Romania’s Isaccea border crossing is bracing for a second wave of refugees as the conflict intensifies in southern Ukraine, Save the Children has aid.
Already, an estimated five million people have already fled into neighboring countries in the past two months, including 700,000 which have crossed the Romanian border.
The number of refugees crossing the Isaccea border to flee violence and food shortages in Mykolaiv, Mariupol and Kherson has risen to more than 2,000 a day, according to Gabriela Alexandrescu, CEO of Save the Children Romania.
She is warning this could rise ‘dramatically’ as families are forced to flee the war to safety.
The border is on the River Danube and has ferry boat working 24 hours a day to bring refugees to safety in Romania.
On the Romanian side, Save the Children and other aid agencies have been welcoming refugees with emergency support, food and water since the invasion began in late February.
Most of the evacuees are women and children as men aged 18-60 have been banned from leaving the country after martial law was imposed following the Russian invasion.
Mothers traveling with young children are offered a safe space to sit and feed their children, rest, or access medical support.
Volunteers are working around the clock to ensure that all refugees are offered support and safety.
Save the Children talked to one Ukrainian woman who was living with her family in Kherson when violence erupted in nearby Mykolaiv.
„We came here from the city of Kherson, where there are Russian soldiers and tanks everywhere. We left because of the lack of safety, plus no food or medical supplies are allowed in. There is an absolute shortage of food and medicine.”
The woman, whose identity has been protected, packed up her car taking her daughters eight and one. The journey took 14 hours, but on the way near Odesa in and the family had a car accident in which the eldest daughter sustained injuries that required two weeks of hospitalization.
The family then set off on foot to the border. They are currently being looked after by Save the Children and have received water, baby food, diapers, and and essential supplies for their next journey.
They plan to stay a few weeks in Romania.
The United Nations says more than two-thirds of Ukraine’s 7.5 million children have now been forced from their homes by the war, with about two million fleeing to neighboring countries and 2.8 million displaced internally.
Gabriela Alexandrescu, CEO of Save the Children Romania, said:
“Families crossing the Isaccea border are scared and hungry. Some of them have been traveling for weeks. Many are crossing with no idea where they are going to sleep that evening. Children crossing on foot are exhausted, and desperately in need of food, medical supplies, and water.
The number of refugees crossing the Isaccea border is currently over 2,000 a day. As the conflict intensifies in southern Ukraine this could increase dramatically as more families are forced to risk their lives in search of safety.”