Finnish Red Cross gives 10 million euros to help those most vulnerable in Ukraine

Photo: Marko Kokic / Punaisen Ristin kansainvälinen liitto

As winter draws closer and homes are destroyed by aerial strikes, the need for aid increases.

The Finnish Red Cross will provide 10 million euros from its Disaster Relief Fund to the cash aid programme of the International Red Cross. The programme supports the most vulnerable people in Ukraine. 

"As the winter grows colder and the air strikes continue, people’s survival is at stake. The price of housing and food has increased rapidly, and heating is a concern, especially in areas where homes and energy plants have been destroyed," Marko Korhonen, Head of International Disaster Management of the Finnish Red Cross, describes the situation.

The Red Cross will allocate cash aid to people who are accommodating refugees from other parts of Ukraine for free and to veterans who were severely injured before the current crisis and whose pension does not cover everyday necessities.

"These groups were selected based on their level of vulnerability and because they do not have sufficient access to other forms of help", Korhonen says.

"As the conflict has been prolonged, the resources of the families housing refugees have been spread thin. As for the severely injured soldiers, they receive only small sums of social security, which makes it difficult to manage when prices rise. These people also depend on assistive devices or other people, which is why they and their families are especially vulnerable."

The international Red Cross will carry out the aid programme in cooperation with the Ukrainian Red Cross and local authorities. The programme will reach over 600,000 people. Aid will be provided to registered recipients for four months.

The aid sum of 10 million euros will be distributed in full by July 2023.

Cash aid meets individual needs

Aid provided in cash or on a payment card is a flexible form of support in cases where people’s situations and needs may vary. The aid recipient can decide for themselves how they will use the sum received.

"In our experience, cash aid is effective since people use it for basic needs: such as food, housing, heating, medications or bus fares. In the middle of a crisis, it is also important that everyone gets to make their own decisions about their life," Korhonen points out.

The support of 10 million euros to the cash aid programme is one of the largest single sums ever provided by the Finnish Red Cross.

"The sum is a significant one because the need for aid is immense. We are very grateful for the donations made to the Disaster Relief Fund since they allow for long-term support to those who need it the most."