Statement: The IHF stands with hospitals during conflict

The situation in Ukraine is a major concern for all of us, and the escalation of violence that has been reported on many different channels is alarming.

On 25 February, we released a message of solidarity with the people and the healthcare community in Ukraine. 

The escalation of violence impacting hospitals and healthcare personnel is being reported by many authorities including:

  • World Health Organization (WHO) (here).
  • WHO Director General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (here and here).
  • WHO Europe (here).
  • UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) (here).
  • International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) (here).

Attacks on hospitals, healthcare workers, and ambulances are not acceptable. No matter the context. No matter the reasons. It is a violation of International Humanitarian Law, and we firmly stand against it. 

Many international organizations and local actors are working hard, both inside Ukraine and in the neighbouring countries, such as Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Moldova, and Romania to support refugees, mainly women and children. The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has issued an alert that the number of refugees could reach 4 million rapidly.

IHF Members want to help, but the Ukrainians have limited logistical capacity to manage donations. We are recommending to the IHF community to get involved (either with financial or supplies support) through organizations acting in the field in neighbouring countries, or to the headquarters of these organizations. These trusted organizations have the capacity to redistribute the donations in a strategic manner.

Many organizations are providing emergency assistance in the region. The IHF would suggest supporting the following:

There are also initiatives that our members and partners have shared with us that we believe you will be interested to discover and support. For example:

  • The Polish Hospital Federation is cooperating with the Polish Medical Mission (PMM) to provide direct support to the hospitals in Ukraine, as well as in the Polish hospitals located near the Ukraine border

Direct financial donations can be made via the PMM website.

We believe it is important to reiterate the message: hospitals, personnel, and ambulances should not and should never be a target! We invite you to be as vocal as possible in spreading this message.

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