"I feel ashamed to ask for humanitarian aid." Humanitarian journeys of refugees from Ukraine in Poland, Moldova, and Romania

Publication language
Date published
12 Jul 2023
Research, reports and studies
Accountability and Participation, Accountability to affected populations (AAP), Participation
Poland, Moldova, Romania

Since the full-scale military invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces in February 2022, countless lives have been lost and families torn apart. Almost 8.3 million refugees from Ukraine have fled across Europe, with almost 5 million registering for temporary protection and other national protection schemes, making this the fastest-growing refugee crisis in Europe since World War Two. Volunteers, community initiatives and the international community responded quickly to the influx of people into Ukraine’s neighbouring countries.

Ground Truth Solutions is supporting the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC)’s member agencies and their partners to demonstrate their Core Humanitarian Standard commitments, to listen to Ukrainian voices in host countries, and improve programming by better understanding the perceptions, priorities, and feedback of displaced people. 

Two rounds of quantitative and qualitative research were conducted with people in Ukraine and a social media survey as well as in-depth interviews were carried out with refugees from Ukraine in Poland, Moldova, and Romania. For this report, persons with disabilities, people living with chronic illnesses, women with children, Roma community and young people were interviewed. Based on these interviews, nine personas were created to represent different groups of refugees from Ukraine. Each ‘persona’ tells their own story of deciding to leave Ukraine, moving to another country, getting in touch with the host community, and accessing humanitarian assistance. Although each character is fictional, the stories presented are real and based on hours of interviews with refugees from Ukraine in these host countries.