Patriarch of the UGCC updates the ROACO members on the situation in Ukraine

23 June, 09:19
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Patriarch of the UGCC updates the ROACO members on the situation in Ukraine - фото 1
Patriarch Sviatoslav took part in the Assembly of Charitable Organizations for Aid to the Eastern Churches (ROACO), which is being held in Rome on June 20-23, via online communication.

This is reported by the Secretariat of the Head of the UGCC in Rome.

During the morning session dedicated to Ukraine, His Beatitude Sviatoslav spoke about the ministry of the UGCC in the context of the humanitarian crisis caused by Russia's military aggression against Ukraine.

"During the 119 days of the war, Ukraine lost half of its economic potential and we are only at the beginning of a major humanitarian catastrophe," His Beatitude Sviatoslav stressed and drew the attention of international charitable organizations to "the most difficult winter in the modern history of our people."

"Hunger and cold will kill people along with Russian missiles and bombs," he said.

The head of the UGCC noted that "international organizations that have experience in humanitarian work in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Iran and other countries over the past decades recognize their inability to respond to the scale of the humanitarian catastrophe in Ukraine."

In order to respond to humanitarian challenges, Caritas of Ukraine and the anti-crisis center of the Patriarchal Curia of the UGCC were reorganized. Caritas in Ukraine urged Caritas International to provide financial and logistical assistance and has so far been able to distribute 20 percent of foreign humanitarian aid.

The anti-crisis center coordinates the humanitarian aid-related activities of the UGCC, and is a sort of logistics center that distributes humanitarian aid in the most destroyed cities, in particular in the parishes of the UGCC.

Patriarch Svyatoslav said that the territory of Ukraine was divided into three parts. The first part is the territory where the fighting takes place: "In such cities and villages, people are blocked in their homes, deprived of electricity, gas, food, medical care, and are under a constant threat of rocket attacks and bomb explosions." The hierarch noted that the priests of the UGCC remained together with people in such conditions, "And thanks to their presence, we were able to organize humanitarian centers even in the occupied cities, as well as to help in creating humanitarian corridors for the evacuation of the civilian population."

The second part is the territories that directly border the line of military operations. In this part, we managed to create refugee reception and first aid centers. At the same time, humanitarian aid arrives here from the west of Ukraine.

The third part is the relatively calm Western territory of Ukraine, "which has become a place of reception and transit of refugees to the European Union countries." His Beatitude Sviatoslav noted that many Ukrainians who have left for European countries are trying to integrate into the societies where they are located, but there is a significant part of those who need help and support. And if the war continues even longer, there will obviously be new waves of refugees."

The Head of the UGCC thanked international charitable organizations for their cooperation with the UGCC and for solidarity with the Ukrainian people.