Peace and Support for Ukraine

The war in Ukraine has caused a humanitarian crisis, labelled a Level 3 emergency by the United Nations. Since the Russian military invasion on 24 February 2022, more than 8 million people have crossed the border from Ukraine into neighboring countries. The majority of them are women, children and elderly, as the male population of conscription age is only allowed to leave Ukraine under special circumstances. 7.1 million more have been internally displaced (UNHCR 22 June 22). 15.1 million are in need of humanitarian assistance inside and around Ukraine (UNOCHA 16 June 2022).

LWF is responding to the crisis directly through a humanitarian program in Poland, and through its local member churches in Poland, Hungary, Romania, and the Slovak Republic, which are supported by LWF through capacity building, pastoral care, prayer and theological reflection. Together with the German Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ukraine, an LWF member church, LWF explores possibilities to support people in Ukraine directly in the district of Chernihiv, northern Ukraine. On the global level, LWF joins in world wide advocacy for peace, and the protection of displaced and vulnerable persons.

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Humanitarian support

In the early onset, LWF in collaboration with Polska Akcja Humanitarna (PAH), distributed food and relief goods to refugees crossing into Poland through the borders in Zosin and Dorohuck as well as displaced populations in Volodymir, Obukhiv and Starokonstantynów in Ukraine.

During the month of May, LWF worked to protect refugees at Medkyka border crossing (Ukraine-Poland). In partnership with Humanosh Foundation, LWF conducted information campaigns for 3,500 refugees, and transported over 1,100 refugees from the border to the closest reception center.

Together with the German Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ukraine, LWF explores possibilities to support people in Ukraine directly in the district of Chernihiv, northern Ukraine. Based on the information collected until now, LWF will support people who for various reasons could not leave, and were most affected by war and trauma. Parts of the region were occupied by the invading army for up to two months, while others saw military units passing through on their advance on Kiev, and on the way back. The retreating army left key infrastructure destroyed and looted, land mines in public places, and many people traumatized.

There is a need to provide shelter, livelihoods, and psychosocial support, especially to children. The area also needs to be de-mined. The response in Ukraine will be coordinated with various faith-based partner organizations through a recently established ACT Ukraine Forum.

In Poland, LWF supports refugees through a duly-registered country program, with a head office in Warsaw and six multi-purpose cash assistance centers in around the country. 27,571 individuals of 11,616 HHs including 390 persons with disabilities have been supported so far (29 June 2022). LWF runs these centers with the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poland (ECACP), an LWF member church More information on the LWF Poland page.

Advocacy for peace

LWF is advocating for peace and calling for a ceasefire.

At a global level, LWF is advocating to ensure that the needs and rights of refugees and vulnerable host communities are addressed through policies and practices promoting justice, peace, and dignity for all. This includes engagement with the UN and other international agencies, as well as making heard the voice of local advocacy actions by churches in the region.

Capacity building in member churches

Local clergy and church leaders are being equipped to understand and respond to requests for pastoral care and counselling from those experiencing grief and trauma. LWF is seeking to strengthen that response where necessary, through training, personnel, pastoral care and referral for expertise, as well as the development of theological resources for both adults and children.

Prayer and solidarity

Since the start of the war, LWF is organizing global and local prayer initiatives, as well as raising awareness about the need to stand in solidarity with those affected by the fighting.

Partners

In the days following the Russian invasion, LWF launched an emergency appeal and has been fundraising through ACT Alliance and other partners, including UNHCR, and various LWF member churches and congregations. LWF has also set up a Ukraine Crisis Church Response fund through which churches, dioceses, parishes, and Christian institutions can apply for support to local initiatives assisting refugees and host communities.

  • ACT Alliance
  • All We Can
  • Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR)
  • CORDAID
  • The Chinese Rhenish Church Hong Kong Synod
  • Christian World Service
  • Corus International / LWR
  • DAA-Austrian
  • Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe
  • ECACP
  • EC Brazil
  • ELCA
  • ELC Bavaria
  • ELC Finland
  • ELC Wurttemberg
  • FELM
  • Japan Lutheran Church
  • Kerk in Actie
  • LWR
  • M Sansanaa
  • Neighbor in Need
  • UMCOR
  • UNHCR
  • United Church of Canada
  • United Church of Christ, USA
  • World of Neighbors

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Title Date Type Language
LWF Council Statement on the War in Ukraine and Other Conflicts 14 June 2022 EN
ACT Appeal: Emergency response for communities affected by Ukraine conflict EN
Photos from LWF response through member churches Photos
Photos from LWF response in Poland Photos
LWF Statement – Welcome all affected by the war in Ukraine 4 March 2022 EN
Prayer for Peace in Ukraine 2 March 2022 EN
Ukraine – Statement from the Lutheran World Federation 25 February 2022 EN