross Society. Thanks to donations to the Disaster Relief Fund, we delivered a total of one thousand field beds with mattresses and bedding, towels and 6,000 kitchen equipment sets to Ukraine.
“More than 6.6 million people have fled fighting and bombing within Ukraine. Most of the refugees are staying with relatives or friends, but one in ten have had to seek shelter in schools or other facilities, for example. Eating, washing and sleeping are basic human needs, and donations help people to overcome the worst in a difficult situation,” says Marko Korhonen, Head of International Disaster Management at the Red Cross.
The total value of the donation is approximately 320,000 euros. So far, the disaster relief fund has supported the aid operation of the Red Cross in Ukraine to the total sum of approximately 8.5 million euros. The amount does not contain the costs of posting aid workers.
The need for health care in Ukraine is dire
“Thank you is the only thing I can say. I am grateful to all those who care about us,” says Oleksandr Ivanovich.
Ivanovich, 72, was visiting the Red Cross health station in Uzhhorod, Ukraine. Ivanovich, who was waiting to be examined, says that he had fled his home in Luhansk already at the end of February.
Since then, he has been staying in Uzhhorod, where the local school provides temporary shelter to internally displaced people.
The health station deployed by the Finnish Red Cross in Uzhhorod provides medical consultation, examinations, medicine and psychosocial support to all those in need.
The health station is maintained by the Ukrainian Red Cross Society and employs local health care professionals.
In order to alleviate the great need for health care in Ukraine, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and many national Red Cross Societies provide assistance, including through various aid points, clinics and mobile health teams, both in Ukraine and in the countries to which people have fled.
The Red Cross health station in Uzhorod, Ukraine, is open
The Red Cross health station in Uzhhorod, Ukraine, is open to all those in need. The health station was sent from Finland with the support of donations.
In addition to a team of aid workers from the Finnish Red Cross, the health station was set up by aid workers from the International Red Cross and the Japanese Red Cross Society.
The health station is operated by the Ukrainian Red Cross Society and local doctors, nurses and other health care professionals. The medical staff can treat more than one hundred people each day.
In addition to treatment, the health station also offers food, hygiene and baby care supplies, among other things.
Three months of aid from the Red Cross
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is leading a major international aid operation in Ukraine and its neighbouring areas. Figures from the roughly three months of aid work:
- 2.1 million people helped
- 2.3 million kilograms of aid supplies delivered
- more than 4.17 million euros of cash donations distributed
- 142 relief centres in 15 countries
- 96,000 people evacuated
- 71,000 trained Red Cross volunteers providing aid
In addition to Ukraine and its neighbouring countries, the Red Cross is helping people affected by crises in many other countries, including Finland.
Cash donations providing flexible help for those fleeing the conflict in Ukraine
The Finnish Red Cross is assigning three million euros from its Disaster Relief Fund to the cash donation programme of the International Red Cross, the objective of which is to help both people in Ukraine and those who have fled to other countries.
The need for humanitarian aid in Ukraine is immense. The entire country is affected by the conflict. It is estimated that 7.7 million people within the country have had to leave their homes. Moreover, the effects of the conflict extend beyond the borders of the country as well. So far, almost six million people have fled Ukraine.
“The escapees’ circumstances and needs vary considerably – for example, one person needs money for travel right now, while another person needs a working phone so that they can contact their loved ones. Cash donations enable them to make purchases in accordance with their individual needs,” explains Marko Korhonen, Head of International Disaster Management at the Finnish Red Cross.
The objective of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is to reach two million people affected by the conflict with cash donations. This is the largest cash donation programme ever carried out by the Red Cross in terms of its reach.
The three million euros granted from the Disaster Relief Fund of the Finnish Red Cross are used to help people fleeing the conflict by means of cash donations loaded onto payment cards.
“Cash donations make it possible to quickly respond to urgent and essential needs. Our previous experiences have shown this to be a good and effective tool when the market is working. Having an opportunity to decide on your own matters can also make it easier to recover from traumatic events,” Korhonen explains.
