Direct Aid from the International Society of Saint Vincent de Paul in the face of the War in Ukraine

by | Mar 31, 2022 | Conflict in Ukraine, News, Society of St. Vincent de Paul

The Commission for International Aid and Development (CIAD) has provided emergency donations to assist refugees and establish contact with Vincentians in the border areas with Ukraine in order to strengthen emergency aid.

Since the outset of the war in Ukraine, Europe is facing its greatest humanitarian crisis in many years. Everywhere, our Vincentian brothers and sisters are doing their best to support the refugees and victims of the war. The International General Council is already supporting their efforts. Although our main objectives are geared toward the long term, the General Council, through the CIAD, wants to offer immediate and on-going love and solidarity to our brothers and sisters and to find other ways to show support them such as Resolutions, declarations   

Ukraine

The conferences in Ukraine are currently beyond our reach since most of our members have been displaced. Nevertheless, other branches of the Vincentian Family have remained in the country with a small task force to resist and assist. DePaul International is one of those branches. They have been in Ukraine since 2007, assisting persons in need in several cities. Most staff and the people that they support had to be evacuated from some of the places they lived and worked, but they remain very active in others locations where one of their centers is now a feeding station and is providing emergency medical service. Their shelters are provide shelter for many women and children. They are supported by the Daughters of Charity. They are also delivering truckloads of food and emergency material to the cities that were evacuated.

CIAD has agreed to support the call for help by providing an immediate donation of € 10,000.

Romania

There are more than 360,000 Ukrainians in Romania. Vincentians are active in small yet efficient ways throughout the country.

The members of the Society in Oradea and Turt are working at the Sighet and Halmeu Customs post and also at a refugee center organized at the ‘Sacro Cuore’ Monastery. The members of the Society in Lasi work at refugees centers opened in Lasi by Caritas and local parishes. They are also working at centres opened in Gadium and Sapience, assisting refugees entering Romania through the Siret customs border post.

The needs expressed by the National Council of Romania are for food (of any kind), bedding, hygiene products and, gasoline for vehicles transporting refugees to the various places where they can find refuge.

CIAD has released an immediate emergency grant of € 5,000, and are awaiting a relief plan from our members in Romania before considering larger grants, in accordance with ongoing needs.

Slovakia

“The people in Slovakia are generous, they help the refugees at the border and all over Slovakia with collections, shelter and other types of assistance. All the conferences are participating in the collection of food and hygiene articles for the Ukrainians. The National President stated that: “In locations where the Vincentian Sisters are active, they are receiving material to provide help to the refugees”. There is also on-going cooperation among the various branches of the Slovakian Vincentian Family.

They serve Ukrainian refugees in Slovakia, offering them shelter. At the same time there sending aid across the border into Ukraine through a Conference located near the border. This aid includes food, hygiene articles and medical supplies.

“In Bratislava, in “Dom nádeje” (Home of Hope, a SSVP Centre) four refugees from Ukraine (Kharkiv) have been sheltered and another four persons are expected. The refugees are a mother and her child and two grandparents. Other people are sent to us by Vincentians from the area where they work. They have no money and no belongings. Our Vincentian parish has been collecting food, hygiene articles and clothes to provide assistance to the refugees”.

CGI, through CIAD, has sent to the National Council an emergency grant of € 5,000 that will cover some of their expenses (electricity, gas and heating fuel), donations (food, clothing…) and activities (for example, healthcare and medicines for the elderly) and will be assessing further needs.

In addition, CGI teams are working to contact the Society and Vincentian family members in all the countries assisting the refugees (Czech Republic, Lithuania, Hungary, and Poland) in order to establish the best and most secure way to provide help. While our hearts command us to act urgently, our responsibility is also to act wisely and for the long term. Emergency relief is not one of SSVP’s strengths, but it is our Vincentians who will remain on location “long after the cameras have left”.

The General Council will not make a separate appeal for the Ukrainian crisis and all the donations we will provide to these countries in order to support the victims of this crisis, will be drawn from our “Fund for International Solidarity”. The General Council has recently appealed to the generosity of the worldwide National Councils to replenish this fund.

Source: https://www.ssvpglobal.org/


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