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Babies and nursing mothers in Donbas will be receiving new types of food packages


Starting from October 28, 2015, Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center renews humanitarian packages for children as part of "Let's Help Children" program. Special attention will be paid to the importance of breastfeeding for young mothers and children from Donbas. The information on the new package content and the settlements, where mothers can get them first, was provided during the press briefing at Ukrainsky Novyny information agency by the new Director of the Humanitarian Center Oleksandr Vyshniakov and the Center's Coordinator Rimma Fil

Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center joined the initiative of the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization on breastfeeding promotion among the mothers who suffered due to Donbas conflict. Breastfeeding is the most important advantage in healthy nutrition of babies. In this situation it is very important to take care about high-quality nutrition of their mothers. That is why the management of the Humanitarian Center decided to change the composition of children's sets. 

"A year ago by decision of Rinat Akhmetov we created a separate program to help children from 0 to 35 months old with food packages. Today 50,000 families on both sides of the contact line receive humanitarian aid for babies every month. Children’s package is something that is helping a mother to raise her child in the times of military actions. All food products in the package are of high quality only and manufactured in Ukraine. We did not just issue food, we conducted researches and surveys among recipients, – Rimma Fil says. – By introducing these changes in baby food issuance, we care about every little resident of Donbas. And breast milk is the most powerful charge of immunity and health that babies receive for their long and hopefully peaceful life".    

Now all babies from 0 to 11 months old are offered two types of packages to choose:

  • Mother's food package. The new food package is aimed to enhance a nursing mother's nutrition. It can be received at our issuing points. Its composition: buckwheat and wheat grits, oat flakes, sunflower oil, sugar and condensed milk.
  • Baby formula set (if a mother switched for artificial feeding). By request of a mother the baby formula set is issued instead of food package. The decision on choosing one of the two sets is accepted by the recipient. It is possible to change the set type only once: from food package to baby formulas.

Children from 12 to 35 months old are gradually switching for a "grown-up menu", that is why their food package contains the most essential products: semolina and buckwheat, oat and corn flakes, pasta, condensed milk, cookies or gingerbreads/bagels/straws (bread sticks).

The process of transition to the new type of children’s packages will take about a month.  The first ones to receive the new types of packages in non-government-controlled areas will be residents of Kalininsky, Kuibyshevsky, Petrovsky, and Proletarsky districts of Donetsk, Kalininsky and Mykytivsky districts of Horlivka, the towns of Yenakiieve and Kirovske. During the week they will be joined by issuing points in Torez, Yasynuvata, Zuhres and Mospyne.

As for the peaceful areas of Donbas, the issuance of the new-type packages will be started in Dobropolsky raion, Starobilsk, Druzhkivka and Velyka Novosilka. 

"It is important that with such approach any mother, supported by family, can make the right choice of set based on the possibilities. And Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center, on its part, will keep supporting the topic of breastfeeding in the future, in cooperation with international humanitarian missions. There will be brochures and specialists' counselling at the issuing points. We do not limit ourselves to "dry" set and only the logic of receipt. It is important for us to become experts in this issue, have a better understanding of people's needs and improve our assistance", – Oleksandr Vyshniakov, Humanitarian Center's Director, emphasized.   

During the whole period of its operation, Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center has issued more than 370,000 food packages for babies to families with children from 0 to 35 months old, both in non-government-controlled areas and peaceful settlements of Donbas.