Cash donations can also be used to indirectly support the local economy, as they enable people to make purchases at their local stores.
So far, the Finnish Red Cross has assigned roughly 7.9 million euros from its Disaster Relief Fund to the aid operation of the International Red Cross in Ukraine and its neighbouring areas. Among other things, this support includes a logistics disaster preparedness unit consisting of aid workers as well as monetary and material aid, such as an entire health clinic in West Ukraine.
The aid sum does not include costs arising from the deployment of other aid workers, which are also paid from the Disaster Relief Fund. In addition to the disaster preparedness unit, the Finnish Red Cross has sent operators such as health care, psychosocial support, communications and organisational development professionals to the area.
More aid for basic health care and hospitals in Ukraine
On 12 May, we sent off an aid load from our Logistics Centre in Tampere. The supplies are used to support basic health care and hospitals in Ukraine.
Among other things, the delivery contains:
- wheel chairs
- operating tables
- physiotherapy equipment
- respiratory masks
- incontinence pads and napkins
- protective and work clothes for hospital staff
The aid supplies are donations from companies, and their transport is funded with donations made to the Disaster Relief Fund of the Red Cross.
Health station sent by the Finnish Red Cross set up
A Red Cross health station sent from Tampere has now been set up and is being finished in Uzhorod, Ukraine.
The project involves aid workers of the Finnish Red Cross providing advice and guidance for commissioning the health station. The actual staff will be hired locally.
The Red Cross mobile health unit tours Finnish municipalities
Our mobile health unit is now operational. Health care professionals tour municipalities performing and helping in the arrangement of initial health checks to the clients of Red Cross reception centres. The purpose of the mobile health unit is to ease the workload of reception centres.
The health unit currently employs a varied group of aid workers: a nurse, public health nurse and midwife tour the reception centres.
The majority of the health unit’s customers are women and children who have fled Ukraine. In addition to assessing their physical health, the importance of being present is highlighted in the work.
“We hope that by meeting people and listening to their experiences we can lighten their burden even slightly,” explains mobile health unit nurse Sari Bergström.
In operation since late April, the health unit’s first destination was Lahti. This week, our aid workers have visited Pori, Juva and Mikkeli. The purpose of the mobile health unit is to support domestic aid work throughout this year.
How are the funds donated to the Ukraine collection used?
(28 April 2022)
The aid of the Finnish Red Cross is a part of the International Red Cross’s work to support the aid operations of the Red Cross organisations of Ukraine and its neighbouring countries. Furthermore, donations made to the Disaster Relief Fund are used to aid people fleeing Ukraine in Finland.
The donated funds:
- offer financial support to the international aid operation of the Red Cross
- send aid workers to Ukraine and its neighbouring areas
- send material aid to Ukraine and its neighbouring areas
- help refugees arriving in Finland
In addition to financial aid, the Finnish Red Cross has sent accommodation and medical supplies and an entire health clinic to Ukraine.
The collected funds have also allowed us to send aid workers to the area. These include professionals in logistics, health care, psychosocial support, communications and organisational development, as well as specialists who assess the changing humanitarian situation and need for aid.
Our disaster preparedness unit focusing on logistics organises the transport, storage and distribution of material aid from the International Red Cross to Ukraine.
The Finnish Immigration Service is always responsible for funding statutory reception operations, but donations made to the Disaster Relief Fund are also used to support people arriving in Finland.
We offer them e.g. clothes, hygiene supplies, food and drink and other basic necessities as required. Donations have also been used in arranging psychosocial support.
Browse this page for further information about the aid work carried out with the help of donated funds. We are constantly updating this page. You can also read more about the use of donated funds here.
The Finnish Red Cross is sending a health clinic to Ukraine
(26 April 2022)
The Finnish Red Cross is delivering a health clinic to Ukraine to support the aid operation of the International Red Cross. The health clinic is funded by the Finnish Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.
Delivered to Uzhhorod in Western Ukraine, the clinic will offer basic health care to customers during the day, i.e. it is equipped like a day health centre.
