IsraAID Provides Urgent Aid for Ukrainian Refugees in Moldova
Israeli NGO’s emergency team has been in Moldova since Sunday, February 27th
Friday 04 March 2022. For immediate release:
IsraAID, Israel’s leading humanitarian NGO, has had an emergency response team in Moldova since Sunday, February 27th, only three days after Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine was launched. IsraAID’s team – among the first international teams to arrive at Moldova’s southern border with Ukraine – immediately launched urgent child protection, resilience, and relief activities, together with local Moldovan volunteers and authorities.
This week, the NGO opened a ‘Mother & Baby Space’ in a tent at Palanca crossing, providing urgently needed items like diapers and baby food, children’s activities, blankets, and seating. The tent, operated together with volunteers from the local organization Keystone Moldova, serves Ukrainian families in urgent crisis as they wait for several hours at a time to continue their journeys. The organization is working together with Moldovan partners, including Keystone Moldova, Institutem Virtutes Civilis, local police, Ministry of the Interior, the EU Delegation to Moldova, the Moldovan Embassy to Israel, and the Palanca municipality, to help the local community support their neighbors at this time of crisis. IsraAID is committed to responding to the Ukraine refugee crisis for the long-term.
Palanca border crossing is around 50 km from Odessa, Ukraine’s biggest port city, and is where the vast majority of the more than 100,000 Ukrainian refugees who have entered Moldova to date crossed. IsraAID’s team is also working to distribute urgently needed items including resilience kits and hygiene kits, and assess the situation in other locations around Moldova, including temporary housing sites for refugees.
Among the many Ukrainians IsraAID’s team met was Anastasia, a teacher from Odessa. She described her experiences:
“It took more than 16 hours to get here. Yesterday we left Odessa at around 1 p.m. and we arrived today at 7 a.m. Nobody was expecting it would be like this, it’s a massive catastrophe for the whole country. My plan now is to find a quiet place – of course I don’t know when it will end – but I would like to take some time to feel safe, in a safe space.”
Commenting on the organization’s response to the Ukrainian refugee crisis, IsraAID’s Head of Mission in Moldova, Hagit Krakov, said:
“The situation is deeply concerning and it is only getting worse. We’re seeing increasing numbers of people crossing at Palanca in increasingly desperate states. Our team is working at Palanca alongside the local community to provide immediate relief and support to mothers and children as they arrive into Moldova – and building a long-term response to this ongoing crisis.”
The organization also expressed its concern about the influx of Ukrainian refugees to neighboring countries and encouraged Israel to help provide urgent shelter. Meira Aboulafia, Chair of IsraAID’s board, said:
“At this time of extreme crisis, we have a duty to support all vulnerable people fleeing for their lives. Guided by our humanitarian values, we see it as crucial that we stand with Ukrainian refugees, regardless of religion or ethnic background – and we encourage our government to do the same.”
IsraAID’s Emergency Fund ensures the organization can respond urgently to crises worldwide. Donations to support IsraAID’s disaster relief efforts can be made here.
IsraAID’s emergency team members in Moldova are available for comment and interviews by request.
Ethan Schwartz – Media & Communications Manager
Email: [email protected]
Photographs from IsraAID’s work in Moldova are available below. All images should be credited to IsraAID/Ethan Schwartz.