First three trucks carrying humanitarian aid en route to Ukraine, two more will join in SlovakiaPublished: Feb 27, 2022 Reading time: 4 minutes
People in Need (PIN) sent the first convoy of trucks loaded with humanitarian aid, as requested by representatives of Lviv in western Ukraine. Trucks courtesy of the Karel Komárek Family Foundation carry a load of durable food, hygiene items, diapers, sleeping bags, mats, and other goods. This aid was acquired from Rohlik.cz, Tesco, Bidfood and Alza.cz either completely free or at a great discount.
The PIN team has arrived in Lviv, where the humanitarian situation is expected to start deteriorating rapidly. Tens of thousands of internally displaced people are flocking to this western Ukrainian city while sirens signal the threat of Russian attack. Our employees stationed in Lviv are safe and ready to provide aid.
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Another team from PIN arrived on the Slovak border on Saturday, working with other organizations to provide support to those waiting for safe crossing. Aid, transportation, and shelter—such as insulated tents for displaced children—are key resources along the border. PIN staff has also organized assistance at the Romanian border near Moldova, where multi-kilometer queues are forming as people wait to cross. In this region, the displaced people of Ukraine lack basic needs such as food, water, and hygiene products.
Together with a consortium of NGOs working with migrants, we launched a portal for matching offers and requests for assistance to Ukraine. At the PIN helpline, SOS Ukraine accepts calls from over a thousand people a day as they either offer or request aid.
Help for Lviv
The first convoy carries material aid worth over 10 million CZK, but preparations are already underway for the handling of other convoys. "We help and will help as much as possible. That is why we are glad that we were able to connect with PIN and donate the necessary food and hygiene items that will go to Ukraine, "says Olin Novák, director of Rohlík.cz
Three trucks left Prague, the other two loaded goods in warehouses in Slovakia. We planned to cross the Ukrainian border together on Monday morning.
The convoys will carry durable food, basic hygiene aids, medical supplies, and other items requested for targeted assistance. Targeted assistance will also be supplied to other areas of Ukraine.
The team from the Czech Republic arrived on the Slovak border on Saturday, where they managed to secure access to the Ukrainian side. Queues stretching kilometers are forming at border crossings and basic needs are missing on the Ukrainian side: food, water, and hygiene. "Together with our partner People in Need Slovakia, we are supplying mobile toilets, building insulated tents for children, and preparing food distribution for people who are forced to wait in long queues. We have also contacted the mayor of Velykiy Berezniy and are coordinating assistance to people who are gathering at the border. We expect that the number of refugees will increase in the coming days," Marek Štys, head of humanitarian aid at PIN, tells us from the ground in Ukraine.
Another team has begun working in the Romanian city of Iași, where a large number of Ukrainian refugees are flowing through. PIN is working with local associations to organize assistance, supporting them financially and helping them build capacity, as many organizations in the region have no experience supplying humanitarian aid. "We also want to help people with special needs, such as children and the elderly,” says PIN coordinator Elena Terzi, “Sometimes it happens that someone brings only children to the border. The father must be in the military and the mother is in a critical state. They choose to stay in Ukraine and try to send their children to safety."
An additional PIN team is in Moldova, heading for the Ukrainian border.
Over a thousand people call every day
Since the beginning of the invasion, more than a thousand people have been calling the SOS Ukraine helpline every day. "In the evening and at night, people call while under fire in Ukraine— from shelters and cellars— who want to help with the evacuation or cry on the phone,” says helpline coordinator Veronika Gabrielová, “In the morning, people call from the border crossings, Ukrainians who worked in the Czech Republic call, family members who have relatives in Ukraine call. During the day, people call for help, people who want to help but don’t know how to. Companies, cities, institutions, benefit organizers, and the like also offer their help,” adds Gabrielová.
People in Need does not organize volunteers or public material collections itself and instead coordinates to help other NGOs.