“More than 7 million people have been forced to leave their homes inside Ukraine. These internal refugees have overloaded the basic health care of Western Ukraine. The clinic delivered from Finland can support the local health care,” says Marko Korhonen, Head of International Disaster Management at the Finnish Red Cross.
Specialists from Finland will accompany the clinic to get it up and running quickly and correctly.
“The Finnish team accompanying the clinic will instruct and advise on the implementation of the health centre. Our specialists will remain in Ukraine for the first months,” Korhonen explains.
The actual health centre staff will be employed locally in Ukraine.
The Finnish Red Cross has previously donated a total of 3.5 million euros from its Disaster Relief Fund to aid work by the International Red Cross in Ukraine and the neighbouring countries.
The support consists of both financial and material aid. The sum does not contain the costs of sending aid workers, which are also funded from the Disaster Relief Fund.
How does the Red Cross aid refugees arriving in Finland?
(25 April 2002)
One of our main missions is to help vulnerable people, such as refugees, asylum seekers and undocumented migrants. We help people in need regardless of their legal or social status.
In helping refugees, the most important thing is to meet their basic needs first: offer them food, water, warm clothes and a roof over their heads. We are also offering services related to reception operations to thousands of people staying in private accommodation.
Material aid from the International Red Cross
(18 April 2002)
The International Federation of Red Cross Societies has delivered e.g. the following to people fleeing the Ukraine conflict:
- 131,784 hygiene packs
- 49,500 sleeping pads
- 36,950 blankets
- 32,535 kitchen sets
- health services and first aid to 160,000 people
Material aid is also delivered through the International Committee of the Red Cross.
At least 33,000 Red Cross volunteers are working hard in the aid operation together with our employees.
Medical aid to Ukraine
(12 April 2002)
The Finnish Red Cross is supporting the medical procurements of the International Red Cross in Ukraine with half a million euros.
The need for humanitarian aid in Ukraine is immense. People are in desperate need of health services, medicine, clean water and shelter.
The Kalkku logistics centre of the Finnish Red Cross, located in Tampere, has supplied the Ukrainian Red Cross with a semitrailer packed with sorely needed medical supplies, such as patient monitors, pulse oximeters and bandages.
In addition to the medical supply delivery, the Finnish Red Cross is supporting the medical procurements of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for those suffering from the Ukrainian conflict with half a million euros.
“In this constantly changing situation, monetary support facilitates the procurement of the exact medicines that are needed at the given time. The International Committee of the Red Cross is procuring and delivering the medicines to Ukraine via established channels,” explains Head of International Disaster Management at the Finnish Red Cross Marko Korhonen.
So far, the Finnish Red Cross has sent more than 20 aid workers to Ukraine and its neighbouring countries to support the international aid operation of the Red Cross. Sirpa Miettinen is about to head to Ukraine for health care duties, as the latest addition.
“I’m heading out to Ukraine to support the health care programmes of the Ukrainian Red Cross in the Lviv and Zakarpattia areas in Western Ukraine. The Austrian Red Cross has been supporting the areas for a long time, but now the needs in basic health care have intensified due to internal refugees. Many of them are living in temporary shelters,” Miettinen says.
In Western Ukraine, the Red Cross is providing aid such as mobile clinics, home care and psychosocial support.
Aid will be provided for years to come.
The aid workers of the Finnish Red Cross are sent on their missions with donations made to the Disaster Relief Fund.
On site, help is delivered by the International Red Cross and the local Red Cross. The aid work in Ukraine and its neighbouring countries will require a long-term approach.
“The humanitarian crisis in Ukraine is deep, and aid will be provided for years to come. The best way to help is still to make a donation to the Finnish Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund,” Korhonen points out.
The Finnish Red Cross has previously allocated a total of 3 million euros from its Disaster Relief Fund to aid work by the International Red Cross in Ukraine and its neighbouring countries.
Red Cross aid has reached more than a million people
(30 March 2022)
The Red Cross has aided more than a million people affected by the Ukraine crisis – both in and outside Ukraine. This is a large number, but still not good enough. The need for aid is immense.
