Let's direct 10 million AUD to Ukrainian child refugees: World Vision CEO
World Vision Australia CEO Daniel Wordsworth today said that protecting children and hunger were emerging as critical issues, as numbers of refugees fleeing Ukraine passed a staggering three million.
Daniel, who accompanied the organisation's first mercy dash into Ukraine last week to deliver much needed food and supplies to a hospital, said that with the support of the Australian Government World Vision could increase its response even further to protect children and the displaced.
“From what I’ve seen on the ground, child protection, addressing hunger, and trucking food and hospital supplies into Ukraine is crucial," Daniel said. "We’re asking for $10 million specifically for children for assistance in Ukraine, and a special refugee intake of 20,000 so that these families can find safety here in Australia. World Vision and the Australian Government can work together to help these children.”
Daniel, a trusted international authority on refugees with 25 years of humanitarian experience, said World Vision was intent on getting help to thousands in increasingly dire circumstances inside Ukraine, as well as ramping up its response in Romania and Moldova.
"Protecting children is crucial. Last week we saw a horrifying attack on a children's hospital and maternity ward in Mariupol. This is the very reason why World Vision is working to get help to hospitals, for patients and for the children and families needing medical assistance and taking shelter in them, as they make their way to the borders. As the conflict continues to escalate these needs become more urgent for tens of thousands of people displaced inside Ukraine."
Daniel said that most of the refugees he’d seen entering Romania last week were women and children – often mothers with two or three small children, pregnant women, and teenage girls.
"They are exhausted following days of walking to reach the border in sub-zero conditions, and they are scared – not just for themselves but the brothers and husbands and fathers and sons they've left behind in Ukraine," Daniel said.
"The longer this conflict goes on, the more risk there is for women and children. Every hour, countless more women and children face displacement, sudden poverty and separation from family members. Women and children from Ukraine are desperate to escape and worried about how to survive. This makes them vulnerable.”
World Vision is providing refugees in Romania and Moldova with water, food and hygiene kits, heaters to mother-and-child rest stations and psychological first aid. The organisation is also providing those displaced inside Ukraine with urgently needed food and other essential items. Protecting women and children is a focus of World Vision's response.
World Vision Australia is seeking a special intake of 20,000 extra humanitarian places for Ukrainian refugees.
"We encourage the government to allocate $10 million to NGOs providing humanitarian support to children and families on the ground." Daniel said. "Australians who agree with this need to let their leaders know they care too and email their local MPs from our website."
For further information or to organise an interview, please contact Leah Swann at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0421 857 591.
Follow World Vision CEO Daniel Wordsworth further for how we are helping:
World Vision Australia Ukraine Crisis Appeal:
For Australians who want to help, go to World Vision Australia’s Ukraine crisis appeal at https://www.worldvision.com.au/global-issues/world-emergencies/ukraine-appeal.
Act for Change in Ukraine:
To find out more about how to email your MP https://www.worldvision.com.au/act-for-ukraine/
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