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Direct Relief, Pelion Expand Program Covering Medicine Costs for Ukrainian Refugees in Poland

With $5 Million Commitment, Health4Ukraine Totals $15 Million for Medication Coverage


Ukraine Relief

Direct Relief President CEO Thomas Tighe (Right) and Jacek Szwajcowski, President of the Management Board of Pelion S.A. (left) announce an expansion of the Health4Ukraine initiative at the Economic Forum in Poland. (Photo: Pelion S.A.)

KARPACZ, POLAND—Direct Relief and Pelion S.A. today announced an infusion of $5 million (USD) into Health4Ukraine, a direct cash assistance initiative enabling Ukrainian refugees in Poland to obtain medications at no cost.

“The Health4Ukraine program is a great example of how the close work between US private actors like Direct Relief and Polish counterparts like Pelion offer real hope for people in crisis,” said Mark Brzezinski, US Ambassador to Poland, in a written statement.

The initiative, implemented by Pelion S.A., Poland’s largest healthcare sector business, through its electronic payments company, epruf, leverages Poland’s existing pharmaceutical distribution and payment systems to cover 100% of prescription co-payments and 85% of non-prescription drug costs.

“Building on our 30-year commitment to improving health and quality of life, it’s been an honor to partner with Direct Relief on the Health4Ukraine program,” said Jacek Szwajcowski, President of the Management Board of Pelion S.A. “Together, with our American friends, we can make a difference in the lives of Ukrainians who have found refuge in Poland.”

The $5 million commitment follows an initial $10 million investment by Direct Relief in April, resulting in 100,000 electronic epruf codes, each worth PLN 500, issued to Ukrainian refugees in Poland.

Participants can redeem the codes at any pharmacy in Poland to pay for a range of healthcare products, from diabetes and cancer medications to baby formula and wound care items.

“Direct Relief is deeply grateful to Pelion for its leadership in creating this direct, innovative and highly efficient means of assisting people fleeing war,” said Direct Relief President and CEO Thomas Tighe.

The expanded $5 million commitment, made possible by a donation from LetterOne, was announced at the Economic Forum in Karpacz, Poland, where Direct Relief was recognized with an award for its efforts to support Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees.

“Today’s award for a non-governmental organization is a joint step, a statement and a presentation of how we, Poles, appreciate the support of American non-governmental organizations for Ukraine,” said Krzysztof Gawkowski, Polish Member of Parliament, to an audience that included heads of state and top officials from Poland, Ukraine, Czech Republic and Croatia and other countries.

Direct Relief, a recognized partner of Ukraine’s Ministry of Health, has secured and shipped more than 900 tons of requested medicines and supplies to more than 400 healthcare delivery sites in Ukraine and neighboring countries since the war broke. Direct Relief has also committed more than $20 million in cash assistance to organizations serving Ukrainians in Ukraine and neighboring countries.

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