Catholic Response for UKRAINE
In early March 2022, the representatives of major global Catholic-inspired humanitarian organizations formed a Catholic Response for Ukraine Working Group (CR4U) to coordinate their actions in the affected region (Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Moldova, and Romania). The guiding principle for the coordination efforts is based on cultivating dialogue with the first-line actors as well as global level organizations. This effort is not intended to interfere with the initiatives undertaken by the respective Working Group members, but is be aimed at:
Coordinating the initiatives already put in place (or to be put in place in the future) by the different Catholic actors
Identifying new actions deemed needed and distributing the corresponding responsibilities
The members of the Working Group include:
International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC)
Msgr. Robert Vitillo - Secretary General
Christian Kostko, Management Consultant for CR4U Working Group
Moira Monacelli – Director of Operations
Maria Nyman - Secretary General
Jesuit Refugee Services Europe (JRS)
Fr. Alberto Ares, SJ - Regional Director
Claudia Bonamini – Policy and Advocacy Coordinator
The Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE)
José Luis Bazán - Secretary of the COMECE Working Group on Migration and Asylum, Legal Adviser
The Council of Bishops’ Conferences of Europe (CCEE)
Fr. Luis Okulik - Secretary of the Commission for Pastoral Care of Social Issues
Sovereign Order of Malta / Malteser International
Dr. Ivo Graziani - Chief of Cabinet to the Grand Hospitaller
Mr. Szymon Czyszek
The Working Group collaborates closely with the following offices of the Roman Curia:
Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development (DSSUI)
Fr. Fabio Baggio - Under-Secretary
Migrants & Refugees Section (M&R)
Fr. Fabio Baggio and
Yuriy Tykhovlis - Regional Coordinator - Eastern Europe, Central Asia
Flaminia Vola - Regional Coordinator - Western Europe
Andrea Marchesani - Researcher
The shared strategic plan focused on five major areas:
Data gathering and analysis: collecting data from all sources and preparing regular and frequent updates for all the members of the working group.
Humanitarian assistance: coordinating the range of services to various categories of people of concern and ensuring the necessary funds. Two particular areas of need reported were capacity-building in protection (especially child protection) and mental health and psychosocial services.
Advocacy: monitoring the political scenario and fostering dialogue with the national governments and European Union (EU), other European institutions, and other multilateral organizations, such as the United Nations-related bodies.
Spiritual care: ensuring the presence of pastoral agents (priests, religious and lay people) to cater to the displaced.
Communications: elaborating and implementing a communication strategy for all the members of the working group.
The Working Group produces weekly updates on the situation in Ukraine and surrounding countries, featuring responses by the UN and other multi-lateral organizations as well as that of Working Group members, other Catholic-inspired, faith-based, and non-governmental organizations and other pertinent networking information and resource materials. Convenings of the Working Group are held bi-weekly and include presentations by various resource persons as well as updates by the Members and by officials of the Roman Curia and first-responders at field level.