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Direct Relief to Invest $10 Million More for Rehabilitation Efforts in Ukraine

Funding will support physical and psychological recovery services for those injured in the conflict.


Ukraine Relief

Patients and staff at a newly opened rehabilitation facility in Lviv, Ukraine, operated by Unbroken Rehabilitation Hospital. Direct Relief is allocating an additional $10 million for rehabilitation efforts in Ukraine. (Photo courtesy of Unbroken)

LVIV, UKRAINE – Direct Relief today announced plans to infuse another $10 million to support rehabilitation efforts for those with war injuries in Ukraine. The funding announcement was made by Direct Relief President and CEO Thomas Tighe at the Unbroken Rehabilitation Center in Lviv during the First National Rehabilitation Conference, which includes over 300 leading academic scientists, researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and patients to share best practices and insights on rehabilitation services in Ukraine.

“It is Direct Relief’s privilege to witness the heroic efforts of health providers and patients dealing with the profound physical and psychological impacts of this devastating conflict,” said Tighe. “Organizations like Unbroken continue to meet the enormous demands of war-time rehabilitation efforts for the injured. The courage and commitment of all involved cannot be overstated.”

Direct Relief CEO and President Thomas Tighe speaks at a conference on April 11, 2023, hosted by Unbroken and sponsored by Direct Relief.

Direct Relief is sponsoring the conference, during which Unbroken performed a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new seven-story rehabilitation building.

“People affected by war should be treated in the best possible conditions. Here the conditions are really the best. From a centimeter to a meter – all areas for our patients. Here is a team of the best doctors and nurses who will treat our patients. This corpus was not made by one person, it was made by a huge team of different people from different cities of Ukraine and the world. I want to thank everyone: from the medical orderly and the doctor, to the mayor and the city, to the deputies. I want to thank our sponsors, partner cities: Freiburg, Wroclaw, and their mayors. To thank our great benefactor, Direct Relief, which helps us tremendously, to thank the German government, the Swiss Embassy. And to everyone who helped make it all the best. From tomorrow, this building will start accepting patients: both inpatient and outpatient, from all over Ukraine.”Oleh Samchuk, general director of the First Medical Association of Lviv.

Oleh Samchuk, general director of the First Medical Association of Lviv, Unbroken.

A newly opened facility for rehabilitation in Lviv, Ukraine, on April 11, 2023.

Direct Relief is providing support to fully outfit two suites with rehabilitation equipment and allow training for up to 32 patients.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR), nearly 12,000 Ukrainian civilians and untold more Ukrainian soldiers have suffered injuries since the start of the war. Many require significant medical interventions to repair trauma and physically rehabilitate. Since the war’s start, supporting rehabilitation and recovery from war injuries, both physical and psychological, has been a core focus of Direct Relief. Including the funding allocation amount announced today, Direct Relief has set aside $15 million to support rehabilitation and recovery efforts in Ukraine.

Direct Relief has helped Unbroken procure rehabilitation equipment, develop treatment protocols, and train rehabilitation personnel. The organization’s rehabilitation program includes amputation recovery, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and psychosocial support.

Direct Relief is also a recognized international partner of Ukraine’s Ministry of Health and supports several groups in Ukraine and regionally with requested medical aid—including trauma kits, cancer drugs, insulin, rare disease medications and more.

Direct Relief staff met with Viktor Liashko, Ukraine’s Minister of Health, and Deputy Ministers Serhii Dubrov and Maria Karchevich on April 10, 2023, in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Ukraine’s health leadership and Direct Relief met in Kyiv earlier this week to discuss emerging needs, strengthen cooperation and mobilize additional humanitarian aid. Specific discussions focused on energy solutions to ensure proper medication storage conditions—particularly relevant amid Russian attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.

Ukraine’s Health Minister Viktor Liashko recognized Direct Relief’s humanitarian efforts during the meeting:

“I want to express my gratitude to Direct Relief for the amount of aid you provide to Ukraine. During working trips around the country, doctors in almost every region expressed their gratitude for constant support. I am glad to have the opportunity to convey their words of gratitude to you personally today. A full-scale war is ongoing, and it is international aid that allows us to collectively respond to the challenges of this war with dignity. Direct Relief was one of the first to respond to Ukraine’s needs and provided numerous humanitarian shipments of medicine, medical supplies, trauma kits and equipment. We remember well the first emergency delivery: 360 backpacks for field medics who were dealing with injuries, infections and other acute medical needs. This was critical and saved many lives.”

Since Feb. 24, 2022, Direct Relief has shipped more than $811 million worth of medical assistance in response to requests from the Ministry of Health and local on-the-ground organizations.

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