Ukraine is still facing war. The Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center held a press conference in Brussels
The war in Donbass in the East of Ukraine lasts for 3 years; there is daily fighting, with civilian casualties. The war takes away people’s homes, their loved ones and their future. In the center of Europe, in the 21st century.
According to the UN, 3.8 million people in Ukraine need humanitarian aid. 2.3 million live in the territory beyond Ukraine's control, including 600 thousand - in close proximity to the demarcation line. More than 620 thousand people need food, about 38 thousand of them are displaced residents who were forced to leave their homes. More than 200 children were injured.
It takes away the lives of children and elderly people, causes them to starve; every day millions of people struggle to survive in inhuman living conditions. All of them, without exception, need a guarantee of security and the end of war. The toll of human suffering and misery for the affected people includes their housing, their ability to work, to earn a livelihood, and look after their families, schooling for their children, healthcare, medical and social services, the payment of pensions and benefits and their general well-being.
«The Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center is a private initiative of one person – Rinat Akhmetov – that was created as rapid response unit to provide practical aid and relief to civilians. The Center has been helping them to cope with this disaster for 3 years. First aid to civilians was provided by the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation, which works since 2005. In May 2014, the Foundation began to evacuate and resettle civilians. In August 2014, the Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center was established on the basis of the Foundation. Its purpose was to save people. To help them survive, to provide the necessary assistance. For 3 years of work, the Center saved more than 1 million civilians in the East of Ukraine from starvation disease and shelling and become the largest humanitarian mission in this territory», – Oleksandr Vyshniakov, the director of the Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center, underlined during the today’s press conference.
Since August 2014 more than 39 thousand people have been evacuated from the scene of fighting by the efforts of the Center, 11,7 mln. of adults and children have received food packages, more than 100 thousand people – target medical assistance and psychological counseling.
The rehabilitation of wounded children in the course of military activities has become one of the demanded project. In the first year 58 children went through rehabilitation. 5-year-old Milana from Mariupol is among these children. During the shelling in January 2015, the girl's mother died covering her daughter with her body. Milana herself lost her leg and now is getting used to wearing the prosthesis.
«I thank the Lord every day for the miracle that He committed, sending us so many merciful people. They all shared their heart with my granddaughter. I would like to express special gratitude to the Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center that helped with Milana's treatment and rehabilitation. The Center's psychologist has worked with my granddaughter for 2 years, and I see how she is getting calmer and quietly getting used to a peaceful life», - Olga Abdurashitova, grandmother and guardian of little Milana says.
The trouble is so large-scale that even the largest organization cannot cope with it alone. Thanks to the combined efforts of international humanitarian missions such as the Red Cross, UNICEF, People in Need and the Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center during the last 3 years a humanitarian catastrophe in the big European country has been prevented.
Since February 28, 2017, the activity of the Foundation has been blocked in the uncontrolled territory by representatives of the self-proclaimed authorities. 500 000 people left without help.
But the people affected by the war still need help and they need support mechanisms. This will need the effort and attention of governments, businesses and civil society.
«Today humanitarian organizations have no possibility to provide the necessary assistance for old people and children in the territory beyond Ukraine's control. That is why the important part of uniting our efforts is to communicate to the world the real stories of the war victims. Specific people. They cannot turn back time to their past happiness. But they all need help to save their future. - Natalia Yemchenko, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center, stressed. – Europe should be informed about this war by the first source. We call on you to write about the victims of this war in the center of Europe. So that it never happens again».