After six days of conflict in Ukraine, UNHCR estimates that nearly 875,000 refugees have already crossed the border in search of shelter in the surrounding countries. Since the beginning of the crisis, the humanitarian and international cooperation organizations of the Society of Jesus have been in contact with the Jesuit network in order to coordinate a possible humanitarian emergency.
The Society of Jesus in Ukraine is part of the Southern Poland Province and is present in Lviv, Kiev, Khmelnytsky and Chernivtsi. With 12 Jesuits in the country, the Society runs two residences, two parishes, a retreat house, and a house for refugees. One of the Jesuits is a military chaplain.
The Jesuit Refugee Service Europe is currently coordinating the design of a response for the reception and accompaniment of the refugee population by JRS national offices in the countries bordering Ukraine. Xavier Network and JRS with offices Headquarter (Rome), Europe office (Brussels) and USA office (Washington) are activating their emergency appeals through the NGOs and Mission Offices of the Society of Jesus in Europe, Australia, Canada and USA. At first, work is expected both inside Ukraine to support Internal displaced people (IDP), as well as in countries that are receiving refugee populations: Poland, Romania and Hungary, and in a second line, if necessary, responses are being prepared from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia and Serbia, where JRS is also present.
On Saturday, the Polish Provinces called on the Jesuits of its territory to be ready to welcome refugees from Ukraine in all their houses. The communities of Slovakia are also ready to receive refugees. The Provinces of Poland (PMA and PME), Slovakia (SVK), and Hungary (HUN) have appointed coordinators for this emergency who are already coordinating with the Jesuit Refugee Service and the Xavier Network, under the umbrella of the Conference of European Provincials and the accompaniment of the Assistant for Central-Eastern Europe.
Right now, there are many possibilities to support the work of the Jesuit Refugee Service and the various Jesuit Provinces involved in the mission in and around Ukraine.
Focus of the SJ community inside Ukraine until now has been to provide shelters, which are now mostly used by IDPs on the move who leave the country.
Action in neighboring countries such as Poland, Romania, Hungary or the wider South East Europe countries will focus on renting houses as refugee accommodation bases. It will also imply the renting of warehouses for storing food and non-food-items, renting vehicles to transport people and food/NFI items, collaborate with open information and food distribution centers at the border, provide individual housing rental assistance, legal and administrative assistance, psychological assistance to refugees, medical escorts to health facilities, and to undertake advocacy and monitoring missions at borders to provide support to asylum seekers.
All the donations through these links are in support of the integrated Jesuit response to this emergency:
• Australia - Jesuit Mission
• Austria - Jesuiten Weltweit
• Belgium - JRS Europe
• Canada - Canadian Jesuits International
• Germany - Jesuiten Weltweit
• Global - JRS International
• Peru and the rest of Latin America and the Caribbean - Misión Jesuita
• Poland - Jesuit Social Center
• Portugal - JRS Portugal
• Spain - Entreculturas and Alboan
• Switzerland - Jesuiten Weltweit
• UK - Jesuit Missions
• USA - JRS USA
This list will be updated as the different international organizations will open their emergency appeals for the Jesuit response on Ukraine.