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ShelterBox Executive Director, Stephanie Christensen was recently on the ground in Moldova and is available for an interview.
Toronto, ON — Global disaster relief organization ShelterBox Canada is responding to the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. ShelterBox Canada’s Executive Director, Stephanie Christensen, deployed as part of the ShelterBox response team in Moldova, where over 15% of the population are now Ukrainian refugees.
Christensen said “Although the vast majority of refugees have gone to Poland, per capita, Moldova has taken the most. Moldova is one of the poorest countries in Europe and is not part of the EU so they have less resources to deal with such an influx.”
Collective centres have been set up throughout Chisinau, Moldova’s capital city and the Government, in collaboration with local and international humanitarian organizations are providing excellent support. These only cover 10% of the refugee population, however. The vast majority of people are living with host families, or in rented apartments and are harder to reach. This is where ShelterBox are focussing their efforts.
Working in collaboration with other humanitarian organizations, ShelterBox is preparing to provide refugees with vitally needed, easy to carry items like hygiene kits.
In addition to their work in Moldova, ShelterBox is also distributing aid within Ukraine. Thousands of mattresses are being distributed in collective centres in Lviv. Places like schools and churches have become places where people fleeing conflict-affected areas are seeking shelter and safety, and they desperately need somewhere to sleep.
ShelterBox is also planning to provide shelter kits that contain tarps, tools, and building materials for people living on the front lines of conflict to help make damaged buildings habitable again. In addition to the shelter kits, vital aid items including solar lights, hygiene kits, blankets, and water purification equipment will be provided.
As many as 12 million people may need humanitarian assistance in Ukraine, according to the United Nations, with 6.7 million projected to be internally displaced. Over 4.2 million refugees have already fled Ukraine to neighbouring countries.
“ShelterBox routinely responds to conflict-related displacement, providing families with a range of items, including emergency shelter, heavy blankets, sleeping mats, water filters, solar lights, kitchen sets, tools, and more,” Christensen said. “We customize our humanitarian aid packages to meet the unique needs of the displacement. We are well placed to help people affected by this crisis and are working hard to reach those who would not otherwise receive aid.”
To learn more about ShelterBox’s response, or to donate please visit shelterboxcanada.org