The supplies and aid are being transported as part of an unprecedented cross-border effort linking four key SPAR aid points from the Netherlands to Ukraine. Facilitated and supported by SPAR’s international distribution network, the supplies originate in West and Central Europe. They supplies are then transported to SPAR’s dedicated emergency docking point on the Polish-Ukrainian border before being transferred to Rivne in Western Ukraine. By March 18, 140 tonnes of vital aid were delivered to SPAR Ukraine. The aid was distributed to those in need throughout the country, including 30 tonnes to the besieged city of Kharkiv. A further 80 tonnes of aid will be delivered in the coming week.
In addition to direct action, SPAR International is collaborating with World Central Kitchen, who are serving hot meals to families in Ukraine across more than 12 cities. Further large-scale donations by individual SPAR country organisations have been made to emergency relief funds, including UNICEF and the Red Cross, and these donations are ongoing.
For its part, in addition to keeping open the vital supply chain for food and aid across the country, SPAR Ukraine this week prepared food parcels for the Department of Social Services at the Lutsk City Administration. The refugee centre and shelter in Lutsk (IBC City) has also received food to support the 150 people who are using the shelter daily. Further food parcels have been distributed among the Haisyn district in the Vinnytsia region. For residents of the Volyn region and cities in a combat zone, food parcels have been prepared and delivered.
In the coming week, the Order of Malta in Lviv will receive food and baby hygiene products as part of the planned deliveries. More food parcels will be prepared and distributed for residents living in combat zones. Special children’s parcels will be prepared to meet the needs of those children staying in the refugee centre in Lutsk. These vital supplies will go towards meeting the urgent needs of thousands of Ukrainians requiring food and medical care as a result of severely disrupted supply chains due to Russia’s invasion.
As a global organisation, SPAR stands in full solidarity with our Ukrainian friends and colleagues in their defence against the unprovoked aggression by Russian forces. All efforts are focused on the provision of essential support and aid to the innocent citizens of Ukraine in the face of this worsening humanitarian crisis, and the devastation and displacement caused by the ongoing war. Despite the most challenging of conditions, our SPAR Ukraine colleagues continue to open and operate stores, in order to get essential goods to their local communities. Currently, almost 90% of the SPAR stores are operational. Where there is an imminent or immediate threat to the health and safety of employees, stores have either closed fully or are operating in a reduced capacity.
With the displacement to date of over 3.3 million Ukrainian people, which is growing each day, SPAR recognises we are in a unique position to offer support of employment to those currently dispersing across the European continent. SPAR International is actively engaging with SPAR country organisations to offer displaced Ukrainian citizens employment opportunities within the SPAR retail and distribution network across Western Europe.
Previous updates about the support for the people of Ukraine can be read here.