UNHCR delivers first humanitarian airlift to Republic of Moldova for refugees from Ukraine

A humanitarian airlift organised by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, arrived this morning at the Chisinau international airport in Moldova from its Dubai-based global stockpile.

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© UNHCR/Ernő Simon

The shipment consisted of around 8,000 thermal blankets and is destined for refugees fleeing Ukraine who have crossed the border to the Republic of Moldova. As of today, 65,099 refugees have crossed the border into Moldova from Ukraine since 24 February, and the number is steadily rising.

“In just a week more than 65,000 refugees arrived in Moldova. The welcoming attitude of the Government, NGOs and the Moldovans has been exemplary,

said UNHCR’s Representative in Central Europe, Roland Schilling, who is at the border.

Most of the refugees are women, children and older persons. We are seeing increasing destitution and trauma. Some left home and carrying just small pieces of luggage, leaving everything else behind.. More help is needed, and it is on its way. We hope these relief items help Moldova to help refugees in this truly desperate situation.”

Today’s airlift is the first shipment of a humanitarian aid supply pipeline being established by UNHCR. It is part of the agency’s efforts to support national authorities of Moldova and provide the necessary humanitarian assistance to the people who have been forced to flee. Further shipments are expected to arrive to Moldova by land in the coming days. This includes urgent needed sleeping bags, more blankets, hygienic and baby kits, solar lamps and other relief items.

 

UNHCR is working with the Government of the Republic of Moldova and other neighboring countries, and calling on them to keep borders open to those seeking safety and protection. The agency is leading the UN Refugee Response Plan at regional and local levels including in Moldova.

“All 23 United Nations agencies, programmes and funds in Moldova remain fully operational and are working with the Government of Moldova as well as with the UN Refugee Agency to support refugees from Ukraine. Humanitarian assessments continue and the UN is delivering support to refugees at the border and other temporary locations. We recognize the outpouring of generosity and solidarity showed by the citizens of Moldova and are humbled by this show of compassion and humanity,” said Simon Springett, Resident Coordinator of UN Moldova.

Part of the humanitarian shipment will be stored in a warehouse in Chisinau provided by the Government of Moldova, while about 2,000 blankets will be immediately transported to the Palanca border crossing point in South Moldova and distributed directly to refugees there.

The UN Refugee Agency remains firmly committed to support all affected populations in Ukraine and countries in the region.

To find out more about how you can help Ukraine, please visit our website.

To learn more about the situation in Ukraine, please visit the Ukraine Operations portal.

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