Official handover to local authorities and the VRB association took place last week, in Chernivtsi, Ukraine: 6 tonnes of primary and health goods, sent from Italy and made available through Doctors with Africa CUAMM work to the population.

An indispensable gift to help the thousands of internally displaced people arrived in this area of the country, less affected by the conflict. Despite that, they need everything: food and soaps for personal hygiene, healthcare in the hospital and a house to live in. Departed from Brindisi in early June, the load was stored in Siret, Suceava district, Romania and it arrived today at Chernivtsi, Ukraine. It includes medical kits (surgical, post-traumatic and for the non-communicable diseases treatment) and humanitarian goods (including tents, blankets, tent heaters, hygiene kits and water jerry cans). The load was made available by the Italian Agency for Cooperation.

To mainly benefit from it will be the internally displaced people residing in Chernivtsi and the 13 of 24 oblast (regions) hospitals of the country. So, the material will be used in the humanitarian response that Doctors with Africa CUAMM is implementing in Chernivtsi, Ucraina (and Moldavia) with the local partner VRB. The materials arrived by different realities like ‘’Ukraine Humanitarian Fund’’ (UHF), multi-donor fund managed by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Italian Agency for Cooperation contributed for it as well the past march with 6 million euros.

After the greetings and the gratitude about what Italy is doing, like welcoming refugees from Ukraine and sending help to the country, Mykola Guitor, first Chernivtsi Vice-President of the Regional Council, kicked off the event: «If we stay all together we can defend our right to join the European family. Italy is helping us not just with words but also with facts, taking care of women, children and elderly people. Today we’re here to receive this concrete gift and to thank you. In this moment, our region is a humanitarian corridor where many displaced people arrive and the need is significant. This is not just a Ukrainian war; it concerns all the Europeans and the whole world. Despite that, we just want peace and to stay with Europe».

«We are particularly fulfilled about this operation, inserted in a solid collaboration with the civil society and in the wider Italian humanitarian response perspective to the current crisis. We can make a difference providing assistance successfully to the most vulnerable people only by creating synergies», said Minister Lucio Demichele, linked to the conference and head of Humanitarian Aid and Emergency to the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

While Pier Francesco Zazo, Ambassador of the Italian Republic in Ukraine, pointed out:  «The humanitarian problem in Ukraine is explosive, there are about 7 million internally displaced people. Italy is doing a lot giving support and assistance to the population. Unfortunately, estimates say that if the war continues by the end of the year there will be a 50% GDP reduction and half of the jobs will be lost. Italy is carrying on many humanitarian operations and activities, through the commitment of the Civil Protection, the Red Cross and many NGOs including CUAMM: one of the most important Italian NGOs that I appreciate and to which I am grateful. In the past few days, during his visit, Prime Minister Draghi highlighted the fact that Italian Government is among the first supporters of Ukraine’s Europe entry. We hope that this process can take place soon».

«As CUAMM our history always led us to work in Africa, for the most fragile and weak people, close to those who suffer the most, as women and children. So we couldn’t turn our backs on the Ukranian neighboring people, suffering so much today. We are grateful to the local association VRB, which we are collaborating with to support Ukraine. Our gratitude is also for the local authorities, above all to the Italian system and to the Italian Agency for Cooperation that has given us this essential primary and sanitary materials, indispensable for the population’s health, which we will be able to distribute in 13 of the 24 oblasts of the country»: said Don Dante Carraro, director of Doctors with Africa CUAMM.

VRB general manager Katerina Ponomareva gave voice to all the volunteers of the association. The association works hard to bring help to those who escape from the most affected areas of the country: «Thanks to this important load that Italy gives us through CUAMM we can go further, specifically in the easternmost regions. We can bring medicines and goods to children, to the sick, and to women. And this is very important to us».

The first operation, one of the two shipments realized within a few days apart from each other, was realized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in coordination with the Italian civil society that is at the front line in response to the Ukrainian humanitarian crisis. This support gives a further boost to the commitment that CUAMM has shown for Ukraine during the war outbreak: while not taking away energy and effort from working in Africa, where every day the need also increases because of this war, CUAMM could not turn his back on a near and urgent need.

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