ADRA’s Unwavering Commitment to Healing Communities Despite Two Years of Conflict

Adventist Development and Relief Agency

ADRA’s Unwavering Commitment to Healing Communities Despite Two Years of Conflict

ADRA has been at the forefront in Ukraine and neighboring countries providing critical assistance to the most vulnerable populations .

Humanitarian | Ukraine | ADRA International Staff

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) continues humanitarian efforts in Ukraine, two years after the armed conflict erupted. ADRA has been at the forefront in Ukraine and neighboring countries providing critical assistance to the most vulnerable populations affected by the hostilities, including food, shelter, psychological support, and medical care.

Within hours of the conflict beginning on February 24, 2022, ADRA mobilized its global network of emergency response teams, thousands of Adventist Church volunteers, and massive resources to assist children, women, families, and individuals who fled their homes to avoid shelling and seek refuge across the border in other countries.

“We keep everyone whose lives have been irreversibly changed as a result of the ongoing Ukraine conflict in our prayers. As the situation enters its third year, ADRA remains committed to providing life-saving humanitarian aid to children, women, and families who have been internally displaced, as well as millions of refugees fleeing to neighboring countries. “We are deeply thankful to the numerous partner organizations that have joined forces with ADRA in the relief efforts,” says ADRA International Vice President for Humanitarian Affairs Imad Madanat. “ADRA is also profoundly grateful to thousands of Adventist Church volunteers in Ukraine, from Europe, and throughout the world who have offered resources and hope to Ukrainians since the crisis began. In particular, we are indebted to our donors for their contributions that enable ADRA to continue serving as the hands and feet of Jesus to the people of Ukraine.”

According to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the fighting in Ukraine has internally displaced about 4 million people and forced more than 6.4 million to seek shelter in Europe and other countries around the world, with more than 14 million needing humanitarian assistance in 2024.

ADRA contributed an estimated $40 million in humanitarian aid over the last two years to support emergency response operations and development projects in communities affected by the current crisis. Since the onset of the hostilities, its network relief efforts have assisted over 2.6 million people in Ukraine and hundreds of thousands of refugees who are now residing in various European countries and around the world. 

ADRA has supplied over 100 tons of food, countless truckloads of essential supplies, medicines, and medical equipment, as well as shelter to over 2.1 million people, transported and evacuated over 100,000, and offered psychological, legal, and protection assistance to nearly 500,000 Ukrainians, including children.

We stood on the border between Slovakia and Ukraine when thousands of refugees passed the gate, just with their basic belongings like small suitcases of backpacks, women holding the children in their hands or their arms, elderly supporting each other, all tired, exhausted, freezing because of the minus temperatures, but happy to reach the place of safety. We have invited them into the ADRA tent and provided them with a warm space, food, blankets, and a place to rest,” says ADRA Europe Head of Programs Thomas Petracek. “ This was the beginning of a long odyssey for the refugees but also for hundreds of ADRA workers and volunteers protecting and supporting them daily. There were many challenges, but also nice stories giving hope to all. Let us never forget that we are humans and need each other on good and difficult days. And this journey continues.”

ADRA’s crucial Ukraine response enhanced its capacities in disaster management, psychosocial support, refugee and displaced person protection, and multipurpose cash transfer implementation. ADRA network offices throughout Europe have created or revised National Emergency Response Plans to better prepare for future emergencies and respond more quickly. The agency has also increased engagement with Adventist churches and volunteers and reinforced connections with governments, community groups, and non-profit organizations.

Multifaceted Humanitarian Efforts

ADRA carries out humanitarian relief operations in Ukraine and European nations hosting refugees, with the help of partners such as the World Food Programme, UNICEF, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the Adventist Church, and other faith-based organizations. ADRA programs addressing both immediate needs and long-term solutions for rebuilding and restoring internally displaced people and refugees in other nations involve:

  • Food vouchers and nutrition kits.

  • Clothing, shoes, and blankets

  • Shelter and materials vouchers for home repairs.

  • Children’s summer camps and educational activities.

  • Legal aid and protection.

  • Psychological support 

  • Winterization kits, generators, stoves, and heating systems.

  • Employment centers to train Ukrainians for new labor markets.

  • Language classes to integrate refugees into new communities.

  • Evacuation from conflict zones.

  • Transportation for bedridden patients, elderly people, persons with disabilities, and orphans.

  • Financial assistance for the most vulnerable populations.

  • Medical supplies, equipment, hospital power generators, and wheelchairs.

