April 24th, 2016 in the catholic churches of Europe and at the request of the Pope Francis, a whip round for the needs of people harmed by war activities in Ukraine took place. As a result, there was collected an amount of around 16 bill Euros, a significant part of which was contributed by the Holy Father himself.
The “Pope for Ukraine” Initiative was founded during the visit of Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, to Ukraine on 15-20 June, 2016.
For two years, starting from autumn 2016, the realization of different by its targets humanitarian projects has been going on. Many short-term projects of the direct action (providing with fuel, food, “quick” money, sanitary projects, medicines and other medical purpose products, warm clothes, etc…) and long-term projects (repairing and providing equipment for medical establishments, renovation of houses, to serve to many years ahead, etc…) have been backed.
Main directions of the Initiative’s activities:
- Winter preparations (Winterization). Taking into account harsh winters in Ukraine, when the temperature goes down to -25C, the main attention was paid to support projects that would help people survive winter.
- Health care. In many villages on the front line medical infrastructure was demolished, some highways were blocked and the access to medical services and drugstores was complicated. Within the Initiative, there were projects supported, providing people with essential medicines and professional medical services. There is also a number of medical establishments that were equipped.
- Food and hygiene. This kind of aid is always timely for aged people and single mothers with small children, since they are the most vulnerable category of population in the front-line territory.
- Psycho-social support. In districts with constant strong shooting, many children are diagnosed with symptoms of the post-traumatic syndrome (PTS). Within the Initiative there were backed projects that help children and their parents to survive destructive effect of the war.
Aid was provided to people who continued to live in cities and villages of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, seized with military activities, as well as in Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia, Kyiv regions and Kyiv city, where the most of those who ran away from the war live.
In the first place, aid was provided to aged people, seriously ill people, single mothers, pregnant women and families with many children, who are in complicated life situation, injured children and disabled children.