Illustrative photo – The central regional warehouse of humanitarian aid for refugees from Ukraine in the Karlovy Vary district of Stará Role. Image taken on 10 March 2022.
Prague – Ten larger non-profit organizations, which are among the members of FoRS – the Czech Forum for Development Cooperation, provided Ukraine with more than two billion crowns of aid during the year of the war with Russia. 1.19 million people received various support. While at first the organizations provided food, clothing, emergency overnight accommodation, equipping centers for refugees or supplies to humanitarian warehouses, now they want to focus on improving the conditions of the displaced, education or supporting the reconstruction and transformation of the country. ČTK informed FoRS.
Among the ten organizations are ADRA, Association for International Issues (AMO), Arnika, CARE ČR, Higher Vocational School of Social Sciences Olomouc CARITAS, People in Need (ČvT), Diakonie ČCE, Charita ČR, Association of Volunteers activities of INEX and Nešešťeni. FoRS covers a total of 34 organizations, think tanks and universities. It focuses on humanitarian and development aid as well as education and enlightenment.
For example, People in Need, according to a press release sent by ČTK today, has helped 920,000 people since the beginning of the Russian-Ukrainian war. His aid, worth around two billion crowns, went both to Ukraine and to neighboring countries, including the Czech Republic, which accepted Ukrainian refugees. The organization said that in addition to ongoing humanitarian aid, it supports human rights defenders, volunteers who help with the distribution of aid, or Ukrainian non-governmental organizations that are in contact with the local administration and determine current needs. Shortly after the beginning of the invasion, People in Need began to financially support ten Ukrainian media.
ADRA CR also helps people affected by the war in Ukraine and the Czech Republic and has so far provided material and financial aid in the amount of 198 million crowns to more than 300,000 people. Its Ukrainian partner organization has helped 5.8 million people since the beginning of the conflict, however, 18 million Ukrainians still need humanitarian aid, the organization said in a press release. Charity of the Czech Republic announced on Tuesday that it had given roughly 165 million crowns to help Ukraine during the year of the war, while also helping Ukrainian refugees in Moldova. Diakonie ČCE said last week that it has collected over 15 million crowns to help Ukraine, which is used, among other things, to pay for hot meals that it distributes daily through partner organizations in the affected cities of Izjum and Kupjansk.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine began on February 24 last year. The international organization says around 13.3 million people fled their homes after the country was attacked. Eight million of them have gone abroad, according to the UNHCR, and 5.3 million live in other parts of Ukraine, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
In the first days, Czech organizations from FoRS started to provide people in Ukraine with warm clothes, food and advice. They provided emergency sleepovers. In the east, countries were delivering survival kits and in the west they were equipping arrival centers. ADRA turned a network of church facilities into refugee centers or humanitarian warehouses. Charita CR helps in the west in the Lviv and Transcarpathian regions, where, for example, it renovated accommodation centers and built modular houses. The organization CARE ČR focused on psychological help and therapy for people. Nešehneh records information about the illegal conscription of Ukrainians into the Russian army or their imprisonment in Russia. AMO focuses on strengthening education under wartime conditions and supporting Ukrainian teachers. INEX wants to participate in the reconstruction, FoRS representatives said in a press release.
According to them, people in Ukraine live without regular supplies of water, electricity, gas and heat, conditions need to be improved, and decent housing should be provided. Psychological help is also necessary, and the state of human rights in the occupied territories should continue to be monitored. FoRS reminds us that war is also an ecological disaster. It points to the destruction of industrial sites and residential areas, the contamination of places and the destruction of protected areas. According to the organizations, it will be necessary to support the transformation in the country, strengthen the civil sector and education and fight against misinformation. The restoration should follow European standards and take into account sustainability, the representatives of the organizations said.