MINSK, 15 February (BelTA) – The third phase of the project organized by the Belarusian Society of the Red Cross to aid forced migrants from Ukraine's Lugansk Oblast and Donetsk Oblast has begun in Belarus, BelTA learned from Dmitry Rusakov, the humanitarian operation's national coordinator, head of the Red Cross' Department for Emergency Situations and Search.
The source noted that the Belarusian Society of the Red Cross continues aiding forced migrants from Ukraine with financial assistance of the European Commission and the national Red Cross societies of Austria, Denmark, Iceland, Spain, Canada, Monaco, Japan, the Red Crescent Society of Azerbaijan (the work is coordinated by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies).
According to the source, the Ukrainian migrants will get over 4,400 vouchers (each is worth Br1 million) in February-March to buy food and basic essentials. The vouchers are intended for lonely elderly people, people with major disabilities, large families and single-parent families, who are unable to return to Ukraine in the next few months. Another voucher phase is supposed to take place in H1 2016. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is expected to make the relevant decision in April 2016.
Apart from financial aid in the form of vouchers the Belarusian Red Cross Society will offer medical aid to forced migrants from Ukraine if their life or health is threatened. According to the source, the people need expensive medications, surgeries, exams and other kinds of medical aid.
During the first phase of the project to help forced migrants from Ukraine's Lugansk Oblast and Donetsk Oblast in spring 2015 the migrants received 3,200 vouchers (an equivalent of 50 Swiss francs each) to buy food and hygienic products and 4,160 vouchers (an equivalent of 100 Swiss francs each) to buy footwear and apparel. During the second phase in November-December 2015 the Belarusian Red Cross Society issued 6,224 vouchers (worth Br1 million each) to buy food, apparel, footwear, hygienic products and other daily necessities except for alcohol and tobacco.
Since the armed conflict in Ukraine's southeast began the Belarusian Red Cross Society has helped over 10,000 Ukrainian families in Belarus. Another 5,000 forced migrants from Ukraine are still in need of aid.More about Society