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Direct Relief Delivers $1 Billion in Donated Medicine and Medical Supplies to Ukraine

More than 1,400 tons of medical support have been shipped to date to support the country's health system.


Ukraine Relief

A pediatric patient pictured at a mobile health clinic in the Cherkassy region of Ukraine in July 2023. The clinic was supported by NGO Charity Fund Modern Village and Town, which Direct Relief has supported over the past 18 months. (Courtesy photo)

Direct Relief has donated and delivered more than $1 billion in medicine and medical supplies to the people of Ukraine since Russia launched its war against its neighbor 18 months ago, a conflict that has driven 12 million Ukrainians from their homes, killed or injured more than 26,000 Ukrainian civilians and disrupted the nation’s health care systems.

In response to the brutal fighting, continuing attacks on Ukraine’s civilians, destruction of the country’s electricity infrastructure, and infliction of widespread psychological trauma, Direct Relief has conducted its largest and most sustained humanitarian aid response in its 75-year history.

The $1 billion milestone reached this month includes more than 292 million daily defined doses of prescription medicine for all kinds of conditions, including diabetes, infections, seizures, cancer, hypertension, psychological conditions, transplants and more, reaching millions of Ukrainians.

“There is a proverb in Ukrainian: ‘In grief and your hour of trouble, you will recognize a loyal person.’ From the first day of the war, we have felt the support of a friend – Direct Relief.”

– Marina Makarenko, head of Charitable Fund Modern Village and Town
A health provider examines a young patient during a mobile clinic in the Cherkasy region of Ukraine in July 2023. The outreach was organized by the NGO Charity Fund Modern Village and Town, and was the seventh outreach for children needing specialty medical care. Over 750 children have been seen at the clinics to date. (Courtesy photo)

As Direct Relief operates without government funding, the $1 billion in donations comes entirely from private sources. (The U.S. government has provided $3.9 billion in humanitarian assistance since the war’s start.)

In the city of Kremenchuk along the Dnieper River, the children’s hospital had received no new supplies from early February through April, when a large shipment of Direct Relief donations arrived, delivered by the Association Internationale de Coopération Médicale (AICM), Direct Relief’s core partner in the eastern Poltava region. The hospital was treating around 250 children, many of them suffering war wounds, when the supplies arrived.

AICM presents donated emergency medical packs at the Kremenchuk Children’s Hospital (Nick Allen/Direct Relief)

The donations from Direct Relief “should sustain us for the next six months,” Deputy Director Iryna Roman told Direct Relief.

“It is hard to overestimate the impact of Direct Relief’s emergency response to the war in Ukraine,” said Nataliia Bohachenko, head of Ukrainian Soul, an Odesa-based NGO that is a partner of Direct Relief. “Continuous support, diversified grant programs and repeating shipments helped to fill gaps in the supply of Ukrainian hospitals and other healthcare facilities caused by war, thus helping and saving the lives of many Ukrainians who needed the help.”

For people with diabetes, Direct Relief has delivered 2.2 million bottles and vials of insulin, 3.7 million needles and syringes, and 4.1 million test strips. Direct Relief has been the largest humanitarian supplier of insulin to Ukraine since the war began.

The aid also has included large quantities of medical supplies ranging from battlefield tourniquets to diabetes test strips to prenatal vitamins.

Workers with Hospitable Hut/Ukrainian Soul receive medical essentials in May 2023. (Courtesy photo)

The $1 billion total figure represents the wholesale value of the products delivered between Feb. 2022 and August 2023. Direct Relief has based the valuation on the wholesale costs of prescription medications in Europe, where prices for certain products are as much as 70% lower than comparable products sold in the United States

In addition to the $1 billion in donated medicine and supplies, Direct Relief has committed $35 million in grants in financial support to local healthcare organizations providing care in Ukraine and others in countries, including Poland and Slovakia, that have opened their doors to Ukrainian refugees.

That funding has covered medication costs for more than 266,000 Ukrainian refugees in Poland, provided mental health care for close to 25,000 Ukrainian refugees in Slovakia, and funded rehabilitation programs focused on working with amputees, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and psychosocial support. Direct Relief is also providing funding to support Ukraine’s national system for distributing medicine around the country to the people who need it.

