How we are supporting Ukrainian refugees in Moldova and Poland.

Older Ukrainian refugees are faced with uncertainty.

In Moldova, a Rapid Needs Assessment conducted by HelpAge provides a snapshot of older Ukrainian refugees at the border and in refugee centers.

  • 27% of older people are unsure if they will stay in Moldova, underscoring the chaos and uncertainty that many refugees face.
  • 28% of older people report urgently needing medication including for diabetes, blood pressure, and pain relief.
  • 25% reported that they do not have access to sufficient hygiene supplies such as soap, shampoo, and toothbrushes.

In Poland, among the 2.3 million refugees, an estimated 20% are 65+ years of age.  A Rapid Needs Assessment conducted among older refugees in Poland found that

  • 63% need urgent medication and 40% report needing urgent medical attention.
  • 45% report needing assistive products, including eyeglasses.
    51% report they lack sufficient cash for essentials. 

Our Call To Action

We call on all parties to the conflict and on humanitarian actors responding to the crisis to ensure that:

  • Refugee host countries must ensure that older people’s rights are upheld, including ensuring dignified reception at border and transit points with prioritization procedures for the crossing of older people; respect for family unity and facilitation of older people reuniting and settling with family members; prioritization of protection for those facing additional risks, such as older women and those with disabilities; and provision of access to national health and social protection systems.

HelpAge is providing food packages, clean water, medicine, and cash transfers, and more to older refugees and their families.

Anna isn't sure she'll ever see home again.

“We decided to leave on the second day of the war, and we tried to find someone to drive us to the border – any border, it didn’t matter…It was so busy that we could barely get on a train – my daughter had to physically force me on. The scenes around us were horrible.”

Viktoria is living through another war.

“I was born on July 12, 1941, as bombs were falling. My father named me ‘Viktoria’ for victory, anticipating a win over the Nazi invaders. Eight decades later and I am living the same moments over and over again through this war. I cannot believe this is happening again.”

HelpAge USA is raising money for our Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal to support our work for older people affected by the conflict in Ukraine. Any income not spent after twelve months past the end of the appeal may be allocated to another emergency that requires our support.

How you can help older Ukrainian refugees

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