Ukraine: Older People Face Hunger, Displacement, Isolation 

HelpAge Offers Critical Support to Older People Harmed by the War


Millions of older people in Ukraine face serious risks to their lives and well-being during the ongoing armed conflict. One in four Ukrainians are 60 or older.   

“Older people in Ukraine are often facing the horrors of war with little support, as families flee and support networks collapse,” said Cindy Cox-Roman, chief executive officer of HelpAge USA. “HelpAge is providing critical support to thousands of older people, making sure they get food, hygiene items, and mental health counseling.”   

Older people have been victims of bombings and targeted with shootings, physical violence, and destruction and looting of their property. Many older people remain in areas of active conflict and in some cases are the only ones left in a village or town. Transportation and information about evacuations are not always accessible to older people. Others choose to remain in their homes and familiar surroundings. They frequently lack access to food, drinking water, vital medicine, and healthcare.  

For those who have fled, they are among the millions of Ukrainians displaced internally or seeking safety in neighboring countries. They require immediate and longer-term support with food, hygiene items, medicine, mental health support, and other needs.   

HelpAge began supporting older people in Eastern Ukraine in 2014 when conflict in the east broke out. They continue to assist thousands of older people in active conflict zones with psychosocial and mental health needs. They have expanded their work to other parts of the country to provide food and hygiene items to those internally displaced and aim to reach 55,000 older people and their families this month.  

In Moldova, HelpAge is supporting 6,000 refugees with food and hygiene kits.  

“The war in Ukraine, with its thousands of older victims, has led to the world’s ‘oldest humanitarian crisis,’” said Cox-Roman. “HelpAge will continue its work and encourages all humanitarian actors and donors who fund them to make sure older people are included in support programs and receive targeted interventions to meet their specific needs.”  

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