MAYNOOTH University was the location this week (3 August) for the distribution of €40,000 worth of food and clothing vouchers to 395 of the Ukrainian refugees presently accommodated on the campus.
“This is the first distribution day of many for clothing and food vouchers to give to the Ukrainian community, and run by Irish Red Cross volunteers,” explained spokesperson Brian Purcell.
Our visitors also received vouchers for two local pharmacies, as well as a package of new lego for the children.
All the vouchers were provided from the Irish Red Cross Ukraine Appeal funds that were donated by the Irish people and the organisation was assisted by lawyers from the Ukraine Irish Legal Alliance.
At the same time a HSE SafetyNet Medical clinic was also held on the university campus where a doctor and nurse was available to see people with urgent medical issues.
“The distribution days are a key activity that are very practical ways the funds collected by the Irish Red Cross are supporting people’s immediate needs,” said Mr Purcell.
“This will be replicated around the country as, and when needed, but the next challenge will be to find homes for these people as they are staying in student accommodation, and this is a challenge facing a lot of colleges,” he explained.
To date €38m has been donated by the Irish public and corporates to the Irish Red Cross since the start of the Ukraine invasion, and this goes towards three different areas of spending.
So far €15.2m has already gone to help emergency needs, practical and medical supports in Ukraine and its surrounding countries.
A further €3m is being used to support refugees’ needs in Ireland with over €400,000 of that having been spent so far, with this spending set to accelerate over the coming weeks.
Given that this crisis has no defined end date, the Irish Red Cross has planned to use €19.8m for funding interventions over a two-year timeframe in Ukraine for reconstruction and rebuilding of livelihoods as well as medical programmes, cash supports for returning Ukrainians and restoring vital infrastructure such as re-establishing fresh water connections and clearing land mines.