A week after the Russian army invaded Ukraine, members of the Indigo team went to two main hotspots in Poland and Slovakia to begin gathering information to coordinate efforts and support grassroots initiatives.
Please see below some updates - it is important to note that due to the rapidly changing situation on the ground, much of the information shared below may soon be out of date.
Update from the Ukrainian borders
Latest UNCHR update from March 31.
The UN says more than 4 million people, mostly women and children, fled Ukraine since the Russian army invaded. Most sought refuge in neighbouring countries.
The current prediction is that at least 5 million people will leave Ukraine, from a population of more than 44 million people. The map below shows the distribution of refugees to neighbouring countries.
The Polish refugee response
The government's reception points that we visited are located in large venues and provide basic shelter, food, water, non-food items and registration desks for people to arrange further transportation. The police and military are present and work alongside volunteers of different international and local NGOs. The Polish Red Cross is taking the lead on medical care. All reception centres were incredibly crowded, but seemed to be managed effectively by the authorities and up to hundreds of local volunteers. The response seems to be almost fully run by Polish or Ukrainian-speaking locals and there is no big international NGO presence yet.
The Slovakian refugee response