500 days of Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center's operation
More than 75,000 tons of humanitarian aid have been delivered to Donbas civilians by Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center over 500 days of its operation. The Center has become the largest humanitarian organization, both in the volumes of aid delivered to Eastern Ukraine and the number of people receiving it regularly. This is up to 500,000 people every month. The performance results of the Humanitarian Center's largest direction, "Humanitarian Aid", were presented by Coordinator Rimma Fil and Director Oleksandr Vyshniakov during the press briefing.
"For 500 days by decision of Rinat Akhmetov we have been systematically helping Donbas civilians, those who are being ground down by war, to survive. When the Humanitarian Center was established in August 2014, nobody could imagine that we would work for 500 days, and according to the current situation we will keep on working. According to the latest UN data, there are 2.7 million people living in non-government-controlled areas of Donbas who face movement restrictions. Nearly 800,000 people live in extremely difficult and dangerous conditions. Assistance from Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center is provided to elderly and disabled people, children and low-income individuals. We have issued 5,850,000 adult survival kits and 430,000 children food packages, – Rimma Fil says.
To provide people with these volumes of food aid, the Humanitarian Center sent 142 truck convoys to Donbas. This makes the total of 3,764 twenty-ton trucks. The trip of one truck convoy takes 12 hours. "But this July we had a certain negative record, 50 hours in transit. Back then, due to severe shelling and closed checkpoints we made 9 attempts to cross the contact line during 15 days. We changed the routes, our trucks were staying at the checkpoints for hours. And as a result, we managed to deliver food products through the most complex and maladjusted route via Artemivsk, which no other humanitarian mission took", – Oleksandr Vyshniakov shares.
Over 500 days the humanitarian aid was received by local civilians and IDPs in 310 towns and villages of Donbas that have fixed issuing points opened there, and that were visited by mobile volunteer team at least once.75,000 people got help in the "grey zone" settlements that were visited by volunteers.
"Our volunteers make trips every 2-3 days, and they have only 2 formats of work, the trips are difficult and dangerous. They can stay at the checkpoints for hours, waiting for the end of shelling. And at this very moment people who started coming to the issuing points at 3 am are waiting for the volunteers to arrive. The situation is the same in many villages of the "grey zone": kilometres of queues, many retired and disabled people waiting for this help. Humanitarian aid is in great demand there. It is scary when elderly people remain without support of their relatives. Last week we made a delivery to Chermalyk in Volnovakha raion. When people were receiving humanitarian aid, an elderly man suddenly felt sick, he could hardly make it to the issuing point. He simply had no money, no food, he recently buried his wife. He was getting help from everyone: volunteers and people who received food. And there are really many scary situations like this", – Oleksandr Vyshniakov says.
Sociological researches show that every third Donbas resident needs food. The requirement in humanitarian aid is still high. "We will continue responding the requirements of Donbas civilians on both sides of the contact line and in "grey zone". Early next year we will continue delivering humanitarian aid to people. We are forced to continue planning our work within the three-month format. The work of Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center remains relevant", – Oleksandr Vyshniakov summarized.