The Red Cross is constantly able to deliver more and more aid to the area. We have built logistics chains, and the number of helpers is being increased, both in Ukraine and its surrounding areas.
Currently, the Red Cross has 10,000 volunteers and more than 1,000 employees in Ukraine. Furthermore, several times as many Red Cross employees and trained volunteers are working on the crisis outside Ukraine, also in Finland.
Aid is provided e.g. in the following forms:
- hygiene supplies
- medical supplies
- first aid and first aid training
- psychosocial support
Funds donated to the Red Cross emergency aid collection are used to help people affected by the Ukraine crisis. As the aid work will continue for a long time to come, so will our emergency aid collection. Our warmest thanks to all donors!
Misconceptions and false information circulating
(30 March 2022)
In recent days, in social media and some foreign media in particular, misconceptions and false information have been circulated about the operation of the International Red Cross in Ukraine and its neighbouring areas.
We understand that the claims made in various contexts about the operation of the Red Cross raise questions. However, the claims are based on incorrect information and misconceptions.
In a situation such as this, it is extremely important to convey correct information about how the Red Cross operates and why.
How does the Red Cross aid persons arriving in Finland?
(25 March 2022)
The Finnish Red Cross helps people in need and supports the authorities when accidents and disturbances occur. Our volunteers are ready to help all over Finland.
In Finland, we help people fleeing the Ukraine conflict e.g. by offering food, drink, hygiene supplies, psychosocial support and guidance in a variety of everyday matters. We also support the authorities in receiving people coming from Ukraine to Finland e.g. at the ports of Helsinki and Turku, Helsinki Airport and police stations.
We are ready to increase placements in our active reception centres at the request of the Finnish Immigration Service and to open new units as required. Across Finland, we have already responded to requests by establishing new reception centres, temporary accommodation units and service units for people in private accommodation.
We have produced psychosocial support materials in Ukrainian and Russian and acknowledge the need for psychosocial support in our reception operations. We also provide psychosocial support through our friend activities, the Sekasin chat service and at our Youth Shelters.
We have set up a national information point for parties that offer help, bringing together information on the help available and distributing it forward for the purposes of aid coordination. We gather information so that the aid can be organised efficiently through established operators.
In Finland, our emergency aid collection is also collecting money for the Disaster Relief Fund to help people affected by the conflict.
We communicate actively on Ukraine’s humanitarian situation, need for aid and psychosocial support on the redcross.fi website and through social and other media. We strengthen awareness of the principles of humanitarian law and protection of the vulnerable.
People are very eager to help, and many new volunteers have signed up with the Red Cross. We arrange volunteer training and offer opportunities for helping as services are opened up in different regions and locations. Register in our volunteer reserve here. Welcome!
The Red Cross helps in the reception of people arriving in Finland from Ukraine
(17 March 2022)
Red Cross employees and trained volunteers are present at Helsinki’s West Harbour providing food, drink, hygiene supplies and psychosocial support for people arriving in Finland from Ukraine.
People arriving in the country are also given advice on the primary practical arrangements after leaving the harbour.
“We have extensive experience in reception preparedness and collaboration with the authorities,” says Erja Reinikainen, Head of the Finnish Red Cross Immigration Work Unit.
In addition to the Finnish Immigration Service, we cooperate with other authorities working at the Port of Helsinki, such as the police, the Finnish Border Guard, Finnish Customs and the social and immigration services of the City of Helsinki.
As a preparedness organisation, the Finnish Red Cross is prepared for extensive immigration and its impacts.
“Our trained volunteers offer primary support for people arriving in the country. It can mean offering food or helping people find instructions in Ukrainian, but first and foremost, it is about warm presence,” Reinikainen says.
The Red Cross also supports the authorities in receiving immigrants at Helsinki Airport.
If you want to train to become a Red Cross volunteer, register in our volunteer reserve.
