More relief transports on the way
Cologne/Lviv. According to official estimates, more than 200,000 displaced people from eastern Ukraine are currently in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv. Malteser International expects more refugees to arrive following air strikes last night on targets 150 kilometers away. The city is already overcrowded. Relief organizations like Malteser International receive the arriving people at several assembly points. There, they receive food, warm clothing, blankets, and medical care if needed, and are distributed among shelters. "Tables and benches have been removed from schools - the refugees sleep on cots or on the floor. There are far too many people for the room that is available," said Pavlo Titko, Head of Malteser Ukraine.
The condition of the arriving people is disastrous. "The people are psychologically devasted – traumatized. Some no longer speak; we see mental breakdowns," Titko said. As far as possible, Malteser International provides psychological help on the ground, building on the experience of its work to provide psychosocial support for internally displaced persons in Ukraine since 2015. In addition to on-site consultations, Malteser International offers further counseling via telephone or online, especially for people who cannot make it to Lviv.
Every day, the Order of Malta distributes food and beverages. At the Lviv train station and at the borders, up to 1,000 hot meals are served each day. During the night, temperatures dropped to minus twelve degrees. "A warm soup and tea also helps the soul," says Pavlo Titko.
Aid near the border
In recent days, several warehouses in Poland and Ukraine have been set up by the Order of Malta to receive relief goods. From there, the relief supplies are transported onwards and delivered to the distribution stations directly at the borders and - as far as possible - in the Ukraine. Malteser International has deployed emergency coordinators to assist colleagues from the Order of Malta relief organizations in Poland, Romania, and Slovakia. An assessment is planned in Moldova with a view to expanding activities there. "The volume of aid offered is overwhelming. Our colleagues are working to coordinate this in consultation with the Order of Malta Relief Organizations receiving refugees at the borders," said Oliver Hochedez, Head of Emergency Relief at Malteser International. Additional emergency aid volunteers from Malteser International’s Pool of Experts have been activated. The first medical team has left Germany to support a health station at the Polish-Ukrainian border.
You can find photos for download here: https://malteser.eyebase.com/view/pinRTksi8hy
Douglas Graf von Saurma-Jeltsch, President of Malteser International Europe and Member of the Board of Malteser Germany, is available for interviews and sound bites.
Operator: +49 (0)221 9822 -7180, kathrin.muenker(at)malteser-international.org