Russia’s war in Ukraine has forced more than fourteen million people from their homes. With the international community mobilising to distribute relief and essential services, we are supporting our partners by providing temporary shelters for the growing displaced population in Ukraine and in the neighbouring countries in Central and Eastern Europe.

The emergency in Central and Eastern Europe

Ukraine has been in a precarious security situation since 2014, following the Russian annexation of Crimea in eastern Ukraine. The situation escalated to a fully armed conflict when Russia launched a military offensive in February 2022, directly affecting at least eight oblasts (regions) in Ukraine, including the capital Kyiv, and exacerbating the crisis in the eastern oblasts Donetsk and Luhansk.

Already with thousands of civilian casualties and a massive displacement event, the UN estimates that 28 million people will need humanitarian assistance within Ukraine.

Dispatch of shelters from our Poland warehouse to Ukraine April, 2022. ©Mova Film

Our response

Since UNHCR declared the conflict in Ukraine a level 3 emergency, we have been supporting our partners’ humanitarian initiatives by providing RHUs to shelter the growing displaced Ukrainian population. So far, we have delivered more than 4000 RHU units to different locations in Ukraine and in neighbouring countries.


RHU units delivered to our partners as of June 2022

UNHCR building RHUs in Ukraine while civilians recover their homes

UNHCR at a civilian residence in the Makariv, Kyiv region of Ukraine. ©UNHCR/Bathoul Ahmed

Winterising training conducted in Rivne

UNHCR High Commissioner visits families who lost everything in Ukraine

UNHCR High Commissioner Filippo Grandi visited a family in the Nalyvaikivka village within the Kyiv Oblast in Ukraine. The family escaped two missile attacks targeting Kyiv, but their home was destroyed and they lost everything. They are currently living in an RHU while they rebuild their home, brick-by-brick.

©UNHCR/Andrew McConnell

4,000 units funded by EU to shelter 20,000 refugees across Europe

With funding from rescEU, an upgraded unit of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, the European Commission funded 4,000 RHUs, with the capacity to shelter 20,000 people. Currently in stockpile reserve to be implemented by the summer of 2022, the RHUs will be delivered and installed by the Swedish Contingencies Agency (MSB) for immediate protection until the establishment of long-term housing solutions.

MSB personnel are trained in Kristinehamn, Sweden. © Amir Nabizadeh

RHUs ensuring distribution of essential services as Blue Dots in Poland

The modest town of Medyka in the less prosperous southeast region of Poland has welcomed a large share of Ukrainian refugees since the beginning of the war. Medyka is largely a transit stop, as refugees continue their journey towards the larger cities in Poland. UNHCR and UNICEF installed 2 RHUs as Blue Dots hubs to increase reception capacity, putting the RHUs to use as a protection office and child-friendly space.

Two RHUs in the Medyka reception centre on the Polish/Ukrainian border serving as a child friendly space and a protection office, managed by UNICEF and UNHCR.

500 units delivered to support national response in Czechia

  • More than 300,000 Ukrainians have been granted temporary protection status in Czechia, the highest number of temporary status registrations in Europe
  • While the crisis in Ukraine has seen unprecedented solidarity between civil society, national and international authorities, the population influx has put strain on national capacity to settle the growing number of border crossings, especially in urban areas
  • UNHCR responded the the Czech government’s appeal for assistance by delivering 500 RHU units, currently stored for contingency in a warehouse in the town of Zbiroh, located in western Czechia
  • The RHU units are reserved for prospective delivery to the regions in Czechia where the refugee population is swelling the most

Immediate dispatch from Poland

Our temporary shelters are produced in accordance with EU standards, and stored in our warehouse in Gdańsk, Poland, less than 1000 kilometres from the western Ukrainian border. They can be dispatched immediately for rapid deployment where they are needed the most.

RHUs stocked in our warehouse in Poland. ©Mova Film

Contact us

We are regularly monitoring updates on the situation in Ukraine, and are ready to support our partners in Central and Eastern Europe. Contact us today to learn more about our support and technical assistance.

Lucia Arias Kapetinic

Partnerships Manager (Americas, Africa, Europe)

Märta Aretakis Terne

Head of Communications

Tim de Haas

Head of Technology