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Poverty in East-Central Europe, especially in countries like Ukraine and Belarus, is on the rise today, particularly in Ukraine where the most vulnerable have been deeply impacted by war. From low wages and unemployment to poor health care and a lack of economic stability, the average family or senior struggles on a daily basis to provide for their basic needs.


An average wage only provides 27% of expenses

(family of 4 with 1 income earner at average cost of living not including rent) 

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Utilities alone consume half of income

 (Single individual minimum salary rate) 


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Is the average pension which covers 1/4 of living costs

 (dollars are in US) 

5 mil

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jobs have been lost due to the war

(according to ILO statistics published May 2022) 

5.23 mil

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Over 5 million people have left Ukraine, with more displaced

(including children & the elderly) 


  • Ukraine is still at war with Russia today. The active war is primarily in the eastern and southern parts of the country. The continued and prolonged nature of the war has destabilized the lives of many Ukrainians. 

  • Many in Ukraine are unable to leave for the safety of other countries in Europe or abroad.

  • Unemployment and addiction, exacerbated by the war, continue to be the cause of systemic poverty for many families in Ukraine and Belarus.

  • Families living in small villages are at the highest risk of experiencing poverty, parental neglect, and teenage pregnancy. These issues are often exacerbated by addiction as people feel like life holds no hope.

  • The health care system is poorly maintained with often antiquated equipment. Residents of Ukraine pay for most primary health care including life-saving surgery.

  • Industry in Ukraine, both agriculture and manufacturing, continue to be deeply impacted by the ongoing war. 

  • Education is being interrupted by war as air raids force children out of classrooms for hours at a time.

  • Eastern and Southern Ukrainian communities continue to experience severe fighting. Escaping from occupied territory is very difficult.

  • Pastors and church leaders in Ukraine are sacrificing every day to support those impacted by war. 

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