  • Medical check-ups for refugees and internally displaced persons

  • Access to clean water, hygiene products, restorations to water treatment systems, and improvements of sanitary conditions. 

ADRA Network Initiatives by Country Include:

United States

Within hours of the invasion, ADRA International’s main office in the United States deployed multiple emergency response teams, as well as logistical, emergency strategists, and communications experts from the US and around the world, to manage multinational relief operations at Ukrainian border crossings and neighboring countries. The Maryland-based office has launched numerous fundraising efforts and collaborated with US government relief agencies, non-profits, donors, and faith-based organizations to provide critical aid to affected populations. Its emergency management unit supervises and oversees programs, funding, and ADRA teams in the conflict-torn region to ensure humanitarian aid reaches areas with the greatest need.


ADRA Austria offered emergency shelter and assistance to arriving refugee families, organized German language courses and cultural orientation to help Ukrainians adapt and integrate into Austrian society, and provided summer camps and psychological support to refugee children.


ADRA Australia contributed more than $2 million to the global agency’s response in Ukraine, as well as funding for at least 23 projects to assist Ukrainians, including conflict zone evacuation efforts, food, water, and cash assistance.


ADRA Belgium was instrumental in establishing temporary shelters at Ukrainian border crossings to give food, essential supplies, and multi-purpose cash assistance to refugee families, children, and individuals seeking safety. ADRA Belgium also organized humanitarian convoys to transport a ton of food to Mukachevo, Ukraine.


ADRA Bulgaria has partnered with UNICEF to launch the “Wings for our Children,” project. The initiative gives access to education and learning activities to Ukrainian refugee students in at least 17 accommodation centers. Mobile learning services are also available to children in remote areas. An estimated 1200 students are now enrolled in the program.


ADRA Croatia launched efforts to nurture and improve refugee children’s welfare through language learning programs recreational activities, and special holiday events at refugee centers and in vulnerable communities.

Czech Republic

ADRA Czech consolidated humanitarian activities to improve the living conditions of internally displaced Ukrainians by repairing homes, installing heating systems, and delivering fuel boilers and generators to avoid power shortages. The country office developed wastewater treatment facilities to enhance water access. ADRA offers psychological support and community integration activities to refugees in the Czech Republic through volunteer centers. Additionally, they donate food, hygiene supplies, and materials to Ukrainians in Moldova and Georgia.


ADRA Denmark has established a counseling hotline in Ukraine for people unable to leave conflict areas and offers individual and group psychosocial support in communities. ADRA Demark also organizes children’s summer camps, provides emergency cash assistance, and plans to rehabilitate schools.


ADRA Finland partnered with local Finnish churches to provide food support for refugees and continues to support ongoing response projects in Ukraine.


ADRA France assisted the refugee community by providing emergency housing, cash vouchers for immediate needs, social assistance, French language classes, and tons of food and hygiene supplies. It also collaborated with French humanitarian organizations and other ADRA country offices in Slovakia and Poland to gather donations and transport 28 truckloads and a plane of emergency aid to Ukraine.


ADRA Germany secured refugee accommodations and established a support network that provides language classes and community integration assistance. The ADRA country office also assisted approximately 600,000 refugees in Moldova, Poland, Romania, and Serbia. ADRA Germany collaborated with Adventist volunteers, organizations, and donors to support housing restorations, supply generators, and medical equipment, supply firefighting trucks, and ship tons of goods to Ukraine.


ADRA Hungary supplied short-term shelters in Adventist church facilities near the Ukrainian border, children’s classes, hot meals, food parcels at relief centers in Budapest train stations, and transportation for displaced persons from Ukraine. Additionally, ADRA Hungary worked with trusted partners and ADRA Germany to transfer donations and medical supplies to clinics and hospitals in Ukraine, as well as relocate an orthopedic medical equipment plant from Kyiv Mukachevo.


ADRA Japan has funded a variety of projects for the people of Ukraine, including multipurpose monetary aid for internally displaced persons affected by missile strikes, shellfire, and dam destruction, as well as evacuations. It has provided food, shelter, and financial help.


ADRA Netherlands launched fundraising campaigns for Ukraine to support diverse activities and programs organized by ADRA Ukraine for internally displaced persons.


ADRA Norway financed humanitarian programs in Ukraine and nearby countries with the support of private donations. The office mobilized multiple local church volunteer teams to assist refugee families in settling by furnishing apartments and offering welcome packages, clothes store gift cards, transportation assistance, language classes, and community integration activities. ADRA volunteer church groups also planned high school events and concerts to assist Ukrainian students in connecting, adapting, and developing friendships. 


