IsraAID supporting Ukrainians amid flooding from dam explosion
Tuesday, June 6, 2023. For immediate release:
IsraAID, Israel’s leading humanitarian aid organization, launched an emergency response on Wednesday, supporting Ukrainians displaced after a critical dam was destroyed. The destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam and hydraulic power plant on Tuesday morning led to major flooding across Ukraine’s south and disrupted access to drinking water and electricity across the region. IsraAID’s Ukrainian team is mobilizing to provide essential relief items and medical support to thousands of Ukrainians who evacuated the area.
Located on the Dnipro River in the Kherson region, near the front line between Ukrainian and Russian troops, the destruction of the dam has caused major flooding, damaging homes, threatening wildlife, and raising fears of an ecological catastrophe. Rising water levels have left entire towns underwater and raised fears of contamination, chemical leaks, threats to the food supply, and more. Some 80 municipalities are expected to be affected by the flooding. Upstream, the dam’s destruction is dropping water levels in the Kakhovka reservoir, a major source of drinking water. Over 16,000 Ukrainians have been evacuated from communities on the Ukrainian-controlled western bank of the Dnipro toward the neighboring provinces, including Mykolaiv Oblast, where IsraAID will be focusing its emergency response on villages that have taken in large numbers of IDPs.
IsraAID’s teams received requests for aid, including urgently needed medications, from municipalities that are serving as transit points for people fleeing the flood-affected areas. An initial team arrived on site Wednesday morning with requested supplies and will conduct an in-depth needs assessment. The teams will continue providing urgently needed aid, hygiene supplies, blankets, medications, and more while working to establish psychosocial support programs and water interventions.
IsraAID was one of the first international NGOs to reach Kherson region after its liberation from Russian forces in November 2022 and has been providing urgently needed aid, winter clothing, generators, medical equipment, and medications. IsraAID began working in Mykolaiv in August 2022, after the city’s drinking water supply had been cut off by the Russian attack on Kherson. IsraAID has installed 12 reverse osmosis water filtration systems throughout the city, restoring access to safe drinking water for hundreds of thousands of Mykolaiv residents.
IsraAID has been responding to the Ukraine crisis since February 26th, 2022, two days after the full-scale Russian invasion. Today, the organization has reached over 35 cities across Ukraine and has offices in Kyiv and Odesa, Tulcea, Romania, and Chisinau, Moldova. IsraAID’s response includes psychological support, aid distribution, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, educational and medical support. IsraAID has committed to continue supporting recovery efforts in Ukraine for at least the next five years.
IsraAID’s CEO Yotam Polizer said:
The Kakhovka dam explosion is an enormous ecological disaster that threatens food supplies, water access and so much more in Southern Ukraine. We don’t yet know the full scale of the damage, but it’s clear that this is a major emergency amid the protracted emergency context of the Ukraine war. IsraAID’s response is part of our ongoing commitment to the Ukrainian communities that are bearing the brunt of this conflict. Building on our previous work in Kherson and Mykolaiv and thanks to our incredible Ukrainian team and a wide network of partners, we’re glad to be able to respond quickly and provide urgently needed support right away. We will continue assessing the situation and adapting our response to meet the needs of the most vulnerable communities.
Further information is available on request, including interviews with IsraAID CEO Yotam Polizer, IsraAID Ukraine Head of Mission Alena Druzhynina, and other individuals involved in this operation.
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IsraAID is a leading international humanitarian non-governmental organization, based in Israel. Since 2001, IsraAID has become synonymous with a rapid response to humanitarian crises. Its medical teams, post-trauma experts, community specialists and other professionals have led international responses to disasters and civil strife around the world. During and after emergencies, IsraAID partners with local communities to re-build their lives, their communities and their futures, together. As of June 2023, IsraAID has responded to crises in more than 60 countries.