Wakefield Council donates £25k to help support the people of Ukraine after plea from Poland
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Around one million Ukrainians have now reached Poland as they flee their homes due to the ongoing war. Konin is active in supporting the refugees and is also in active contact with its twin city of Chernivtsi in Ukraine.
The money will be used to purchase items that the authorities in Chernivtsi have conveyed are particularly needed, including medicines, food, clothing, beds, mattresses and blankets, they also need things such as power generators, mechanised tools for dismantling debris and machines for transporting people.
The donation is in direct response to a plea for support from Piotr Korytowski, the Mayor of Konin.
The council in Konin, and their own local community, are making significant efforts to provide humanitarian aid, as well as actively supporting its own twin city of Chernivtsi in Ukraine.
Wakefield Council has a long-standing relationship with Konin, and after over 30 years of twinning, has developed bonds of friendship and mutual support.
Coun Denise Jeffery, Leader of Wakefield Council, said: “We have had a direct plea for financial assistance from one of our oldest and most valued twin towns to help them support the people of Ukraine. On behalf of this district, we have answered that call.
“Our donation will provide essential humanitarian aid to those directly in Ukraine as well as those fleeing for their lives. We simply cannot, and will not ignore, our friends during their time of need.”
A cross party group of elected members, led by Coun Maureen Cummings, are supportive that the donation will be funded from the underspend from the 2021/22 budget allocated to the Neighbourhood Improvement Fund. This will not impact funding for the 2022/23 funding allocation.
In response to the council’s offer, the Mayor of Konin sent an email thanking the people of Wakefield (district). Piotr Korytowski said: “You have proved that in this difficult situation you can share what you possess (sic) to help those in need. This is a beautiful gesture that I am grateful to you and all citizens in Wakefield.”
Wakefield Council is also now flying the Ukrainian flag from all council buildings, as a gesture of solidarity.
Residents wanting to support the people of the Ukraine are being encouraged to make financial donations to trusted charities.
Coun Jeffery said: “The outpouring of support and donations from the people of this district has been incredible and I know many people have been asking how they can also help.
“The current ask from governments and aid agencies is for people to make a financial donation to trusted charities who can buy what is needed the most and get it to those areas where help is most needed.”
One of the best ways to help is by donating cash through trusted charities and aid organisations, rather than donating goods. Cash can be transferred quickly to areas where it is needed, and individuals and aid organisations can use it to buy what is most needed.
Unsolicited donations of goods, although well-meant, can obstruct supply chains and delay more urgent life-saving assistance from getting through.
The Disaster Emergency Committee [DEC] have launched a Ukraine humanitarian appeal where people can donate to support Ukrainian families. DEC charities and their local partners are in Ukraine and in neighbouring countries providing food, water, shelter and medical assistance.
The UK Government will match public donations to this appeal pound-for-pound starting with £20 million.
The Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain [AUGB] are running a GoFundMe page to support displaced Ukrainian citizens, they accept monetary donations to fund food, hygiene and medical packs, and other everyday essentials with specifications set by UNICEF and the World Health Organisation [WHO]. There are many branches throughout the UK – find support in your local area.
A list of other international humanitarian organisations asking for donations can be found at https://www.migrationyorkshire.org.uk/?page=spotlight-ukraine. Here people can also find more information on how to offer legal expertise, housing and sponsorship and other ways to show support.