ADRA Poland’s collaboration with local and international partner organizations focused on facilitating vital aid and resources for refugee families. ADRA Poland is addressing the needs of Ukrainian refugees at various stages, by providing shelter, food, community integration services, evacuation assistance, and humanitarian shipments.


ADRA Romania launched the “Hope for Ukraine” umbrella project to respond to more than 500,000 refugees at border crossings and aid those in Romania, Moldova, and internally displaced people in Ukraine. Humanitarian efforts range from financial assistance, food programs, psychosocial services for children and adults, child-friendly spaces, integration of refugee students into the Romanian education system, winter months aid, and assistance for medical tests. Additionally, ADRA partnered with the Romanian Adventist Church to mobilize 74 humanitarian convoys to Ukraine and 6 to Moldova.


ADRA Serbia responded with empowerment initiatives to help refugees become financially independent. It also provides community-based essential services, school integration, and academic programs for refugee children. Community centers offer psychosocial support for at-risk refugees who are exposed to violence, social exclusion, and poverty to access medical care. Additionally, ADRA Serbia’s School on Wheels engages children in learning activities in disadvantaged neighborhoods.


ADRA Slovakia’s activities have reached hundreds of vulnerable internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Ukraine and delivered essential food and hygiene items to communities near conflict zones. Countless households near war zones have received livelihood support and immediate cash for repairing damaged homes in the aftermath of missile attacks. ADRA Slovakia supplied at least 80 generators to Ukraine hospitals and IDP centers, as well as facilitated the humanitarian corridor between Slovakia and Ukraine by establishing warehouses and providing trucks and fuel. In addition, border crossings’ psychosocial programs, essential supplies, and guidance helped refugees to cope with the crisis. In Slovakia, help centers across the nation are supplying food, hygiene items, clothing, and psycho-support.


ADRA Sweden committed over a million dollars to Ukraine initiatives and offered cash assistance. Through individual donations and logistical support from ADRA Slovakia, it has facilitated transportation by delivering trucks and supplying over 230,000 vital medicines, supplies, and building materials to Ukraine hospitals in many cities. ADRA Sweden helped Ukrainian partners bring stoves, medicines, and building materials to Cherson region clinics. In Sweden, ADRA efforts have been recognized during Swedish Royal Chapel ceremonies for the Royal Family, as rescued refugees shared their plight with the Swedish monarchs. ADRA Sweden also facilitated the relocation of a well-known opera artist from Ukraine’s Zhaporizhzhia Theatre. The artist has become a dedicated ADRA supporter and fundraiser for Ukraine.


ADRA Switzerland offered refugees private housing accommodations and food vouchers. The ADRA country office also supports current projects such as financial assistance for public transportation for Ukrainian refugees and food distribution programs.


ADRA Slovenia has been assisting refugees through a variety of programs, including arranging housing, donating medical supplies, offering psychosocial support, food, hygiene kits, and educational activities for displaced families and individuals. ADRA Slovenia continues to assist children and mothers by offering mental health workshops, food vouchers, and school supplies.


ADRA Ukraine is actively working to ensure the Ukrainian population has the humanitarian assistance and protection it needs under the current crisis. It offers food kits, bread and food vouchers, cash assistance, shelter, non-food items, clothing and blankets, evacuation services from conflict zones, transportation for the elderly and people with special needs, legal aid, psychosocial support, and children’s summer camps. ADRA Ukraine organizes large-scale programs that include home repairs, winterization kits, heaters, solid fuel, stoves, and heating systems. The country office supports the healthcare sector by delivering medical equipment, supplies, and power generators to hospitals and clinics. Additionally, it offers wheelchairs for people with disabilities, provides access to drinkable water, and needed hygiene items, and improves sewage and water treatment systems.

Other ADRA offices that have supported initiatives for Ukraine include the United States, Canada, China, Great Britain, Italy, Korea, Peru, the Philippines, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Spain, and Taiwan. In total, ADRA cooperates with government entities, non-profit institutions, and faith-based organizations from 35 countries.

“We are ready to face the most challenging humanitarian crises, helping internally displaced people not only to survive but also to restore and rebuild their lives. We firmly believe that every person deserves to live a fulfilling life, and we spare no effort to make this vision come true,” says ADRA Ukraine Country Director Loenid Rutkovskyi. “Even as public attention wanes, we remain steadfast in our commitment to provide ongoing assistance to families struggling with the most difficult circumstances for as long as our help is needed.”

This article was provided by ADRA International.