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Joint statement by CSAN and CAFOD: Briefing note on the response to Ukraine

Joint statement by CSAN and CAFOD


Briefing note on the response to Ukraine

As the agencies commissioned by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales (CBCEW) to represent the Catholic community’s participation in our social mission and the relief of suffering, we outline our respective responses to the crisis in Ukraine.

Together we are Caritas, liaising with Caritas Internationalis and Caritas Europa.

 CSAN’s lead responsibility in this crisis: responding to refugees in England and Wales   

CSAN leads, convenes and enables alliances in the social mission of the Church in support of building communities and tackling injustice in England and Wales.

CSAN leads on convening and facilitating support and welcome of refugees among Catholic dioceses and the direct service organisations in its network. CSAN draws in and disseminates guidance on how this support can best be delivered.

CSAN plays a key role in advocating for resources for refugees who arrive and remain in the UK: from Catholic organisations within and beyond the Caritas network, from the UK Government and other protagonists. CSAN’s advocacy on refugees is integrated in the context of addressing poverty and injustice for existing resident communities in England and Wales.

 CAFOD’s lead responsibility in this crisis: the situation in Ukraine and on Ukraine borders   

CAFOD leads on the response to poverty and relief of suffering internationally. CAFOD liaises with sister agencies when humanitarian crises occur.
Caritas sister agencies in Ukraine and in the surrounding countries are helping people directly. CAFOD, as a member of the Disasters Emergency Committee in the UK, is part of their joint appeal from which those Caritas sister agencies will benefit. They have specifically asked for financial assistance rather than donations of goods.

CAFOD is leading and coordinating that appeal in England and Wales on behalf of our sister agencies working in, and on the borders of Ukraine. CAFOD can accept, process and quickly transfer donations to our partners who can then focus on delivering the much-needed assistance. It is through CAFOD that the Catholic community of England and Wales can give practical assistance in and around Ukraine.

CAFOD’s Caritas sister organisations in Ukraine (Caritas Spes and Caritas Ukraine) and in neighbouring countries are already helping people who are affected. Our sister Caritas organisations who are working with those affected have asked for financial assistance.

 Together we are –   

Coordinating with Bishop Kenneth Nowakowski of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy in England, Wales and Scotland
CAFOD and CSAN are in close coordination on our response to Ukraine. As part of that coordination, we are talking with Bishop Kenneth as leader of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of the Holy Family of London. We will work closely with him on our respective plans, overall developments and on advocacy to influence the UK government in its actions on this situation.

Offering guidance for community action – see below. We will publicise additional opportunities as the situation develops, particularly on support for refugees arriving in the UK.

How to support our response   

Support us directly
To support CAFOD’s appeal for relief work in the war region, please go to cafod.org.uk/ukrainecrisis
To support CSAN’s work extending the Catholic Church’s responses to poverty throughout England and Wales, including for refugees, please go to csan.org.uk/donate

Sending provisions/goods to the war region
People’s generosity in wanting to respond to the situation in Ukraine is remarkable. This generosity is best expressed through donations of money rather than goods. Caritas agencies in Poland and Slovakia already have warehouses of supplies and find it difficult to receive in-kind donations, and this is also the case in Ukraine. They have all confirmed financial support is the most helpful form of donation. This enables them to focus on assessing what is needed and gives them the resources to do this most efficiently.

Sadly, sending goods has been found to be less effective. The costs of sending to disaster-affected areas often cost more than the goods themselves and take time. In a fast-changing crisis, what is needed today is quickly not needed tomorrow.

If you have a large number of goods or items that are particularly relevant to the emergency you can contact Global Hand who arrange suitable goods to be transported to disaster areas or other areas of need.

If you sell items on eBay, eBay for Charity is an easy way for buyers and sellers to support their favourite charities.

CAFOD has produced prayers for Ukraine.

Further information

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has a Ukraine page setting out their responses.

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