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Update on Red Cross Work in Ukraine May 20, 2022 with Koby Langley, Senior Vice President SAF and International Services

05/22/2022 12:22 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


Koby Langley, Senior Vice President SAF and International Services has recently returned from Poland where he visited Red Cross refugee relief operations. The webinar will be interactive and provide an opportunity for participant questions.

Amid the unbearable suffering and tragedy of the Ukraine crisis, Red Crossers have sprung into action, helping the most vulnerable in times of need. From providing emergency aid to people seeking safety and to improving conditions for those in harm’s way and offering comfort and care to those who’ve fled the conflict, the Red Cross is there with open arms.

More than 42,000 volunteers and staff are working tirelessly to help people and communities impacted by the devastation in Ukraine. Their work is particularly evident at border crossings and train stations. Under mortal danger to themselves, these Red Cross teams are working tirelessly to help people and communities impacted by conflict. By offering a warm meal after a harrowing journey, providing emotional support to those who are suffering or providing critical items to mothers and children, Red Crossers continue to show their kindness and dedication.

The American Red Cross has provided $16 million to the Red Cross movement to meet the needs of refugees in Ukraine.  In addition, the American Red Cross SAF team is supporting U.S. military of site in Europe. The American Red Cross response to the crisis in Ukraine is the largest Service to the Armed Services response since the attacks of 9/11.  As the Ukraine crisis continues, the Red Cross will continue to provide unwavering support for military families and service members in need.

Koby began his presentation by acknowledging the great work in international Service and Service to Military through the hard work of staff and volunteers over the years to build the foundation for our work today. 

Koby explained that ARC  has made a shift in International Services to a new strategic platform made up of four pillars:

  • 1.       Global disaster management support

Responding to international disasters is similar to the domestic disaster response with which we are all familiar, but the ARC does not directly implement international disaster response.  ARC provide key technical support to assist where national society capabilities are stretched to the limit and our experts can help improve the capabilities.  In 2021, ARC responded to 30 international disasters, providing $180 million in funds directly from ARC and the American public through the ARC. Efforts are underway to expand the current deployment teams to 200 members comprised of staff and volunteer.  We are working collectively with our Red Cross partners to determine the need and bring in the partners with the expertise to create collective impact.

  • 2.        Measles Rubella Initiative

The Measles Rubella initiative began some 15 years about with the UN and global health organizations. More than 20 million lives have been saved so far with a vaccination rate of 94 percent.  We have pursued a global immunization strategy and are looking a strengthening global healthcare delivery,

  • 3.       Domestic International Services support

 Restoring Family Links and International Humanitarian Law are important parts of the Red Cross mission. They are now integrated into the role of SAF in every region creating direct responsibility at all levels of the organization.

  • 4.       Movement Relations

Building strong partnerships and relationship is critical to the success of transformation and engagement of the movement.   Strategic global engagements have been strengthened.

Koby provided an update on Ukraine and described it as a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions with 12 million people displaced and 8.7 million people displaced within Ukraine.  The president of the Ukraine Red Cross told him that it will take a decade to recover from the devastation.  To date ARC has raised $120 million and has sent in experts to help run the relief operations.  Currently 12 to 15 staff are deployed for month or several month rotations. Koby said he expects that some 200 to 250 ARC staff and volunteers with support the management of the relief operations.  He believes we are in the first few months of a 24-month effort.  New donor stewardship reporting is now operating as is done domestically with a report every 3-months.  The first such report on the $44.3 million in funds for Ukraine is in the draft stages.

Koby said that, as Red Cross has done since 1905, when the U.S. military deployed following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, SAF staff also deployed to provide communication between the military and their families.  SAF staff are now in Lithuania, Poland and Romania with the U.S. troops.  This is the largest one-time deployment since 2003, the start of the Iraq War.

Koby said that ARC response to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine has marked a turning point in the way that the ARC responds to international disasters because all levels and parts of the organization have been engaged in supporting the effort.  It also marks a historic moment for the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement to get this right.  They have been on the ground since the beginning, negotiating with Russia for the safety of Ukrainians fleeing the war zone, creating relief centers in countries surrounding Ukraine, and coordinating international relief efforts.

We experienced technical difficulties with the video recording of the webinar. You can listen to the audio recordiing of the webinar by clicking on this link:


Read the 3-Month report on the American Red Cross support of the Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis

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