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CUF and UCC report on the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal progress. Over $70 million in humanitarian aid reaches Ukrainians since February 2022

Mar 7, 2024 | News, Featured

CUF/UCC press conference on February 21 in UNF Toronto Hall in Etobicoke, ON

New Pathway – Ukrainian News.

On February 21, the Canada-Ukraine Foundation and the Ukrainian Canadian Congress provided an update on humanitarian programming through their joint Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal. The update came on the eve of the second anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Victor Hetmanczuk, Chair of the Board of the Canada-Ukraine Foundation (CUF), and Alexandra Chyczij, National President of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC), announced during a press conference at the UNF Toronto Hall in Etobicoke, ON, that a total of $67 million has been raised for humanitarian works through the appeal, supplemented by $20 million in in-kind donations. Over the two-year time frame, more than $70 million has been disbursed in humanitarian programming in Ukraine and its near-abroad.

Dr. Oleh Antonyshyn, professor at the University of Toronto, and reconstructive surgeon at Sunnybrook Health Science Centre, reported that the Canada Ukraine Surgical Aid Program (CUSAP), a long-standing project of the Canada-Ukraine Foundation of which he is founder and head surgeon, completed four separate surgical missions in the last two years, supplementing the seven previous surgical missions since the war started in 2014. CUSAP draws on the support of over 250 volunteers across Canada and the United States. The latest mission in fall of 2023 included 11 surgeons, 4 anesthesiologists, 5 internists, 14 OR nurses, 15 ward nurses, and 12 support staff.

Chair of the Subcommittee on Displaced Persons, CUF executive member Yaroslav Baran provided an update on in-Canada humanitarian support for displaced Ukrainians sheltering in Canada under the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) special visa program.

General Consul Oleksandr Shevchenko joined the press conference to extend the Ukrainian Embassy’s gratitude to the people of Canada and to provide an update on critical needs.

The Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal (UHA) was launched in January of 2022 by the Canada-Ukraine Foundation and the Ukrainian Canadian Congress to coordinate the efficient provision of humanitarian aid to war-torn Ukraine after Russia’s full-scale invasion, including relief for displaced persons in Europe and Canada.

Since the start of the full-scale invasion on February 24, 2022, the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal has raised over $67 million from 90,000 donations across Canada and received over $20 million in in-kind donations. At the press conference, Hetmanczuk called the number of donors “phenomenal” and noted the need to reengage Canada’s provincial governments and corporations into the fundraising for the UAH causes. “We continue to expand our work as Canada’s humanitarian charity of choice to help war-torn Ukraine,” added Hetmanczuk.

The primary focus of the humanitarian relief efforts has been in the areas of food security, medical care, emergency shelter and mental health support for displaced persons in Ukraine, neighbouring countries, and Canada. The total of over $70 million in the humanitarian aid to Ukraine since February 2022 included 700,000 boxes of food to 2,000,000 Ukrainians in Ukraine, Moldova and Romania and over 141 tons of medicines reaching 1,580,000 patients. The equipment provided included 28 ambulances, 100 MOVES® SLC™- Life Support Systems, 50 Vacuum-Assisted Closure (VAC) devices, and 12 labour and 47 postpartum beds.

CUSAP’s four surgical missions helped 95 patients with severe cranio-facial and/or orthopedic injuries: 110 operations and 331 procedures were made. “Canada Ukraine Surgical Aid Program (CUSAP) was initiated with two goals in mind: provide comprehensive state-of-the-art multidisciplinary trauma care and post trauma reconstruction to both civilian and military casualties of the war in Ukraine and support Ukrainian healthcare professionals through education in trauma reconstruction. We have done this for 10 years and will continue to do so for as long as the need is there,” said Dr. Oleh Antonyshyn.

UHA has also provided demining robots and X-ray machines for humanitarian demining; 1,000 sets of firefighters’ gear; 10,000 protective gloves for first responders; 60 to generators hospitals, 87 to families of Ukrainian armed forces personnel killed in action, and 50 to Ukraine’s Ministry of Energy; 40 water pumps and 60 water storage tanks.

Assistance for the displaced people included 13 temporary shelters; 5,000 wood-burning stoves; 4,400 beds, mattresses and bedding sets; 10,000 blankets and 40,000 hygiene kits.

Assistance for the vulnerable has gone through the Ukrainian Deaf Society, Dzherelo – a rehabilitation centre for children and young adults with disabilities and City of Goodness – a shelter for women and children escaping domestic violence and a hospice.

Within Canada, Displaced Ukrainians Appeal (DUA) was launched under UHA’s umbrella after the Government of Canada opened temporary sheltering visas (CUAET) to Ukrainians fleeing the war. So far, over 220,000 Ukrainians found refuge in Canada under the CUAET visa.

DUA has raised $3.1 million in donations from donors across Canada. Approximately $2 million have been dispersed or committed so far through over 30 humanitarian projects in six Canadian provinces, supporting displaced Ukrainians – mainly women with children and the elderly, and with a focus on food security, shelter, and psychosocial support such as trauma counselling and employment assistance.

At the press conference on February 21, Yaroslav Baran noted that with the CUAET visa program coming to an end on March 31, the DUA program will reassess the needs of the Ukrainians that will have arrived to Canada at that point.

“For two years, the Ukrainian people have stood defiantly against Russia’s genocidal onslaught. Ukraine is grateful for the military, economic and humanitarian support of all allies but now, more than ever, the Ukrainian Armed Forces must be enabled to finish the fight. The democratic world cannot allow Ukraine to fail, for if Ukraine fails, Putin will have to be stopped by our sons and daughters,” said Alexandra Chyczij, National President, Ukrainian Canadian Congress.

With files from Canada-Ukraine Foundation

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