Razom Emergency Response to the Kherson Flooding

Within hours after the destruction of the Kakhovka dam, Razom employed its developed network of grassroots organizations in Ukraine to assess the needs and start helping people in the Kherson region. 

Russian deliberate actions caused a humanitarian emergency. Water from the Kakhovka water reservoir flooded wide areas, endangering and forcing thousands of civilians to leave their homes. 

Our partners, Rescue Now, have been evacuating civilians and animals since the first hours. With a $25k grant provided by Razom, they have also been delivering needed supplies, including drinking water, food, hygiene products, evacuation boats, and charging stations. The team coordinated with governmental first responders to reach all places in need, despite the constant shelling and missile attacks on the region. Within only 5 days, Rescue Now also set up a humanitarian base in Kherson, which serves as a logistical hub for humanitarian aid for numerous NGOs and as a temporary shelter for evacuees. 

Rescue Now, with support from Razom, responds to the emergency on the ground in Kherson

Razom Health team worked with the Ministry of Health in the Kherson region and local NGOs and went to Kherson within the first day. We delivered medicine and protective clothing to local hospitals taking in patients and survivors of the floods. In the following week, our drivers embarked on multiple trips to continue supplying hospitals. Our team in Kyiv packs the supplies while a smaller team loads up the vans and sets out to make the deliveries of aid all over the affected areas of Kherson. This way, we ensure that not a single minute is wasted.

Razom team in Ukraine works daily on humanitarian deliveries to the Kherson region

Our team members making the deliveries speak to people on the ground and learn what their needs are to communicate them to the Razom community, including our large network of local NGOs. Many of our partnering organizations and grantees are on the ground in the Kherson region as well. Volonterska, HelpGroup, Stezhka Dodomy, Ukraina SOS, Fight for Rights, and many others have been delivering humanitarian aid to people in the region. 

NGO Volonterska delivers humanitarian aid from Razom in the Kherson region

Two days following the destruction, NGO “Zakhyst” from Khmelnytskyi met the first evacuees. Using a $50k grant, they support the evacuation of 1,000 people from the flooded areas of the Kherson region, welcomed and provided them with essentials such as hygiene products, clothing, and food right at the train station upon their arrival. The organization also provided evacuees with psychosocial support. 

GO “Zakhyst” welcomes refugees at Khmelnytskyi train station

While out teams continue to support people amidst humanitarian crises, Razom also works to mitigate the long-term consequences of the disaster and help Ukraine prevent future russian-made catastrophes. 

On the day following the destruction, Razom Advocacy team in DC immediately picked up the work. The destruction of the Kakhovka dam fits the centuries-old pattern of colonial violence and is yet another manifestation of Russian genocidal intent in Ukraine — we work to make sure the world hears that. Therefore, we reached out to more than 2,000 people in our advocacy network and mobilized them to contact their Congressional representatives and ask for support for the resolution declaring Ukraine’s invasion to be genocide (H.Res. 154 / S.Res. 72). 

We have also been working to connect Ukrainians affected by the flood with media outlets so that their story can be heard by the world and increased our engagement with elected officials and their staff to keep decision-makers aware of the latest updates directly from the ground in Kherson. 

The destruction of the dam caused an environmental disaster and permanently disturbed the region. As a result of russian terror, the Kakhovka water reservoir disappeared, leaving tens of thousands in the entire south of Ukraine without access to drinking water. Razom Relief team earlier installed multiple water filtering stations in Mykolaiv and Donetsk regions together with Ukrainian partner Wise Water, and now we are working to procure these stations in Kherson and provide stable access to water. 

Kherson still needs help. We continue supporting evacuees who lost their homes and delivering life-saving medicine to hospitals that are taking people from affected regions. Our teams in Ukraine, alongside our local partners, will make more trips to the Kherson region to bring humanitarian aid to those in need. Razom Relief team talks to local organizations to start future projects in the region.    

We work with our numerous partners in Ukraine and employ all our resources to ensure the help arrives when and where it is needed, and we ask for your support. 

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