From the IGFM bulletin “For Human Rights /FdMR”, No. 5/22, p.1
ISHR lawyers in Ukraine – “Our mission is to help now”
“The situation is changing from day to day. We focus on food, hygiene and medicine, but people are also asking for fuel, money and most importantly drinking water. There is an urgent need for medicines for the heart, high blood pressure, bandages and especially baby food. As a result, where the post offices don’t work, the pharmacies are empty. One day we can buy everything, and the next day almost everything is unavailable. We try to work with local producers to keep lines short.”
Anton Alexeyev reports daily how he and his 12-strong team are helping. “Actually we are lawyers, but now humanitarian aid is our mission for society and Ukraine. We provide aid in 13 out of 25 regions in Ukraine and we cooperate with local authorities, hospitals, old people’s homes, orphanages and churches. At the moment, the government cannot provide sufficient funds to homes and hospitals at all times; we step in where and how we can. For this we have developed different UN standard food baskets: for people who are on the go, for those who have access to a kitchen and for those who cannot cook food. It is mainly women with children who are fleeing. They seek refuge with complete strangers who provide them with a room or other accommodation. But that doesn’t solve the problem of good nutrition for the children. The aid from abroad consists mainly of clothing, canned food and hygiene items. Fresh groceries – especially for feeding the children – have to be bought in. That is why we also give part of the direct aid in the form of cash.” Refugees are not only in the cities, where foreign aid is concentrated, but are scattered throughout the country, including in small villages. The ISHR organized the distribution of food parcels, diapers and hygiene items in the Cherkassy, Zhytomyr, Poltava and Zaporozhye regions. The Korostyshev district hospital, which has taken in internally displaced persons from Kyiv, including many pregnant women, was able to provide necessary emergency aid from a large ISHR transport. The kitchen of the Baptist congregation in Lviv/Lemberg receives regular help from the ISHR camp for the care of refugees passing through, in which the aid goods sent from abroad are stored until they are distributed.
“We are working to increase our presence in the areas not controlled by the government. We urgently need to double the number of our staff to expand humanitarian aid, but also to provide psychological first aid to victims, for reporting and other tasks. We thank all donors in Germany who make our help possible. But in order to be able to maintain our level of humanitarian activities, we need more trucks from abroad on the one hand, and about €3,000 a week on the other to buy medicine and fresh food. Please be with us!” Attorney Anton Alexeyev from Poltava/Ukraine, May 10, 2022
It was important to us that you, dear readers, learn directly from the Ukraine that the ISHR is not a helping spectator in the safe West, but that our members and friends in the Ukraine are dealing with the consequences of the war instigated by Putin in their own homeland set anew every day. Our members in Poland, Moldova, the Baltic States, Armenia and Georgia stand by the side of the Ukrainian refugees who have arrived there. Where necessary, thanks to your donations, we make this help possible on a permanent basis. Since our last appeal a month ago, our ISHR honorary chairwoman Katrin Bornmüller and her helpers in Wittlich have sent two more trucks with humanitarian aid – some collected, some bought – and we have supported the Ukraine section with over €10,000.