Finnish Red Cross aid transport arrived in Ukraine
(16 March 2022)
The Finnish Red Cross aid transport consisting of eleven trucks has arrived in Vinnytsia, Ukraine. The Finnish Red Cross aid worker Ari Mäntyvaara led the convoy and Jari Kymäläinen drove the first truck. The 200-tonne cargo included e.g. the following:
- 3,600 blankets
- 1,200 buckets
- 1,200 hygiene products
- 1,170 water canisters
- 1,200 kitchen sets
- 1,200 tarpaulins
- Medical supplies for treating 1,900 wounded.
The International Red Cross increasing its aid in Ukraine
(10 March 2022)
The need for humanitarian aid caused by the Ukraine crisis is growing by the day. Hundreds of thousands of people live within the country without clean water, food, heating, electricity and health services.
The International Red Cross has been able to increase its staff in Ukraine to meet the growing humanitarian needs. Logistics centres are being established in neighbouring countries to facilitate sending aid supplies to Ukraine.
Despite the difficult situation, aid has reached its destination thanks to employees and volunteers alike. The Red Cross delivers medical materials, food, water and hygiene supplies to Ukraine. People also receive psychosocial support and first aid training.
The International Red Cross also aids those who have fled outside Ukraine. Here are some examples of the aid offered by national Red Cross organisations in different countries:
- The Ukrainian Red Cross has e.g. distributed more than 90,000 food and hygiene packages, helped in evacuations, provided first aid training and assisted the rescue authorities as houses have been destroyed. More than 3,000 new volunteers have joined the Ukrainian Red Cross.
- The Polish Red Cross has offered material aid to people fleeing the conflict, arranged accommodation, helped find missing people and sent a hospital unit to Ukraine, among other things. Furthermore, 20 rescue units of the Polish Red Cross have offered psychosocial and medical assistance through their 450 trained volunteers.
- The Russian Red Cross has e.g. delivered 187 tonnes of material aid, such as clothes, hygiene supplies and children’s supplies, to people fleeing into Russia from eastern Ukraine.
- The Hungarian Red Cross has offered e.g. food, drink and psychosocial support to people fleeing the conflict. Furthermore, it has sent 25 tonnes of material aid to Ukraine.
- The Moldova Red Cross has helped people fleeing Ukraine in reception centres and at the border, e.g. by distributing food, drink and other basic supplies.
- The Romanian Red Cross has e.g. distributed SIM cards and basic supplies to people in need of aid. It has also equipped reception centres and an aid convoy of 18 trucks to Ukraine.
- The Slovak Red Cross has provided those in need with first aid, accommodation, basic supplies and coronavirus testing, among other things.
- The Lithuanian Red Cross has equipped 37 trucks and 8 buses to Ukraine with aid supplies and helped people arriving in Lithuania.
- The International Committee of the Red Cross has provided e.g. food, water and accommodation in Ukraine. The Committee has 600 aid workers in the country.
Professional aid workers to help in an immense aid operation
(8 March 2022)
Our aid workers Ari Mäntyvaara, Jari Kymäläinen, Gediminas Almantas and Niko Nurminen are going to Ukraine to support the aid operation of the International Red Cross.
Mäntyvaara is a part of a team whose task is to start the Red Cross aid operation in new regions in Ukraine and implement the delivery chain of aid material. Kymäläinen is involved in transporting aid supplies across the border.
I am feeling confident at the start of the journey. The International Committee of the Red Cross is a good and strong organisation that is great to work with.
Nurminen and other Red Cross crisis workers have the task of creating safety, arranging safe spaces where people’s basic needs are met and training volunteers and local employees to support people fleeing the Ukraine conflict.
Almantas will support and develop the Red Cross organisations and local volunteers in Ukraine and its neighbouring countries to operate in the current crisis situation. The work involves a great deal of daily coordination with the various local Red Cross organisations as the situation is constantly evolving.
More aid workers to Ukraine and neighbouring areas
(6 March 2022)
The Finnish Red Cross will send a disaster preparedness unit to support the international aid mission of the Red Cross. The task of the unit is to ensure that aid supplies are delivered to those most in need in Ukraine.
