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Direct Relief Awards More than $12 Million in Grants for Ukraine War Relief 

The grants, made possible by donations from people in 79 countries, will fund prescription medications, equipment costs, first responder transportation and equipment, and other vital needs for organizations working on the ground.


Ukraine Relief

Thousands of refugees wait in line to access trains at the Lviv-Holovnyi railway station. (Oscar Castillo for Direct Relief)

Since the invasion of Ukraine, Direct Relief has granted more than $12 million to nine organizations working on the ground to address the health impacts of the Ukraine war, whether in Ukraine itself or surrounding countries receiving refugees.

The grant funding adds to the more than 508,000 pounds (230,425 kg) of direct medical aid provided by Direct Relief since February 24, 2022, when Russia first invaded Ukraine, to groups helping refugees, internally displaced persons, and others affected by the ongoing crisis.

The Ukraine war has created shortages of vital medications, including insulin, oncology drugs, and thyroid medicines, while increasing the need for medical aid such as PPE, wound care, antibiotics, and even an antidote to chemical weapons. Direct Relief has provided all these medications and supplies to partners working in the region.

However, the situation has also created needs that cannot be answered by shipments of medical aid. Ukrainians who have fled the country are finding themselves with no means to pay for urgently needed prescription medications. A Kyiv hospital offering free care to people injured or affected by the war is unable to pay its medical staff their salaries. A coalition of first responders, invited by the Ukrainian government to conduct search-and-rescue operations in the country, needs transportation and equipment.

The grants provided by Direct Relief will help with these costs, and much more.

Recipients of grants provided or committed include the following:

Direct Cash Assistance to Ukrainian Refugees ($10 million provided): Ukrainian refugees in Poland will receive medical care, but face high copays for prescription medications that many, fleeing without income or resources, will not have the means to pay. With a focus on mothers and their children, along with older adults, this grant will be used to pay prescription copays for Ukrainian refugees at pharmacies throughout Poland. The program is a joint initiative between Direct Relief and Pelion, Poland’s largest healthcare company.

Charity Fund Modern Village and Town ($250,000 provided): This Ukrainian NGO has established a distribution center in central Ukraine, where they have procured medicine, medical supplies, and hygiene items for people fleeing the violence. Two $100,000 grants were used to help defray operational costs, such as for trucking and generators. In addition, the organization has been tasked with emergency patient transfers out of conflict zones in eastern Ukraine, for patients with cancer, cystic fibrosis, pericarditis, and other conditions requiring urgent medical attention. An additional $50,000 was granted to help Charity Fund continue these services in the coming months. 

Ukrainian Diabetes Federation ($150,000 provided): The war in Ukraine has created severe logistical hurdles for people with diabetes, making it difficult to access insulin, glucose monitoring equipment, and even food. This in-country organization distributes medical equipment and is currently monitoring where people who need insulin are located and where they are fleeing. This grant will be used for operational costs so that they can distribute material aid, also provided by Direct Relief, and continue gathering and sharing vital information. 

Polish National Agency for Strategic Reserves ($350,000 committed): The Polish government has appointed this organization to act as a hub for humanitarian aid, including medical and other needed materials. In this role, they have been working with Direct Relief to store medical aid safely. They will use the funding to continue their humanitarian operations.  

Project Joint Guardian ($50,000 provided): This organization is a coalition of U.S. and international firefighters that support first responder and search and rescue efforts around the world. At the invitation of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine, the group will send 20 representatives out to conduct search and rescue and first responder operations, as well as training Ukrainian responders in some rescue techniques. (Direct Relief is providing logistical services to send search and rescue equipment items to Ukraine, and the 20 representatives will also use Direct Relief emergency medical backpacks.) The funding will be used to cover transportation costs and purchase needed equipment. 

Society for Critical Care Medicine ($750,000 provided): This organization is a global community of clinicians who care for critically ill or injured patients in over 100 countries. Members in Ukraine and the surrounding countries have identified critical medical aid needed for people affected by the ongoing war. The funding will be used to procure medication and supplies needed most urgently by intensivists in these countries, using well-established supply chains. 

Polish Diabetes Federation ($102,000 committed): This organization is a senior member of the International Diabetes Federation. They have identified 500 Ukrainian refugees in Poland who have diabetes, need help, and will use the funding for pharmacy and food vouchers for these patients. 

Dobrobut Hospital ($750,000 provided): Prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, this was a private hospital network in Kyiv with a large fleet of ambulances. Once the war began, they began acting as a nonprofit hospital, providing care on a pay-if-you-can basis and sending ambulances into the community to find victims of attacks and bring them to hospitals. The grant will allow them to provide free care to all patients, and pay salaries and supply food for medical staff over the coming months.

Giving is Good Medicine

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