Donate money instead of used clothes, urges aid workers at the border with Ukraine

A relief worker at the border between Ukraine and Romania has asked those wishing to support refugees to send cash and not property.

Cassandra Nelson works for the humanitarian group Mercy Corps, which is headquartered in Edinburgh. The organization sent teams to Eastern Europe on February 24 then Russia invaded Ukraine to support those fleeing the conflict.

Mrs Nelson said the situation was still “emergency” more than two million people are fleeing Ukraine since the conflict began.

The humanitarian worker says donating money to reputable charities is the best way to help. “A lot of people in Europe are really eager to help by shipping goods,” she said, “please do not do this.”

“Unless there is a very specific request for something as specific types of medicinemonetary donations are best. “

Volunteers say distributing material donations from the UK can be expensive and time consuming. (Photo: AFP via Getty)

Mrs Nelson explained that it is not the solution to have material items shipped in as it is difficult to distribute them to the right people. “The transportation costs of getting it here with the high gas prices just don’t work.”

Instead, she suggests that money allows aid workers to buy what is needed from functioning markets in Romania or Poland.

Mercy Corps also has teams in Poland and conducts cross-border operations that provide supplies to displaced people in Ukraine with the help of local organizations.

She said: “We are also setting up a platform to provide information to refugees to help them understand what their rights are and what documents they need if, let’s say, they want to travel elsewhere, and the money to support them in getting them. “

The aid worker and her colleagues have camped nearly two hours away from the city due to lack of housing. “All sorts of places are being turned into shelters, including a hotel ballroom,” she said.

“All cities and towns have full capacity.”

Dan Walden, Unicef’s senior emergency specialist, agrees that sending money is the most effective way to distribute emergency aid.

“Time is of the essence in Ukraine and we can get money transferred from our bank to a local bank in Ukraine in a matter of moments,” he said.

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The cost of transferring goods between countries and the complicated, time-consuming distribution process is often more than the goods are worth.

“It is usually much easier to buy goods in the countries where they are needed. It’s usually also cheaper and helps local markets and economies, helping countries get back on their feet, ”added Judith Escribano, communications director at Action Against Hunger.

Mrs Escribano also points out that driving goods 1,500 miles when they could be bought in border countries does not help the appellant’s CO2 footprint.

Mark Greer of the Charities Aid Foundation suggests that those who want to donate material goods and supplies check directly with charities to see what is an urgent need.

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