Singapore Red Cross to send $2.4m to Ukraine, neighbouring countries in second tranche of aid

Refugees queue to be transported after crossing the Ukrainian-Polish border in Medyka, south-eastern Poland, on March 9, 2022. PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Red Cross (SRC) will send $2.4 million worth of aid to Ukraine and six of its neighbouring countries, in its second tranche of aid to help more than two million Ukrainians affected by the refugee crisis due to war.

The $2.4 million will be deployed by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Red Cross National Societies, and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) who are spearheading relief efforts, said SRC in a statement on Thursday (March 10).

This donation follows SRC's first tranche of aid worth US$100,000 ($135,000), which arrived in Ukraine on March 4.

The organisation also added that its public fund-raising appeal which started on Feb 25 has raised close to $3 million. The Ukrainian Club in Singapore is running a fundraiser, while banks here have launched employee giving initiatives.

DBS digibank and foodpanda are facilitating donations from their communities via their apps, and Temasek Foundation has donated US$100,000. Digital asset mining service provider Bitdeer Group donated $300,000. 

SRC Secretary General Benjamin William said: "We are thankful for the solidarity and support from the donor community, and are heartened by the efforts of ground-up fundraisers in the community. The humanitarian needs are massive and the operations complex, with the ongoing conflict and border crisis hurting innocent civilians."

He added that the organisation will ensure efficiency and transparency in the use of the funds raised.

SRC's public fundraiser will end on May 31 this year.

The second tranche of aid will support humanitarian operations in Ukraine, including six neighbouring countries that have taken in refugees - Poland, Hungary, Lithuania, Slovakia, Moldova and Romania, said SRC.

The aid will be focused on helping more vulnerable groups, including unaccompanied minors, single parents, the elderly, and those with disabilities.

On top of providing immediate relief aid, the donations will address basic needs such as emergency shelter, protection, clean water, sanitation, and hygiene, for the Ukrainians and refugees.

SRC has also activated its "Restoring Family Links" service to assist Singapore residents to locate their immediate family members who may have been affected by the conflict in Ukraine, and are uncontactable.

On Wednesday, a Russian air strike hit a children's hospital in Ukraine's south-eastern city of Mariupol.

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The attack left women in labour injured and hospitalised children stranded, reported the authorities.

As at Tuesday, the  Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights recorded 1,207 civilian casualties since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began on Feb 24.

They include 406 people killed and 801 injured, but the department believes that exact figures are likely to be much higher.

Most of the civilian casualties came from airstrikes and explosive weapons used by Russian forces, which includes heavy artillery and multiple launch rocket systems, it added. 

Follow The Straits Times' live coverage on the Ukraine crisis here.

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