54% of $100,000 goal
Many Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war come with nothing but the clothes on their back. Foreign aid has been approved but hasn't made it yet to the locations where needed. Help feed and support these women, children, and the elderly on arrival in Romania so they can recover from a traumatic journey and plan their future lives.
I came to Romania this weekend to help support the refugee response in Europe. I used to live here in Romania, my wife is from here, and my parents used to live in Lviv, Ukraine when serving with the US Peace Corps. I understand enough Romanian to get around with ease, and I speak Russian so can communicate well with most from Ukraine. My first day here I was inspired by the local response as communities are doing all they can but resources have been depleted over the past two weeks. Financial support is needed to continue and scale up efforts.
There are seven main border crossings from Ukraine into Romania. I am in Tulcea, a small Romanian town of some 70,000 people, 25 miles from the ferry border crossing the Danube at Isaccea. Currently there are some 3,000 refugees crossing this border daily.
The northern borders (Siret, Sighetu Marmatiei, and Halmeu) are more widely publicized because there are more of them and there is higher traffic due to these being closer for those coming from Kyiv and western Ukraine. The border crossing at Isaccea is much closer for those coming from southern Ukraine, including the cities of Odessa and Kherson, both of which have been in the news very recently.Local authorities expect that the number of refugees crossing into Romania through Isaccea will only increase, potentially dramatically, depending on what happens on the southern border of Ukraine, the Black Sea coast. To illustrate, Isaccea currently receives some 3,000 refugees, while Siret receives closer to 9,500 daily. All these numbers expected to grow in the short term.
Anecdotal reports from other border crossings in Romania suggest that approximately 80% of refugees fleeing Ukraine continue onward to anywhere where they have familial connections. The 20% that remain in the border zones are those without resources or connections. These are usually poor, elderly, single mothers, with no funds, and no international family; these people, and the communities hosting them, need the most support. They need urgent assistance now, and will continue to need support for a long time.
I am assisting the office of assistance and protection for the town of Tulcea, and local groups in the town of Isaccea who maintain a reception area for refugees on arrival in Romania. I am putting my own funds, and some independent donations, into support for both groups. Everyone I speak with in Romania tell me the same thing, WE NEED FOOD AND SUPPLIES.
Currently there is highly limited, if any, external assistance, from the US, EU, or UN, coming to these communities and help is needed NOW.
All donations are kindly received and will help us offer some small comfort to those fleeing their war torn country. Slava Ukraine. Any and all donations accepted. All funds will go directly to support refugees. No overheads. Direct support. I will personally ensure best use of all donations.
Please check our facebook group to document and report on our activities.