A community leader receives family hygiene kits from Hospitable Hut near Kherson, Ukraine, after flooding caused by the destruction of the Kakhovka dam flooding in the region. (Courtesy Photo)

“Direct Relief has reached this milestone through the generous support of people in 84 countries around the world, as well as from dozens of the world’s leading pharmaceutical makers,” said Thomas Tighe, Direct Relief’s President and CEO. “It reflects the breadth of support for the people of Ukraine and our ongoing commitment to help them through this terrible national ordeal.”

Support from Companies and Organizations

Seventy-nine pharmaceutical and medical supply companies and organizations donated their products to Direct Relief’s Ukraine response. Of the 292 million daily defined doses of medicine donated to Ukraine, about 163 million have been of generic drugs. The companies that provided donations include:

Accord Healthcare
Ajanta Pharma USA
Baxter Europe
Baxter International
Bayer AG
Bayer USA
BD Europe
Boehringer Ingelheim
Carlsbad Technology
Coherus Biosciences
DeVilbiss Healthcare GmBH
Dragerwerk AG
Drive Medical GmBH
Edenbridge Pharmaceuticals
Eli Lilly & Company
Encube Ethicals
Grifols US
Grifols Worldwide
GSMS Incorporated
Henry Schein
Hikma Pharmaceuticals
ICU Health
ICU Medical
Integra LifeSciences
Janssen Pharmaceuticals
Jazz Pharmaceuticals
J&J Consumer
Kate Farms
Kirk Humanitarian
Liquid IV
McKesson Medical-Surgical
Medline Industries
Merck & Co.
Merck KGaA
Meitheal Pharmaceuticals
Novo Nordisk A/S
Perrigo Pharmaceuticals
Purdue Pharma
Society of Critical Care Medicine
Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA
Mepha Schweiz
Teva Pharmaceuticals Europe
Teva Pharmaceuticals USA
Unite to Light
Viatris Europe
Viatris USA
ViiV Healthcare
Westminster Pharmaceuticals
Zydus Pharmaceuticals

Support for Rehabilitation

Events of the past 18 months have made some of the long-term health consequences of the war very clear. People who have sustained disabling injuries will require lifetime care, including children who have lost limbs and will require new prosthetic devices as they grow up. Supporting rehabilitation and recovery from war injuries, both physical and psychological, has been a core focus of Direct Relief. The organization has allocated $15 million to specifically support rehabilitation and injury recovery efforts in Ukraine, including support for the Unbroken National Rehabilitation Center in Lviv.

Helping Ukrainians Manage Psychological Trauma

A significant portion of the Ukrainian population has suffered from psychological trauma. Trauma-focused psychologists are providing care at the scene of Russian attacks, to help victims begin to process what they have experienced. Direct Relief has provided funding to organizations, including a $550,000 grant to Razom for Ukraine, a Ukrainian-American nonprofit that, with this funding, is providing mental health services to war-impacted individuals in Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine.

A $320,000 grant has enabled HromadaHub, a Ukrainian nonprofit, to train Ukrainian psychologists to provide emergency psychological support. During five-day sessions, it has so far trained more than 300 participants on how to interact with people at the site of attacks, as well as those who have suffered trauma accumulated over longer periods.

On May 20, 2023, Ukrainian NGO Hromada Hub, supported by Direct Relief, conducted a field mission in Odesa under its “Food for body, food for soul” project to provide food aid and emergency psychological support to the civilian population. A Kherson-based psychologist uses drawing association techniques with a child. (Nick Allen/Direct Relief)

“By organizing the training, we are not giving the fish but the fishing rod to the psychologists so they can start helping their communities,” Hromada Hub’s head Lily Bortych told Direct Relief. The goal is to build up the resilience and sustainability of the country’s psychological support system. “Ukraine doesn’t have to rely only on foreign specialists but can build up an army of trained emergency psychologists speaking the same language, living in the same area, and sharing the same problems with the people they help,” Bortych said.

“Miracles happen when you work with the right people,” Hromada Hub’s emergency psychology coordinator Melinda Endrefy told Direct Relief.

“There is a proverb in Ukrainian: ‘In grief and your hour of trouble, you will recognize a loyal person,’” said Marina Makarenko, head of Charitable Fund Modern Village and Town. “From the first day of the war, we have felt the support of a friend – Direct Relief. Thanks to this powerful financial support of our charitable projects and initiatives, ambulances, medicines, oxygen concentrators, and emergency medical aid backpacks, our NGO was able to withstand the first week of the war and continue to help thousands of Ukrainians.”

Medical Support for Ukraine

Unaudited totals

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