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International Red Cross launches $1.27B emergency cash bid for Ukrainians

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ODESSA, UKRAINE - APRIL 02: People walk on the street after the attack in Odessa, Ukraine on April 02, 2022. Fire broke out due to an explosion caused by Russian rockets in the Port of Odessa. The explosions took place around 7 am but the fires in fuel tanks have not yet been circumscribed. ( Andre Luis Alves - Anadolu Agency )
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Apr 15, 2022 - 03:32 AM

GENEVA (AA) – The International Red Cross on Thursday launched its biggest emergency relief plan ever to raise 1.2 billion Swiss francs ($1.27 billion) for cash assistance to millions of people made homeless by Russian attacks in Ukraine.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said that as the needs of people affected by the conflict in Ukraine continue to grow, it is scaling up its response activities to meet immediate and urgent needs.

The money will be disbursed both inside Ukraine and within the countries people have fled to seeking safety.

“This will be IFRC’s most extensive emergency cash program. Our number one priority is getting support to people who are most vulnerable,” said Jagan Chapagain, secretary general of the IFRC.

“From our previous experience with cash assistance, we know it is a dignified approach to provide aid as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

Ukraine and neighbors

The IFRC aims to reach more than 2 million people with support, targeting 360,000 people in Ukraine and neighboring countries within the first three months. Longer-term financial assistance will address the needs of affected people as the crisis evolves.

The IFRC Secretariat, with its member National Societies, said they had launched the response plan for 1.2 billion Swiss francs, which aims to assist 3.6 million people over two years.

“The war in Ukraine has triggered one of the fastest-growing displacement and humanitarian crises ever,” said the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR.

Since Feb. 24, when Russia started its war on its neighbor, over 4.7 million people have fled Ukraine, according to the UN.

Almost 2.7 million of them have gone to Poland, over 716,000 to Romania, some 440,000 to Hungary, nearly 418,000 to Moldova, and over 326,000 to Slovakia.

Russia has taken in more than 471,000 refugees.

The Red Cross plan will provide multi-purpose cash assistance, health care, water, sanitation, hygiene services, shelter, and housing support.

More than 55 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies have supported the response.

The IFRC Secretariat said it supports this response plan by appealing for 550 million Swiss francs ($583.5 million) to scale up support to National Societies in Ukraine and neighboring countries.

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