"This is the fastest growing refugee crisis in Europe since World War II." Filippo Grandi (UNHCR)
An unimaginable humanitarian disaster has been unfolding in the Ukraine with over 2 million Ukrainians displaced from their homes less than two weeks after outbreak of the war and a large part of the population inaccessible due to the fighting, insecurity, and Russian occupation. Hospitals are being targeted by airstrikes, supply chains disrupted, and critical infrastructure destroyed leading to critical shortages of medical supplies. For people living with diabetes uninterrupted access to essential medications, such as insulin, and diagnostic supplies with which to monitor blood sugars are crucial to avoid exacerbations, complications, and death.
There has been an outpouring of support from the international community wanting to help. Given the overwhelming needs, insecurity within the Ukraine, and the very rapidly evolving situation, coordination of efforts and relief agencies is imperative. The World Health Organization Health Emergency Programme has been coordinating the health response, together with the other Health Cluster agencies, including UNHCR. Regarding diabetes, efforts have focused on mapping existing resources including the capacity of healthcare centers, identifying individuals with diabetes who need care, and sourcing and supplying medications, including insulin, to facilities that they can access. The WHO regularly posts updated situation reports on the emergency response in the Ukraine that can be found here.
As an alliance of humanitarian organizations, we have compiled resources to help with this coordination effort with the goal of supporting the organizations on the ground and providing clinical guidance for the management of diabetes in unstable and fragile settings.
- Many of our partner organizations are providing services in the Ukraine. Please see our Partners page and click on the logo of an organization to donate.
- Donations to the WHO Foundation to support the work of WHO in Ukraine can be made here.
Medical Supply Donations
- To donate medical supplies in support of Ukraine via the WHO, further information on the needs and instructions on how to donate can be found here.
For resources on how to set up diabetes services in humanitarian settings, please see the following documents:
- Integration of NCD care in emergency response and preparedness. WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia (2018)
- Integrating Non-communicable Disease Care in Humanitarian Settings: An Operational Guide. UNHCR, IRC and the Informal Inter-Agency Group on NCDs in Humanitarian Settings (2020)
For clinical resources on managing diabetes in humanitarian settings, please see the following documents:
- WHO Package of Essential Noncommunicable (PEN) Disease Interventions for Primary Health Care. World Health Organization (2020)
- Insulin Products Switching Guide. Diabetes Disaster Response Coalition (2022). Translations: Ukrainian, Russian, Hungarian, Slovakian
- MSF Noncommunicable Diseases Programmatic and Clinical Guidelines. Médecins Sans Frontières (2020)
Please check back for periodic updates, as the situation evolves.
For questions please email us.