Humanitarian Aid for Ukraine

JOIN members provide emergency aid to Ukraine

In view of the escalating situation in Ukraine, JOIN members provide humanitarian aid and immediate emergency relief to Ukraine and coordinate support to the refugees in the neighbouring countries.

Ukraine

The distribution of relief goods in Ukraine by Johanniter Germany started on 27th February. Together with the German-Ukrainian Forum, Johanniter distributed food and hygiene items to 2,600 families in Poltava, a city in central Ukraine, where many refugees from the Donbas region arrived. From 2nd March on, Johanniter organised transports of food, hygiene items and urgently needed medical supplies via Poland to Ukraine.

On 5th March, a semi-trailer truck by Johanniter Germany with 20 tons of food, hygiene items and medicines arrived in Luzk and Chitomir, where it was handed over directly to local agencies for the supply of people. Further medical supplies are being transported to Ukraine.

As of 5th May, Johanniter Germany organised 58 aid transports, thanks to the engagement of its regional and local associations across the country. Over 700 tons of relief supplies (medicines, medical supplies, hygiene articles and food) were sent to Ukraine and reached refugees in Romania, Hungary and Moldova in cooperation with other aid organisations and private companies.

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Many of our members are working with hospitals and doctors in Ukraine to facilitate the demand for medical supplies and strengthened their links to other aid organisations like Malteser International while coordinating through the JOIN network.

On 7th March, our Latvian member, Svētā Jāņa Palīdzība, sent 24 pallets with medicines and medical goods to a military hospital in Kharkiv, which had requested support.  The following transport delivered specifically requested medicines and medical supplies (disposable gloves, nappies, bandaging material, etc.) to the Kharkiv Children’s Hospital. The transport action was made possible thanks to donations from our French member (Association des Œuvres de Saint-Jean), and our Italian member (Soccorso dell`Ordine di San Giovanni).

St John Ambulance sent 12,000 tourniquets to Ukraine on 4th March along with 15 pallets of additional essential medical supplies, which were primarily distributed to hospitals in Kharkiv. Ambulances with pain relief medication were despatched in the first weeks of April.

Our Italian member sent an ambulance vehicle fully equipped with a lung fan, backpack, sanitary supplies and masks to the Moldovan-Ukrainian border at the beginning of May. Additionally, S.O.G.IT delivered a truck with essential goods and relief supplies (medicines of a value over EUR 2000, medical supplies, hygiene articles and food as well as items for babies (nappies, food and clothes) to the Republic of Moldova.

Our Polish member engages in collection actions for medical material and other essential relief goods to be transported to Ukraine.

Hungary

On 1st March, a relief operation by our Austrian, Hungarian and Swiss members started with a truck loaded with relief goods and mattresses heading from Switzerland to Hungary. In Vienna, the truck picked up ten more pallets with blankets, protective clothing, food and masks. At the border, the goods were partly transported to Ukraine by local partner organisations in smaller vehicles. The other part was handed over to our Hungarian member Johannita Segitö Szolgálat to provide for arriving refugees. Johanniter Germany and the Munich Airport Association arranged the transport of disinfectants, masks and blankets to Johanniter Hungary on 3rd March.

Poland

On 2nd March, Johanniter and other organisations delivered five trucks with relief goods such as hygiene items, camp beds, food, clothing and medical supplies to Przemyśl. At the same time, two Johanniter volunteers set out for Piaseczno on behalf of the city of Hanau with a minibus full of food to deliver supplies and pick up, among others, a 12-year-old boy travelling alone and bring him to his Ukrainian mother in Hanau.

The volunteers of St John Malta provided logistical support for a community initiative collecting relief supplies. On Monday, 7th March, an Airbus A340 aircraft flew the emergency supplies received to Warsaw, where the supplies were distributed to refugees.

On 4 April, Johanniter Austria sent a truck with 30 pallets of relief goods to Poland. At the request of the Polish sister organisation Joannici Lidzbark Warmiński, food, clothing, bedding, hygiene products such as nappies and soap as well as medical supplies such as resuscitation bags and gauze bandages were provided with the help of donations. The goods are urgently needed on site to provide for the incoming refugees. Some of the goods will also be transported into Ukraine.

On 2nd April, three vans started from Luxembourg to bring relief supplies to Palanka (Moldova). The cooperation involves the Johanniterorden’s Sub-Commandery Saar/Mosel, different regional and local associations of the Johanniter Germany as well as Johannita in Hungary.

Johanniter Austria is preparing to send a truckload of pallets with food, hygiene products and bandages to Poland in the beginning of April. Our Polish member, Joannici Lidzbark Warmiński, will distribute the material to refugees in the country.

Additionally, many JOIN members issued appeals for financial donations and also donated to support each other’s activities for Ukrainians.

Austria

Together with the city of Vienna and partnering aid organisations, Johanniter Austria set up an arrival centre in a sports facility. People who have fled the war in Ukraine receive medical and psychosocial care on site.

On 5th March, our Austrian member took over and opened a refugee accommodation at the Hotel Senator in Hernals. The hotel was fully booked the following days, with 241 arrivals accommodated.

Germany

As of 27th March, 50 shelters with capacities for over 10,000 refugees were created in warehouses, fairgrounds and sports facilities. 35 of these facilities will be operated permanently by Johanniter. With the continuing high numbers of COVID-19 infections, Johanniter is committed to offering adequate vaccination and testing services to as many arrivals as possible.

