Home South African Gift of the Givers intervenes in Ukraine, raises funds to get SA...

Gift of the Givers intervenes in Ukraine, raises funds to get SA students home

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Discussions with various pharmaceutical companies, medical aid societies and corporates wanting to support the initiative are under way.

Gift of the Givers, headed by Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, says it has made the decision to intervene in Ukraine. Picture: Antoine de Ras

HUMANITARIAN organisation Gift of the Givers says it will provide emergency medical and non-medical assistance to front-line facilities and internally displaced civilians inside Ukraine, and fund the repatriation of South African students wanting to return home.

The organisation said on Saturday that following groundswell support from individuals, communities, organisations and businesses wanting to ease human suffering, Gift of the Givers had made the decision to intervene in Ukraine.

“Last night we were invited to a very private international discussion where representatives from Slovakia, Romania, Ukraine Health Ministry, Croatia, one of the chief co-ordinators of humanitarian assistance in Ukraine, a doctor in Kyiv, surgeons from the US and Europe participated. Following that important session, we received a call from the Ukraine aid co-ordinator late last night for guidance on various issues.

“Early this morning we sent a blueprint on how to manage the humanitarian situation decisively in Ukraine having faced an almost identical situation in Syria where our South African team set up the Ar Rahma Hospital in the war zone. We also have experience from our engagement in Afghanistan and Chechnya, countries we have assisted with humanitarian aid previously,” the organisation said.

The intervention will be in two parts: provide emergency medical and non-medical assistance to front-line facilities and internally displaced civilians inside Ukraine, and fund the repatriation of South African students wanting to return home.

Arrangements have been made to purchase items in Europe and in Ukraine.

In addition, supplies from South Africa will be sent on scheduled flights.

“Discussions with various pharmaceutical companies, medical aid societies and corporate companies wanting to support the initiative are under way. The Ukraine Association of South Africa has contacted us to partner with them. A South African family in Ukraine (is) currently distributing aid on our behalf. We have funded the first delivery today some distance from Ivano-Frankivsk. Aid will be sent to Kharkiv also.”

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