Ukraine gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Ukraine is the second-largest state and at the same time one of the poorest countries in Europe. Russia started an invasion in the east of Ukraine in 2014 which led to years of conflict. The currently ongoing war in Ukraine started on 24 February 2022 with massive attacks by Russia.

Geographic location © Caritas Switzerland

The war has triggered a humanitarian disaster in Ukraine. People lost their livelihood, infrastructure was destroyed, millions were forced to leave their homes. Since the start of the war, Caritas has provided emergency relief in Ukraine and in the neighbouring countries of Poland, Romania, Moldova and Slovakia. Caritas Switzerland will continue its engagement in Ukraine in the long term.

Overview in figures

Sources: Human Development Report, UNESCO, UNFPA (as of 2022)

  • Total population: 43,2 million
  • Poverty index (proportion of people affected by poverty): 1,7%
  • Prosperity indicator (total 191 states): rank 77
  • Gross National Income per capita: USD 13'256
  • Life expectancy at birth: 72 years
  • Child mortality: 0,2%
  • Literacy rate (age 15 and over): 100%
  • CO2 emissions per capita: 4,9 tons

Caritas projects in the region

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Header image: Volunteer Magda helps at the mother and child centre on the border between Ukraine and Poland. © Philipp Spalek/Caritas Germany