The loss of guaranteed medical care is particularly dangerous for seriously ill patients like those in the oncology sector. 63 sick children and their families from Ukraine have been accompanied and brought into special clinics in Germany.

Hungary

Johannita Segitö Szolgálat has transformed its facilities to accommodate refugees in Terény and in Mórahalom. With the help of Johanniter Austria, Germany and Switzerland, our Hungarian member brought goods and medical supplies to refugees in Hungary. Furthermore, Johannita is helping municipalities nearby the border with the organisation of relief goods.

Since the beginning of the war, more than 750.000 refugees from Ukraine have entered Hungary until end of May.  About 600.000 persons after receiving help at the border or at the railroad station have continued their journey to Western Europe or Poland. The others stayed in Hungary with their relatives or acquaintances or in various transitional shelters.

Still others have fled from Eastern and Central Ukraine to Carpathian Ukraine, but have not crossed the state border. They try to wait there until the last moment. They are spreading in the towns and villages of Carpathia-Ukraine, which itself already has supply problems.  All groups need different forms of help.

In the last weeks of May, the daily number of those who have arrived was over 10,000 people. The Hungarian Commandery of the Johanniterorden on the borders of Ukraine, also participates in this work with Johanniter Hungary in cooperation with -among others- the Malteser Relief Organization registered in Ukraine/Beregove, as well as with the Diaconia of the Reformed Church in Ukraine. In the end of May, they delivered more than 60 trucks of relief supplies to people in need.

With the local and international – financial and material – help of the Johanniter network,  Johanniter Hungary and the Hungarian Commandery of the Johanniterorde was able to quickly deliver goods needed for daily life.

The transport capacities to Ukraine are very limited, and their small truck and minibuses turned around 2-3 times a day at the border transporting not only own purchased goods, but also donations from other organisations and private groups.

In Budapest, the internationally known Pető Institute has offered 5 rooms, for a three-week cycle of care and treatment of children from Ukraine with significant special needs (physically and psychologically). The Hungarian Commandery of the Johanniterorden refurbished the empty rooms for 10 people (children with mother) and provided refrigerators, washing machines, microwaves, dishes, cutlery and paid for food. They also took care of the transport of the children and parents.

Internally displaced people

In June, a three-month project by Johanniter Germany and its Ukrainian partner ELEOS has stared. Operating in 13 regions and cities of Ukraine, the organisations support mothers with children who are on the run, ensuring that they receive meals and hygiene articles, among other things.

Fact-finding missions in Moldova and Poland

To assess on the ground what assistance is needed beyond the ongoing emergency relief efforts, Johanniter Germany sent an assessment team to the Republic of Moldavia on 8th March. Moldova has already seen 70,000 refugees arrive. For a country with a population of 1.5 million, that’s a significant number, and the fear of war in their own country is great. At the same time, a second Johanniter team travelled to Poland to plan further aid for Ukrainians together with the United Nations coordination offices.

Relief projects in the Republic of Moldova

Since April 1st 2022, Johanniter Germany cares for refugees from Ukraine through its cooperation with the local relief organisation Eco-Razeni. “Through our social catering company Floare de Cires, we can now prepare hot meals for 250 refugees every day,” explains Sergiu Gurau, head of the organisation. The daily food rations usually consist of potatoes or porridge with meat and fish as well as salad.
Noteworthy: The meals are prepared mainly by young people with disabilities. “Our approach has been for many years to support these young people in their integration and vocational training. Catering is an option in this,” says Gurau. Since the outbreak of war, the young people are now donning their aprons to cook for refugees alongside the elderly and disadvantaged.
The project is implemented over three months for up to 2,000 refugees in the capital Chişinău and the rural district of Ialoveni.

Psychosocial support
Many people from Ukraine arrive in Moldova traumatised by memories of war. The organisation CASMED supports them in coming to terms with their feelings and experiences. A four-member mobile team from CASMED is developing a tailored psychosocial education programme for this purpose, which reaches around 360 refugees in various localities in the north of the Republic of Moldova. They organise themselves into small groups and receive professional support and counselling in four thematic sessions. In addition, the team also offers individual psychological counselling. CASMED passes on its experience to educators and social workers who deal with refugees and provide psychosocial support.

Expansion of shelters
For years, Moldovan villages in particular have experienced a continuing population decline, as young people in particular leave the poor country in search of work. The organisation EcoVisio promotes sustainable economic and social development in structurally weak regions in order to create better prospects. In the current context of the war, in particular Ukrainian families are to receive these: In six communities around the capital Chişinău, EcoVisio supports host families in taking in refugees. A school and a training centre are also being prepared so that they can serve as community shelters. Johanniter is subsidising the necessary repairs, energy costs and meals for an initial 200 refugees.

Translated Resources

Johanniter International has provided the Ukrainian translation of the European First Aid Guidelines. They convey the principles of first aid in clearly outlined simple skills aiming to be performed in a stressful situation by those with no medical training. The document is freely available on www.firstaidjoin.org or directly for download here. A translation into Russian is in progress.

St John Ambulance provides first aid guidance and support to people in Ukraine with translated online resources. The first aid cards with demonstrations in Ukrainian, Russian and English include so far: Amputation, Burns, Eye injuries, Gunshot wounds, Hypothermia, Penetrating wound, Recovery position and Tourniquet. Our English member also translated care modules into Polish. In addition to that, an advanced social media campaign is being set up to enable easy and quick sharing of the created training resources.