UKRAINE EMERGENCY APPEAL

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ChildFund supporting children fleeing from Ukraine

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ChildFund Australia says that the war in Ukraine has created a humanitarian crisis on the doorstop of neighbouring countries which is having a devastating impact on children and families.  ChildFund Australia CEO, Margaret Sheehan is available to comment on this today.

ChildFund is working in partnership WeWorld to assist children and families fleeing from the war in Ukraine and arriving on the border of Moldova.

We are providing protection, education and psychosocial support alongside the creation of child-friendly safe spaces (CSS) to offer welcome respite from the distress of escaping war. Shelter; food; hygiene and women’s dignity items; mental health and psychosocial support to children, their caregivers and other adults; positive parenting awareness/skills; gender-based violence awareness raising and referrals.

ChildFund Australia CEO, Margaret Sheehan says “In the 25 years of work in this sector, I have never witnessed an emergency that has escalated at this scale over just a matter of weeks. This includes indiscriminate shelling; the targeting of civilians, hospitals, and schools; forced evacuations; and mass scale displacement.”

As millions flee Ukraine and enter neighbouring areas, we’re seeing the highest number of refugees per capita entering Moldova. There are currently over 50,000 refugee children in Moldova and this number will only increase as more Ukrainian families look for safety.

The number of people arrived in the Republic of Moldova stands at 381,395, making the hosting country the one with the highest number of refugees per capita: there are 1,369 refugees per 10,000 in Moldova.

Women and girls are the majority and account for two thirds of Ukrainians people displaced in Moldova; 84% of people are travelling with children. Women make up 80% of the adult population of refugees (18+)

ChildFund Australia CEO, Margaret Sheehan says, We remain concerned about chronic food insecurity, levels of gender-based violence (always a factor where there is conflict and displacement) and long-term impacts on children.

“ChildFund is working alongside WeWorld and other aid organisations in providing food, psychosocial support, education and hygiene essentials, with particular attention given to children and babies who need baby food, formula and nappies.”

ChildFund Australia welcomes the recent announcement of $2 million in aid provided by the Australian Government towards the on-the-ground-work of the Emergency Action Alliance, (an alliance with 15 Australian INGOs) including ChildFund Australia.

“There are millions of people who are relying on the support of the international aid community to survive.

 “As Australians we know far too well how to work together during times of crisis and hardship. I recognise that many Australians are facing their own difficult situations with chronic flooding. But I ask those Australians who can give – to donate to the Emergency Action Alliance Ukraine Appeal. 

“We ask for your support as together we continue our work in Moldova assisting babies, children, young people and families. – Margaret Sheehan, CEO ChildFund Australia

To donate today, visit emergencyaction.org.au or call 1300 939 000 

ChildFund Australia CEO, Margaret Sheehan, is available for comment.

Media Contact: Amelia Brock, 0430 187 161

ChildFund Australia welcomes the Australian government’s move to increase the Australian aid budget in 2022-23 to $4.549 billion (from an originally estimated $4.335 billion in 2021-22), and the announcement of $324.4 million for the Pacific and Timor-Leste to help COVID-19 recovery.

The budget outlined on Tuesday evening, includes particular attention to new humanitarian funding and allocation for COVAX to increase much needed COVID-19 vaccination in the region.

Budget measures in-brief

  • Two-year, $324.4 million package of economic and social support for the Pacific and Timor-Leste to help recover from COVID-19;
  • Ring-fenced $85 million for COVAX to tackle vaccine global inequity; and
  • Spending $65 million on much-needed humanitarian to Ukraine.

From this year (2022-23), the Government will add 2.5% to the what it defines as the ‘base’ aid program. While this increase is termed ‘indexation’, it is important to note that this figure falls short of the most recent CPI figures of 4.25 per cent in 2021-22 and 3 per cent for 2022-23.

Margaret Sheehan, CEO ChildFund Australia said, “ChildFund Australia welcomes the increase in Australian aid for the Pacific and Timor Leste, the commitment to addressing regional health security,   – as well as the increased humanitarian funding for Ukraine and complex emergencies.”