Money donated by Freemasons to help Ukraine’s citizens driven from their homes has topped £560,000 – and the donations continue to come in.
In a letter, the full text of which is below, UGLE Grand Secretary David Staples and MCF Chief Exec Les Hutchinson explain that money will be given to five charities to apply where it’s most needed.
The first donation made by the MCF was of £50,000, given to the British Red Cross’s Ukraine Appeal. It has already been put to very good use.
All the aid agencies working in Ukraine and the bordering countries are co-ordinating their response with a particular focus on protection and safeguarding, as 90% of the refugees are women and children, and sadly therefore vulnerable to trafficking and exploitation. Caroline works with the Red Cross, and you can see her first-hand account from Poland at this link.
Many refugees are presenting with just the belongings they could carry with them, so another practical consideration is supporting them to prove their identity when they might not have all their essential documents, and providing immediate emergency cash payments so that they can buy items they need, thus supporting the local economy and their dignity.
Red Cross update: “Over 4 million people have fled Ukraine, and over 1 million people are estimated to have been assisted by Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies in impacted countries. We are currently supporting refugees in neighbouring countries such as Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Moldova. In total we have delivered 1,500 metric tons worth of humanitarian aid in the form of food, warm clothing, shelter materials, and hygiene products.
Aside from providing essential items and goods, some key areas of focus have included:
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