The unit consists of seven logistics and disaster relief professionals. The unit organises the transport, storage and distribution of material aid from the International Red Cross to Ukraine.
“Delivering aid from Ukraine's borders inside the country is currently very challenging due to acts of violence and the constantly changing security situation. The logistics unit's task is to plan and implement a transport link onwards from Lublin in Poland, so that aid supplies can be safely delivered to Ukraine and distributed to the most vulnerable,” says Marko Korhonen, Head of International Disaster Management at the Finnish Red Cross.
The disaster preparedness unit works in cooperation with local authorities and on-site Red Cross workers. Two of the members of the unit come from the Swiss Red Cross.
The International Red Cross will send disaster preparedness units to support the local Red Cross or Red Crescent when aid is needed quickly due to war or natural disaster, for example, and the local people do not have sufficient resources.
Disaster preparedness units are entities that are assembled globally in accordance with common standards. The units include trained personnel, equipment and other material.
The activities of the logistics unit are funded through donations to the Finnish Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.
Finland to also send aid workers to assess the need for help
Two aid workers from the Finnish Red Cross will also travel to Ukraine as part of the International Red Cross assessment team.
The task of the team is to assess the rapidly changing need for help and the humanitarian situation in Ukraine. The Finnish aid workers in the assessment team will be sent to Ukraine with support from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.
Both units will be deployed to Poland and Ukraine in the coming days.
The Finnish Red Cross has previously allocated a total of 1.1 million euros from its Disaster Relief Fund to aid work by the International Red Cross in Ukraine and the neighbouring countries. Some of the aid is material aid, which was sent from the Finnish Red Cross Logistics Centre in Tampere on Friday 4 March 2022.
Million euros’ worth of additional aid
(2 March 2022)
With the help of our donors, we are granting one million euros to aid people affected by the conflict in Ukraine. This grant supports the emergency appeal of the International Red Cross aiming to strengthen the preparedness of the Red Cross organisations in Ukraine and its neighbouring countries for delivering humanitarian aid.
The need for humanitarian aid is immense. Around 18 million people are suffering from the impacts of the conflict. People are in desperate need of health services, medicine, clean water and shelter.
Around one million people fleeing the conflict have so far arrived in countries surrounding Ukraine. The local Red Cross organisations are e.g. distributing food and water as well as offering health services and psychosocial support for these people.
“Our current aim is to secure the basic needs of these people. The need for aid is immense and it will continue for a long time to come,” emphasises Head of International Disaster Management at the Finnish Red Cross Marko Korhonen.
The donated funds are channelled directly into the aid operations of the International Red Cross. Of the million euros granted, 450,000 euros consist of material aid sent from the Finnish Red Cross Logistics Centre in Kalkku, Tampere. Accommodation supplies sent from the centre include:
- 1,000 family-sized tents
- 4,950 blankets
- 1,520 mattresses
On site, help is delivered by the local Red Cross and the International Red Cross. They were operating in and near Ukraine long before the escalation of the conflict. Volunteers and international and local aid workers will distribute the supplies in Ukraine or its neighbouring countries according to the security situation and the need for aid.
International Red Cross asking people to avoid individual donations of goods
(3 February 2022)
Over the past few days, many people have offered material aid to the Red Cross. However, the International Red Cross and the Ukrainian Red Cross have asked people to donate money to the coordinated aid operation, rather than individual donations of goods, food and clothing.
The Red Cross acquires and distributes material aid on a centralised basis, since it is more efficient than sending smaller individual loads. It also allows us to ensure that the goods are of good quality and correspond to the need in question. In contrast, unplanned private aid deliveries can even cause harm.
The best way to help is to make a donation to the Finnish Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.
Earlier last week, with the support of its donors, the Finnish Red Cross granted 100,000 euros from the Disaster Relief Fund to the aid operation of the International Cross to help victims of the Ukraine crisis.
Aid operations underway
(2 March 2022)
The Ukrainian Red Cross and the International Committee of the Red Cross have operated in Ukraine throughout the conflict that started in 2014.
