Relief supplies sent by the Association for Aid and Relief, Japan (AAR) in cooperation with the Catholic convent neighboring Poland, have arrived in Ukraine. AAR Tokyo Office staff member Hiroaki Nakatsubo reports from Warsaw, the capital of Poland.
On March 14, a long-awaited aid package was delivered by vehicle to a convent in Ternopil Oblast, western Ukraine. The roughly 70 women and children taking shelter there evacuated from eastern Ukraine, which is under attack by Russian troops.
The aid packages were filled with food supplies (flour, canned goods), medicine, hygiene items (soap, diapers, sanitary products), and children’s clothing. The items were collected purchased in Warsaw and left the city on March 12, taking two full days to cross the border into Ukraine. Under the direction of the sisters, the children also helped carry the relief supplies inside.
AAR has been working with the Catholic convent in Poland, which has a network in both Poland and Ukraine, to transport emergency relief supplies. These items were procured through donations made to AAR or provided by church members, and then transported overland to western Ukraine to help internally displaced persons.
Since the end of February, the convent has been a refuge for about 70 women and children. They were living in a mother-child home in Kharkiv, a city in the northeast of Ukraine that was attacked by Russian troops. The convent also serves as a temporary lodging for people evacuating via the Polish border. In addition, thousands of internally displaced persons are staying in neighboring towns, and relief supplies are distributed by the sisters as needed.
Receiving the relief supplies, Sister Julia and Sister Tatiana, a Polish and a Ukrainian said, “Everyone is happy with the relief supplies that arrived from the Polish side amid the lack of various supplies due to the chaos in Ukraine. Not only did we receive goods, but the relief of being connected with people outside Ukraine soothes the hearts of those who have been evacuated. We sincerely appreciate the warm support of the people of Japan.
The turmoil in Ukraine caused by the Russian military invasion has escalated into one of the largest humanitarian crises of the 21st century. We ask again for your cooperation in AAR’s support for Ukrainian refugees and internally displaced persons.
Please support AAR’s emergency assistance to Ukraine.