Australians have given $5.1million to a fundraising appeal delivering emergency and humanitarian aid to Ukraine amidst the country’s ongoing conflict with Russia.
The Ukraine Crisis Appeal revealed on Friday almost 10,000 Aussies had donated to the cause.
This enabled the appeal to deliver regular aid to Ukrainians including food packages, medicine, hygiene kits, bedding, humanitarian goods and support programs.
Volunteers have personally distributed the supplies and aid to those in war-torn regions.
The donation milestone marked almost four months since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.
Aussies have donated more than $5.1million to the Ukraine Crisis Appeal, which has delivered regular aid to Ukraine four months after the country was invaded by Russia
The funds have provided food packages, medicine, hygiene kits, bedding, humanitarian goods and support programs to Ukrainians
The Ukraine Crisis Appeal is a collaboration between the Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations, Rotary Australia World Community Service and Caritas Ukraine.
It was formed in 2015 but increased efforts to provide aid to Ukraine following Russia’s invasion.
Liz Paslawsky, who is the chair of the International Coordination of Medical Supplies to Ukraine on behalf of Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations, said Australian donors had provided more than $2million worth of medical items.
‘We are forever grateful for the generosity, support and kindness provided by so many individuals and organisations across Australia,’ Ms Paslawsky said.
She has personally coordinated volunteers in Australia and Europe and overseen aid getting delivered from 60 donors including hospitals.
Ms Paslawsky claimed medical aid is a priority for Ukraine as an increasing number of citizens suffer wounds from the war or can’t access basic medical items for diseases.
Medical supplies and resources such as ambulances have also diminished because of Russian attacks.
A report released by the United Kingdom Humanitarian Innovation Hub found humanitarian work by local groups such as Ms Paslawsky have been more effective in helping Ukrainians than global organisations.
The contributions from the Ukraine Crisis Appeal come as Sydney medical technology company Device Technologies also donated 140 medical kits to hospitals in Ukraine to treat up to 750 patients with severe injuries.
Volunteers have personally distributed supplies including medical items, food and water to those in war-torn regions
Medical aid is a priority for Ukraine as more citizens suffer injuries from Russian attacks or can’t access basic medicine for diseases. Medical supplies in the country have diminished
Donations to Ukraine spiked at the beginning of the invasion, but that amount has dwindled as the war progressed over the coming months.
Volunteers claim there is a possible ‘fatigue’ amongst donors as the conflict between the two nations appears to be unending, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.
Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations co-chair Stefan Romaniw said: ‘Australia has to be vigilant to ensure that Ukraine fatigue does not set in because the war continues and people continue to die.’
‘At the end of the day, if Ukraine wins, the world wins. If Ukraine loses, we all lose. So we have to keep up the fight.’
Mr Romaniw expressed his hope that Prime Minister Anthony Albanese would travel to Kyiv to support Ukraine after he received a formal invitation from President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
‘People don’t quite appreciate the importance of Australia. If Albanese was in Kyiv it would be a huge statement – that someone from thousands of kilometres away had come to support us.’
Anthony Albanese (pictured) said ‘security issues’ would need to be considered before he visited Ukraine after he received a formal invitation from President Volodymyr Zelenskyy
The Australian government donated 20 Bushmaster vehicles to Ukraine amongst other military aid. (Pictured: A Bushmaster vehicle being checked by technicians)
The Prime Minister said security issues will need to be considered before he accepted the invitation after his first national cabinet meeting on Friday.
‘I will take appropriate advice and obviously there are security issues as well in terms of such a visit,’ Mr Albanese said.
‘I appreciate the spirit in which it has been offered. We will continue to stand with the people of Ukraine.’
The Australian government has provided 20 Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicles, six 155 mm howitzers and ammunition, 14 protected weapons systems, anti-armour weapons and ammunition, military equipment, combat rations and medical supplies to Ukraine since the beginning of the war.
Another 20 Bushmaster vehicles and 14 armoured personnel carriers are being sent over soon.
Australia’s contribution to Ukraine has totalled more than $285million.