After the conflict escalated on 24 February 2022, the Red Cross has e.g. distributed tens of thousands of food and hygiene packages to civilians in Ukraine, improved water supply, arranged first aid training and evacuated people.
In Ukraine’s neighbouring countries of Poland, Slovakia, Romania, Russia, Croatia and Hungary, the local Red Cross organisations have also helped people fleeing the conflict by arranging emergency accommodation and providing them with clothes, food, drink, other basic supplies and health care.
Furthermore, the International Red Cross coordinates material aid and the work of aid professionals. This aid arrives in Ukraine and the surrounding countries from other Red Cross organisations, also from Finland.
Aid workers sent out
(28 February 2022)
The first Finnish Red Cross aid workers are about to leave for the areas surrounding the conflict in Ukraine to support the International Red Cross aid operation. The aid workers are being deployed with funds from the Finnish Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.
“When relief supplies, such as food, water and blankets, start arriving, someone has to make sure that they are properly stored and distributed to those most in need – whether they are refugees in neighbouring countries or those who have stayed in Ukraine,” says Marko Korhonen, Head of International Disaster Management at the Finnish Red Cross.
Logistics aid workers Juha Niininen and Toni Laitinen will be working outside Ukraine to ensure that material aid is stored, transported and delivered to those in need. Hilkka Hyrkkö, for her part, helps communicate about the Red Cross aid work.
Help from the Disaster Relief Fund and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland
(25 February 2022)
The Finnish Red Cross granted 100,000 euros from the Disaster Relief Fund to support the victims of the Ukraine conflict.
The funds are directed to the International Red Cross delivering aid to people in need on both sides of the contact line.
“We are also preparing to send material support through the International Red Cross to help those who have fled to Ukraine’s neighbouring countries,” Korhonen says.
Support will be needed for a long time to come.
The aid is used to secure the basic needs of people. The Red Cross supplies water, food, shelter and health services. It also helps in finding missing people.
The war that has lasted nearly eight years has made life significantly more difficult for people living in the contact line. The escalation of the conflict is making the situation even worse.
“The conflict has damaged civilian infrastructure and undermined people’s sense of safety. Right now, water supply is a particular worry, since the fighting has damaged waterworks and distribution systems. The need for aid will continue for a long time to come,” says Marko Korhonen, Head of International Disaster Management at the Finnish Red Cross.
The International Red Cross has operated in the conflict area throughout the conflict that has lasted nearly eight years. The Finnish Red Cross has also delivered aid to Ukraine for many years.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland allocates three million euros for the work of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Ukraine. Earlier in February, the Ministry granted a million euros of funding to the International Red Cross in Ukraine through the Finnish Red Cross.
The Red Cross ready to help in Finland
(25 February 2022)
The Finnish Red Cross is also prepared to offer aid in Finland and keeps a close eye on the situation. We always help those in need and support the authorities in case of accidents and disturbances.
“Our volunteers are ready to help throughout Finland. We support the mental well-being and crisis resilience of citizens. We distribute situational information and psychosocial support instructions. The Red Cross is also prepared to receive and help people fleeing conflicts as necessary. We support the authorities in the reception of people seeking protection, at very short notice if necessary,” says Aki Pihlaja, Head of the National Preparedness Unit.
Donate to the Disaster Relief Fund
- Donate through our website
- Text the word SPR15 to the number 16499 (€15)
- via MobilePay to the number 11646
- Account: OP FI52 5000 0120 4156 73, OKOYFIHH. Recipient: Finnish Red Cross Reference number: 6020.
- The Finnish Red Cross does not deliver clothing and goods donations to Ukraine. Read more here. If you wish to donate clothes or goods to the Finnish Red Cross’s Kontti second-hand department stores, the donations will be processed as normal. One third of Kontti’s profit is directed to the Disaster Relief Fund and two thirds are directed to aid work in Finland.
- If you wish to donate goods or clothes to help Ukrainian refugees, please contact your local Red Cross branch or district office. The need for goods and clothes varies by location.