The 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 as a result of Russia’s invasion.
The supplies and aid were transported as part of an unprecedented cross border effort linking four key SPAR aid points from the SPAR warehouses across Europe to Ukraine. Facilitated and supported by SPAR’s international distribution network, the supplies are transported up to 1,500km to SPAR’s dedicated emergency docking point on the Polish-Ukrainian border, before being transferred to SPAR Ukraine warehouse in Rivne, from where the humanitarian aid is shared to emergency relief partners.
The supplies, which included desperately needed essentials such as foodstuffs, including pasta, rice, oats, bottled water, cereals, hygiene products, as well as critical medical supplies, have now been distributed to emergency relief partners across Ukraine. Also included are quantities of trauma and emergency medical kits, each of which allows for 50 patients requiring surgical care in emergency situations to receive that surgical care.
This was the first of multiple shipments planned to support people severely affected by this humanitarian emergency. Another 120 tonne shipment will arrive this week for distribution along SPAR International’s dedicated distribution network.
We stand in full solidarity with our Ukrainian friends and colleagues in their defence against the unprovoked aggression by Russian forces. All efforts are focused solely 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.
Joining the SPAR International Board meeting, this week, via video link, we heard from the CEO of SPAR Ukraine, Viktor Molchenko, and Roman Korsak, a member of SPAR Ukraine’s management board, who said: “Today in Ukraine we are going through very difficult times. From west to east and north to south, we all now have only one wish – to fight for our right to live freely in our own country.”
Speaking to their SPAR colleagues, they said: “We see your active participation and thank you for the tremendous support you provide to our country. It has helped hundreds of thousands of people today, who are homeless, without daily hot food, without hygiene products, and without the necessary medicines and medical care. We thank everyone who helps Ukraine to stand strong.”
With the displacement to date of over 2.5 million Ukrainian people, which is growing each day, SPAR also recognises we are in a strong position to offer support of employment to those Ukrainian citizens displaced from their homes across the European continent. SPAR operates over 10,000 stores across more than 24 European countries and is actively engaging with SPAR country partners and Job Aid Ukraine to offer refugees the opportunity, when the time is right, to gain employment throughout Europe.
SPAR Ukraine has been a licenced member of SPAR International since 2001. Operated by VolWest Group, a wholly independent, Ukrainian-owned business led by Viktor Korsak and his family, the brand is strongly embedded in the communities it serves, operating 65 SPAR supermarkets across Ukraine from Kharkiv in the east to Lviv in the west.
We are truly inspired by the courage, determination and commitment of our colleagues in Ukraine to continue to care for their communities. We will continue to do what we can to support them.
For 90 years, SPAR has been driven by a simple, yet powerful, philosophy: that independent retailers through uniting and working together shall prosper. This SPAR vision of benefiting from unity and co-operation, uniting resources and supporting each other, is never truer than in times of crisis such as these.
Previous updates about the support for the people of Ukraine can be read here.