UNICEF UK President, Olivia Colman, visited the UNICEF Global Supply and Logistics Hub in Copenhagen last week, where supplies are being shipped to Ukraine, and other humanitarian crises around the world, including Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Pakistan, South Sudan and Yemen.
During the visit Olivia Colman helped to pack supplies due to be sent to children and families in Ukraine, adding items to the UNICEF Early Child Development kit filled with puzzles, puppets, balls and games – including a hand-written message from Olivia. These kits provide a range of activities to encourage the development and social interaction of children and help aid the recovery of children who have witnessed the horrors of the war in Ukraine, allowing them to play and learn in a safe environment.
Olivia also saw the UNICEF School-in-a-Box, Recreation Kit and Family Hygiene Kit, all of which have been shipped to Ukraine since the outbreak of the war in February this year. The Family Hygiene Kits provide water, sanitation and hygiene necessities needed during an emergency, and include items such as a torch, child potty, water purification tablets, menstrual pads and soap.
Olivia Colman, UNICEF UK President, said: "It’s been such a privilege to see the brilliant work that the UNICEF Global Supply Division do, responding to emergencies across the world for an incredible 60 years.
I was fortunate enough to see some of the humanitarian kits that are being sent to countries such as Ukraine, Afghanistan and Somalia – where children are facing war, drought and unrest on an unimaginable scale. These education and development kits, medical kits and midwifery kits allow UNICEF to support the most vulnerable children and families, wherever they are. Children such as those in Ukraine, who continue to be killed and injured by the terrible violence happening around them.
With the humanitarian need in Ukraine continuing to grow, it’s vitally important that UNICEF is able to maintain the support it is offering to the country’s 7.5 million children, so please donate what you can on the UNICEF UK website."
Speaking to Etleva Kadilli, Director of UNICEF’s Supply Division, Olivia was also introduced to the importance of the midwifery kits, each containing the medical equipment, medicines, gloves and syringes needed to perform an average of 50 normal deliveries. While the ongoing violence has destroyed many hospitals in Ukraine, the midwifery kits allow staff to carry out safe deliveries despite having moved to makeshift maternity wards.
Etleva Kadilli, Director, UNICEF’s Supply Division, said: "I recently visited Poland and Ukraine where I saw first-hand how UNICEF is supporting communities with essential supplies and services. In this challenging context, safe spaces are a lifeline for children and families – whether it be a neonatal ward in a hospital bunker, a child-friendly shelter, or a Blue Dot facility providing respite and psycho-social care.
“Dedicated UNICEF staff have found creative and innovative solutions to steep challenges, ranging from an improvised water filtration system in a shelter, to leveraging local networks to produce and deliver winter clothing for children. What UNICEF is accomplishing on the ground could not be possible without strong national government leadership at all levels, and the generous support of donors.”
The UNICEF Global Supply and Logistics Hub is celebrating 60 years of delivering emergency supplies for the world’s most vulnerable children this year, marking six decades of unwavering determination to accelerate the rights of children through supply and logistics. Established in 1962, it is the largest humanitarian warehouse in the world and supports child survival and development programmes by providing supplies critical for children’s health, education and protection from abuse, exploitation, and neglect.
This year UNICEF has delivered or procured supplies worth $84 million USD to help children and their families in Ukraine. The shipments include more than 183,000 kits, including midwifery, emergency medical, and family hygiene kits, as well as winter supplies to around 1,000 hubs in Ukraine, to protect around 450,000 children from harsh temperatures.
More than nine months of increased conflict in Ukraine has left 5.2 million children in need of humanitarian assistance. UNICEF is working around the clock in Ukraine and neighbouring countries to keep children safe, helping to make sure that child health and protection services are sustained, delivering critical supplies to families and ensuring children have clean water and nutritious food.
You can help protect children in Ukraine by donating to UNICEF UK’s Ukraine Appeal: unicef.uk/ukrainedonate.