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CNEWA provides over $70,000 in vital support to victims of flooding in Western Ukraine

Oct 20, 2021 | Featured

Yuri Bilinsky, New Pathway – Ukrainian News.

In the summer and fall of 2020, flash flooding submerged more than 300 towns and villages in Western Ukraine. To date, with help from individual donors as well as Ukrainian Catholic eparchies and organizations in Canada, the Canadian office of Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) has been able to provide over CAD 73,000 worth of vital support to people who suffered from the flooding.

This family from the Lanchyn village near Kolomyya in Western Ukraine could not afford to completely restore their house devastated by flooding in June 2020. Both parents lost jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The government subsidy was enough to cover only cosmetic repairs. Caritas Kolomyya supplied them with basic necessities and a new kitchen set. Photo: Caritas Kolomyya

During the flooding, water levels rose up to three meters high in the areas of Dnister, Cheremosh, Prut and Bystrytsia rivers. The situation was exacerbated by the COVID pandemic. Chernivtsi, Kolomyya and Ivano-Frankivsk branches of Caritas Ukraine (Catholic relief, development and social service organization) rose to the occasion and brought timely help to the victims of the flooding.

Flooding relief has been provided in two stages:

  • July-September 2020, emergency assistance right after the flooding: delivery of humanitarian aid, including fresh water, food, linen and other essentials; and spiritual help.
  • Starting September 2020, restoration and preparations for winter: providing furniture, insulation and renovation supplies, and household appliances (refrigerators, stoves, etc.) and helping to restore homesteads.

Overall, around 400 households in need in dozens of villages received essential supplies, assistance and spiritual support from volunteers and employees of Caritas in the regions.

Those assisted were mainly families in difficult life circumstances, people with disabilities, large families, single and elderly people, members of Anti-Terrorist Operation and Joint Forces Operation, as well as those who suffered the most.

In many cases, the assisted families relied on the provided support substantially or even completely as they have received little or no flood relief help from the authorities.

Local manufacturers and businesses have also benefited from the relief efforts as Caritas has been buying the supplies from them. One example is the local manufacturer Balaton LLC which provided bedding selections (blankets, pillows and bedding linen).

A mother and her 5 children whose house in the Carpathian Mountains was flooded in June 2020 are happy to receive a set of new bedding delivered by Caritas Chernivtsi’s volunteer team
Photo: Caritas Chernivtsi

The Caritas teams consisting of Ukrainian Catholic priests and social workers have visited the affected villages right after the flooding and at later stages and met with the victims in individual and group sessions. The teams provided psychological and spiritual support, tried to learn more about the affected families’ needs and about the needs of the children in low-income families to be able to meet their needs in the future.

Local offices of Caritas Ukraine have provided proofs of receipt of aid while CNEWA has checked the project’s results on the ground and reported to the donors.

With files from CNEWA Canada

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