Ukraine: Order of Malta international relief services on standby
Humanitarian consequences of social crisis
Cologne, 13 March 2014
Order of Malta volunteers distribute soup in Maidan, Kiev
‘More and more Ukrainians are in need of relief as state agencies cut back support for social services because of the country’s weakened economy, and many are looking to the Order of Malta’s Ukrainian Relief Corps for help,‘ says Ingo Radtke of Malteser International , the Order of Malta’s international relief agency. ‘We are observing the situation closely, ready to support our Ukrainian partners on the ground in case of escalation.’
Soup kitchens in Kiev serve 350,000 hot meals, 250,000 gallons of tea in 3 months
Since December, the Order of Malta has been running two field kitchens on Independence Square (Maidan), Kiev, the main site of clashes between protesters and government troops. By the end of February, they had served 350,000 hot meals and 250,000 gallons of tea. The kitchens continue to operate nearly around the clock every day.
Neighbouring Order of Malta relief organisations on alert
The Order’s relief organisations in neighbouring countries are on alert to provide assistance as needed. In recent weeks, the Order of Malta Relief Service in Poland has been supporting the evacuation of injured Ukrainians, brought to Polish hospitals for treatment. The Order in Germany has supported the Ukrainian organisation for over 20 years; and donated the field kitchens.
Maidan, kiev-Order of Malta soup kitchen volunteer
An escalation of the conflict could lead to the collapse of the Ukrainian Order of Malta Relief Corps’ social services to people in need in western and central Ukraine – the poor, the sick, the disabled. With 200 volunteers and 15 staff they are providing a daily warm meal for 150 seniors in Lviv, regular assistance for 50 disabled in Ivano-Frankiwsk, and care for a number of children’s homes in West Ukraine. Their Christmas campaign brought gifts to more than 8,000 children living in 50 orphanages. But economic hardship is biting, and donations to the organisation have dropped significantly.
Malteser International is the humanitarian relief agency of the Sovereign Order of Malta. With over 100 projects annually in some 25 countries in Africa, Asia and the Americas, Malteser International has been standing by those affected by poverty, disease, conflict and disaster, helping them lead a healthy life with dignity – without distinction of religion, race or political persuasion. Christian values and the humanitarian principles build the foundation of its work.