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Charity unveils extent of aid for Ukraine

  • John Newton

IDPs  staying with St Michael the Archangel parish, Tyvriv  -  Image © ACN

IDPs staying with St Michael the Archangel parish, Tyvriv - Image © ACN

Source: ACN

Ahead of the first anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine, Aid to the Church in Need has revealed the extent of its life-saving aid over the last 12 months, which has all been delivered via the country's churches. The charity has supported 292 vital projects in Ukraine, at a cost of nearly £8.5 million, since the Russian invasion on 24th February 2022.

Troops attacked major cities, including the capital Kyiv, in an attempt to seize the country.

Dr Caroline Hull, national director of ACN (UK), said: "The response of the Churches during the fighting has been absolutely sacrificial, with priests, Sisters, Brothers and lay workers doing all they can to support those whose lives have been utterly devastated.

"How could ACN's response not be similarly sacrificial? How could we not do all we can to support their heroic efforts during this time of war?"

ACN was one of the first international organisations to provide immediate assistance to Ukrainian civilians, and a substantial part of its aid has gone to supporting work with the most needy being carried out by both Eastern Catholic and Roman Catholic dioceses.

During the first few months of the war a large wave of IDPs (internally displaced persons) made their way to western Ukraine as fighting escalated in the oblasts (provinces) of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson.

ACN provided support for thousands of IDPs through Church-backed humanitarian aid programmes.

Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, told ACN: "At the beginning, people went to the west of the country, but the poorest of the poor are not able to do so. They look for the nearest safe city in which to stay."

ACN also provided emergency subsistence aid for 7,447 priests, religious Sisters and Brothers, and key lay workers who remained in their dioceses, sometimes at personal risk, to provide spiritual and material help to those affected by the war.

Major Archbishop Shevchuk, added: "From the Church people expected food, clothes, but also a word of hope. Pastoral care for the people is our number one mission."

With IDPs being cared for in parishes, monasteries, seminaries and other Catholic institutions, ACN provided kitchen equipment at 231 locations to help provide food and minister to other essential needs. As electricity has often been cut off due to the fighting, ACN supplied 205 generators to allow religious communities to remain in their residences, along with the displaced families they are looking after. To ferry aid to where it was needed most, ACN helped the local Church purchase 80 vehicles.

ACN also provided Mass stipends to provide a basic income for at least 6,549 priests, as well as providing 130 Mass kits, so that priests can celebrate the Liturgy with the people in bunkers, shelters and even in conflict zones.

Thanks to Filipe d'Avillez

LINK

Aid to the Church in Need: www.acnuk.org

Aid to the Church in Need is a Pontifical Foundation directly under the Holy See. As a Catholic charity, ACN supports the faithful wherever they are persecuted, oppressed or in need through information, prayer, and action.

Undertaking thousands of projects every year, the charity provides emergency support for people experiencing persecution, transport for clergy and lay Church workers, Child's Bibles, media and evangelisation projects, churches, Mass stipends and other support for priests and nuns and training for seminarians.

Aid to the Church in Need UK is a registered charity in England and Wales (1097984) and Scotland (SC040748). ACN's UK office is in Sutton, Surrey and there is a Scottish office in Motherwell, near Glasgow and another office based in Lancaster.

Please always acknowledge Aid to the Church in Need as the source when using our material.

For more information, contact ACN's Senior Press Officer Dr John Newton on 020 8661 5167.

Aid to the Church in Need sends out its press releases to members of media organisations, and individuals who have specifically requested to be on our list. If you no longer wish to receive our press releases please email johnp@acnuk.org@acnuk.org with the word "Remove" in the subject box. ACN's Privacy Policy can be found at www.acnuk.org/privacy.

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