Continued food shipments to coeliacs in Ukraine
Until now, over 20 separate shipments with over 30 tons of food have been delivered and distributed to families in need of gluten free food inside Ukraine. In summer last year, families from Ukraine were able to participate in the Gluten-Free camp in Latvia. This has been achieved thanks to the generous donations gathered through the AOECS Emergency Fund and the tremendous efforts of individuals within Ukraine’s neighbouring national coeliac societies.
A sad anniversary
Today is a sad anniversary. It is one year since the war in Ukraine began and it is important not to forget our Ukrainian friends and their hardships. At the time of writing this over 8 million Ukrainians have fled their country according to data from UNHCR. But many Ukrainians still reside within the war-battered country.
The war has created a major humanitarian crisis with many casualties, shattered families, destroyed houses and infrastructure along with major disruptions in national food production and distribution networks. This has made life very hard in Ukraine and has forced many to flee their homes in search of safety, protection and assistance.
Gluten free food is scarce in Ukraine
It is hard to find food in stores in Ukraine, but it is even harder to find gluten free food which is absolutely necessary for coeliacs. For this reason, just after the outbreak of the war last year, the AOECS formed the AOECS Emergency Fund to be able to support volunteer help from the National Coeliac Societies in neighbouring countries such as Poland, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia, as well as from other European Coeliac Societies.
Generous donations and individual efforts make shipments of gluten free food possible
Thanks to generous donations channelled through National Coeliac Societies, or directly from private donors, to the AOECS Emergency Fund, AOECS could support the neighbouring National Coeliac Societies, notably the Polish Coeliac Society and the Hungarian Coeliac Society, to coordinate regular shipments and food distribution to families in need of gluten free food. Also, important food brands such as Dr. Schär sent gluten-free food to the region. Particularly remarkable, was the generous gesture from Dr. Joseph A. Murray (US) who donated his prize winner for Excellence in Celiac Disease Research worth 25.000 USD to the AOECS Emergency Fund.
All these donations have helped (and continue to help) to coordinate several activities in the field.
Over 30 tons of gluten free food shipped
Since March last year over 20 separate shipments with over 30 tons of food have been delivered and distributed to families in need of gluten free food inside Ukraine. Food was also distributed to refugee camps and coeliac families in transit. Several coeliac societies coordinated accommodation for Ukrainian coeliac refugees as well as help them with translations to express their nutritional needs and coeliac condition.
In summer last year, families from Ukraine were able to participate in the Gluten-Free camp in Latvia.
“We would like to thank you once again for our so-needed help for the Ukrainian celiacs during this brutal military aggression…”
Olga Naumova, President of the Ukrainian Celiac Society