Ukraine is at the outbreak of a food crisis

Ukraine is at the outbreak of a food crisis 

We reached out to Nadiya Borysenko, Founder of the Kyiv City Charity Foundation “Food Bank”, and asked her to share with us some updates about the situation in Ukraine. 

Before the war, Kyiv City Charity Foundation “Food Bank”, FEBA Full Member in Ukraine, was working with producers and supermarkets for recovering food and products of first necessity and with charitable organisations for distribution. In 2021, the Food Bank was serving 140 charitable organisations assisting more than 1,267,000 people in need.  

What was the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on your activity? 

When the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, the situation had worsened, especially during March-June 2020. The monthly quantity of food received and redistributed has increased by 75% during this time. And in 2020 total numbers of beneficiaries increased more than twice (551,550 in 2019 vs 1,266,645 in 2020). 

But as the producers and supermarkets kept working in normal way, the Food Bank was able to get all the necessary volume of food and redistribute it. With additional storage facilities, the Food Bank would have been able to do even more. In 2021 the overall situation in the country stayed more or less on the same level 

What is the humanitarian situation now in Kyiv and Ukraine?  

The war is creating a humanitarian disaster. Producers stopped their operations and closed the production. Part of the production facilities were destroyed. What the Food Bank has now available is the remaining stocks. In cities under attack these stocks are expiring.  

The situation is very critical in Kharkiv which remain under continuous air attacks. There is way to deliver food by rail, but stocks are arriving close to an end. A food crisis is starting in Kakhovka, which calls for green corridors to receive food otherwise people will start starving. Volunteers in Kyiv are serving food so far but the situation of the stocks is getting critical as well. The situation is the same for Sumy. In a few weeks, internal stocks of Kyiv City Charity Foundation “Food Bank” will be exhausted and without external supplies from outside of the borders, people will start starving. The hunger will cover all the territory of Ukraine.  

What are the immediate needs and how can other countries help?  

Our first needs are food and hygiene products such as baby food, canned fish, meat, vegetables, dry milk & soups, flour, vegetable oil, any types of grains (rice, oatmeal..), hard cheese, granulated sugar, tea, cleaners, diapers. 

Food supplies from abroad can prevent hunger as there is no production inside due to the war. Food should be gathered in logistic centres near the Western border in order to redistribute it all over the country.