The dispatch of a second humanitarian aid package from Cyprus to Ukraine was announced on Wednesday by Foreign Affairs Minister Ioannis Kasoulides and the Commissioner for the Citizen Panayiotis Sentonas, in joint statements made at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Kasoulides said that “with the outbreak of war in Ukraine, a campaign of humanitarian support for the Ukrainian people was launched, with instructions from the President of the Republic and coordinated actions under the Commissioner for the Citizen for the collection of food, pharmaceuticals and other essentials. Instructions have also been given for the opening of a bank account to which citizens and organisations continue to contribute generously.”
“The first shipment of Cypriot humanitarian aid to Ukraine was dispatched on 8 March, it has arrived in Poland and from there it is being forwarded to Ukraine. The second shipment was sent yesterday, Tuesday 5 April via Poland, again through the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism”, he noted.
“The two shipments contained a total of 215 tons of material worth more than EUR 2 million, including food aid, civil protection equipment, medical and pharmaceutical supplies and other essentials,” he added.
The Foreign Minister said that according to available data, this is the largest humanitarian aid mission from Cyprus, with the significant volume of material collected, in addition to the contributions of the state, being the result of contributions from individuals and demonstrating the solidarity of Cypriots with the people of Ukraine.
Under the coordination of Sentonas, the Civil Defence, the National Guard, the Port Authority, the Ministry of Health, as well as the Red Cross, in addition to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, have contributed decisively to the entire effort, he pointed out.
In addition, he said, “the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also contributed financially through international organisations to support both Ukraine and neighbouring countries, such as Moldova, in addressing the refugee crisis. The total amount of such contributions exceeds 150,000 euros.”
“We stand by the people and we are ready to continue to support them in practice,” he concluded.
For his part, Sentonas reiterated that in order for the second aid package to be be able to be dispatched, there has been coordination and cooperation between various departments and ministries, while the whole process is taking place through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, which is currently carrying out the largest humanitarian aid operation to date.
“The Mechanism, as well as the relevant European Directorate, is monitoring and informing Member States of the needs both in Ukraine and in the countries around Ukraine hosting Ukrainian refugees and it is coordinating the efforts of Member States to provide humanitarian assistance,” he said.
“We continue to monitor the needs registered through the mechanism and we are ready to provide additional humanitarian assistance”, the Commissioner added, noting that the special bank account, created on the instructions of the President of the Republic, continues to be operational and to which “those who wish to do so can contribute.”
In addition, the Department of Postal Services at the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works announced on Wednesday that it will accept for free parcels containing humanitarian aid to the people of Ukraine from Wednesday, April 6 to Monday, April 18. In order for postal exemption to apply, parcels must contain medicines, sanitary items, long-life food, baby food, clothing, they must be contained in solid packaging and that they must not exceed five kilograms in weight and a value of €100.