Ukraine: Mobilising an emergency response

02 Mar 2022

As hundreds of thousands of people are forced to escape, MSF is working on setting up emergency response activities in Ukraine and deploying teams in Poland, Moldova, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia. Teams are also ready to respond in Russia and Belarus. 


View of the temporary accommodation site in Korczowa, southeastern Poland, for people who fled Ukraine because of the conflict. Monday 28 February, 2022. © MSF

As the conflict continues in Ukraine, MSF is dispatching teams to Poland, Moldova, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia to assess the needs of people crossing borders and respond to humanitarian needs. Teams are also present in Belarus and Russia ready to provide humanitarian assistance. 

In Ukraine, MSF teams have distributed war-wounded kits in Mariupol. We have also provided a telemedicine training for trauma care for 30 surgeons from eastern Ukraine. 

Our emergency teams have arrived at the Polish-Ukrainian border and are currently trying to get essential staff and supplies into Ukraine and set up emergency response activities across both sides of the border.  Teams will also carry out assessments along Ukraine’s border with Russia and Belarus.


View of clothes and food donation point at the Polish border town of Medyka, where Ukrainians have been arriving after fleeing their homes in the wake of the conflict. The head of the United Nations refugee agency says more than a half a million people had fled Ukraine since the conflict started. Monday 28 February, 2022. © MSF

With active fighting ongoing, determining the true extent of medical needs in Ukraine remains challenging. MSF is preparing for a range of scenarios, which will allow us to step up our response. 

Our teams at the Ukraine-Poland border checkpoints are seeing people cross over on foot, in cars and on buses, many tired and exhausted, and some with children as young as 25 days old. 

Many of those crossing the Polish border told us they spent long hours in queues in freezing temperatures. Some were dehydrated and others suffered from hypothermia. We have donated basic shelter items to a reception shelter in Poland and are working to step up our response.