A partnership between the American Red Cross and the Romanian Red Cross delivered life-saving food aid to Ukrainians. During August, 18 truckloads containing 350 tons of aid were delivered by the Romanian Red Cross to the hard-hit Chernivtsi and Uzhhorod regions.
“The needs for the people of Ukraine remain urgent as this conflict continues to upend the lives and livelihoods of millions. Providing this type of relief is one of many ways we show our steadfast commitment to supporting the most vulnerable,” said Koby Langley, American Red Cross Senior Vice President of International Services and Service to the Armed Forces.
Six months after the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine, humanitarian needs inside and outside the country continue to grow. More than 6 million people are internally displaced, more than 10 million people have fled Ukraine and more than 15 million people are in the country in need of continued humanitarian support.
In Ukraine and neighboring countries, inflation and shortages of essential products such as fuel and food are affecting people's ability to afford basic supplies. The imminent arrival of cold weather in the coming weeks will bring additional humanitarian needs. According to Langley, the partnership between the American Red Cross and the Romanian Red Cross is critical to ensuring those who need it most can be reached — including women, children and the elderly.
Director General of the Romanian Red Cross Ioan Silviu Lefter said aid sends a message of solidarity to Ukrainian civilians living in tragic conditions. The delivery, which was funded by the American Red Cross, contained $900,000 worth of food supplies and included 30,000 boxes of powdered milk, 47,280 kg of peas, 47,840 kg of rice, 50,000 kg of sugar, 47,990 kg of wheat flour, 92,832 instant soups, 65,000 cans of tomato sauce and 303,556 cans of meat.
“The needs of these people grow from one day to the next in proportion to their desperation and we want to convey to them that they are not alone and that we will continue to be with them," Lefter said.
The future of the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine remains unknown. Even if the conflict ended tomorrow, it would take years to repair the damage to cities and homes and the impact on families. According to Langley, constant and long-term involvement is needed. “Working with our partners throughout this crisis, the American Red Cross is committed to being adaptable and responsive to the needs as they evolve,” he said.
Role of the American Red Cross in Ukraine
Since the conflict escalated in February, the American Red Cross has contributed over $53 million to Ukraine crisis relief efforts. This includes over $40 million to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to support the most vital humanitarian needs of those affected, including food, shelter, critical care items and first aid.
The American Red Cross has also contributed $2 million to the ICRC to support their life-saving efforts within Ukraine. Additional contributions include $8.8 million to the Danish Red Cross and $1.9 million to the Romanian Red Cross for relief efforts within Ukraine to provide food and non-perishable food items, first aid kits, blankets and hygiene kits to people displaced within Ukraine.
The American Red Cross has committed an additional $12.5 million to partners on the ground — including World Central Kitchen, CORE and International Medical Corps to provide food, shelter, aid and medical supplies within Ukraine and other impacted countries.
The American Red Cross has deployed 26 international crisis responders to Poland, Moldova, Hungary and Romania to provide humanitarian relief in support of the international Red Cross operation helping families who fled their homes. These highly trained crisis responders—who are lending skills such as information management, cash assistance programming, GIS systems, communications and crisis leadership — are supporting on-the-ground relief efforts alongside local teams, including the Polish Red Cross, Moldovan Red Cross and Romanian Red Cross.
Additionally, in line with its work supporting military families, the American Red Cross has sent 50 trained staff to Europe to support emergency communication needs of U.S. military members so they can stay in touch with family members back home. The Red Cross Hero Care Network is a Congressionally-chartered program that connects service members and their families in times of need. Red Crossers are also distributing comfort kits containing hygiene items and other necessities to service members and U.S. State Department staff.
For more information about the global Red Cross response to the Ukraine Crisis, visit here.