Registered Charity -
Founder Director: Rev. Tony Budell. Director: Philip Edmonds. Accounts: Valerie Budell.
British Humanitarian Aid Annual Report 2015-
Having just had a quick look at last year’s report, one could almost cut and paste the opening paragraphs into this year’s! Anyway, Crimea remains annexed, (with Donald Trump now suggesting that Putin’s actions were acceptable!) and the armed confrontation with the pro Russian separatists in the Eastern Regions continues with a steadily rising number of deaths and serious injuries. While both Russia and Ukraine claim that there is a ceasefire, a sergeant in Ukraine’s 58th mechanised brigade, has been counting the days that his section gets away without taking casualties. It’s not many, he said. “Usually there’s two days out of every week when no one gets hit, then it kicks off again, but there hasn’t been a single day since we arrived when we haven’t been shot at, shelled, or mortared.” Over 2500 Ukrainian troops have died, with a further 8000 plus injured. Ukraine is now actively recruiting and training a professional army to replace that which had been seriously depleted by the previous pro-
However, the U.N. estimates that 3.7 million Ukrainians have been affected by the war, 3.1 million of whom still require direct humanitarian assistance. The exodus from the disputed regions and Crimea continue and while the more rural districts in Chernihiv region receive relatively few of the “internally displaced persons” the major towns, almost entirely dependent on the generosity of local citizens, are struggling to cope in any meaningful way. Our limited aid deliveries to these towns are most gratefully received and Chernihiv Aratta is approached for help almost daily.
The promises of the “new” government, elected after pro-
Against this picture of gloom, British Humanitarian Aid, thanks to its supporters, continues to bring the occasional “ray of sunshine” for individuals and organisations spread throughout a region the size of the UK’s Home Counties. Over 65 tonnes of aid were collected, sorted and despatched from our Canterbury warehouse. Once, the authorities in Ukraine were happy with the distribution plans and had cleared loads BHA was actively involved in transporting the aid to the usual mixture of destinations and monitoring its deployment. Social Services, Territorial Centres (for the elderly), Hospitals, Red Cross, Charities and Schools for the Handicapped, Internats (state boarding schools for orphans and children from poor families), village councils and many individuals and families received help through the year. Very few of these recipients have adequate funding for their everyday work and findin cash for a 200/300 kilometre round trip to collect aid from Chernihiv is just not possible.
We, ourselves, had slightly fewer trips out this year so the three that materialised were of longer duration to enable both the normal distribution to be completed and further support to be given to our projects. We owe the aid team from Chernihiv Aratta a great debt of gratitude again this year. The authorities are constantly creating stress by changing regulations and seem to have little interest in making sure that their citizens receive much needed aid in the simplest possible manner. Their mid-