The armed conflict in Ukraine has put all the country's 7,5 million children in serious danger and more than half of them have had to flee their homes. Children and their families are in acute need of help both in Ukraine and in the countries, they have fled to. Valio and the Save the Children Finland are launching a three-year collaboration to help the children and their families who are suffering from the war in Ukraine.
There are almost six million children still in Ukraine who are in immediate danger because of the war. Schools and hospitals are increasingly the target of attacks, bombing has massive destruction in several cities. Already close to two million Ukrainian children have had to flee their native land – and in the worst cases unaccompanied. Children and their families are in danger of being wounded or killed. They also suffer from the lack of basic life necessities, like food, water and healthcare.
“The humanitarian work in Ukraine and in the countries the Ukrainian people are fleeing to must be organised on a wide scale, with sensitivity to the situation and with a professional approach. The aid work must continue for the long term, and its continuity is heavily reliant upon donations. Valio’s three-year commitment to partner with Save the Children Finland and the 250,000 euro donation to help the people suffering from the war in Ukraine is very significant – we are deeply grateful to Valio,” notes Hanna Markkula-Kivisilta, Secretary General of the Save the Children Finland.
“The most effective way to be part of the humanitarian operations from Finland is through a monetary donation. The procurement of goods is most cost efficient when done centrally as close to the crisis area as possible. There are also challenges with product donations, for example, strict legislation on baby food can make it difficult to deliver food donations to war and crisis zones. With the monetary donation from Valio, we can help the children and families in the best possible way by organizing most suitable aid to the destinations where it is most needed,” Markkula-Kivisilta adds.
Valio is helping Ukrainian war victims through a three-year partnership
Valio wants to do long-term work to help the victims of the war and is donating a total of 250,000 euros over three years to Save the Children Finland.
“We hope that the war in Ukraine will end quickly. However, the Ukrainian people, and especially the children and their families, will need help for a long time. Rebuilding and helping the people will take time, and we have committed to long-term aid for the Ukrainian children. We wanted to partner with an experienced international humanitarian organization because they have the best knowledge and expertise to help the victims of the war in Ukraine,” says Valio’s Teresa Laimio, Executive Vice President, Sustainability and Stakeholder Relations.
“The organisation operates in Ukraine and in the countries the Ukrainian people are fleeing to. Save the Children has already started relief efforts here in Finland to help Ukrainian families with children who have fled from Ukraine,” Teresa Laimio says.
Support of Save the Children reaches families in several countries
Save the Children has operated in Ukraine since 2014. The organisation offers life-saving humanitarian aid to children and their families in Ukraine and other countries in the region. The organisation distributes essential items, such as blankets, warm clothing and hygiene kits, provides support to children who have been separated from their parents and coordinates psychosocial support for children traumatised by the war. The organisation enables children to return to school by establishing temporary leaning centres and providing school supplies. The organisation is also ready to support rebuilding of Ukrainian schools and day-care centres as soon as the safety situation allows.
Save the Children is also working with children and their parents who have fled to Finland from Ukraine. Save the Children maintains child-friendly spaces at reception centres, giving children who are escaping the war a safe place to play and to be a child. The first child-friendly spaces are already operating, for example there is one in Helsinki’s Länsisatama. Save the Children is prepared to expand its support in Finland with sensitivity to the situation, for example by securing the basic necessities for families.