Leading Canadian Catholic agency looks ahead to further Ukraine relief efforts.
Ottawa, February 23, 2023 — One year following the Russian invasion of Ukraine — which has displaced a third of the nation’s 41 million people, killed, scarred and wounded tens of thousands of soldiers and civilians, and devastated the country’s infrastructure and economy — CNEWA’s support to its churches and people remains steadfast.
“This situation that we have seen in Ukraine has been nothing short of painful and tragic beyond measure,” said Dr. Adriana Bara, National Director of CNEWA Canada. “Despite the pain and suffering felt by so many people in Ukraine, CNEWA and its partners on the ground in Ukraine and neighbouring countries have been able to provide life and light to so many. We’re committed to doing more in 2023 and to seeing that the people of Ukraine are cared for and supported.”
In the past year, CNEWA has rushed $5.8 million in emergency funds to support church-led relief initiatives in Ukraine.
Mobilizing its vast network of local charities, Caritas Ukraine, the charitable initiative of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, has reached more than 2.1 million people alone, primarily in the form of food and hygienic services, shelter, bedding and provision of water.
“I am incredibly encouraged by the generosity and prayerful support of so many donors from coast to coast to coast,” Archbishop Marcel Damphousse of Ottawa-Cornwall said.
As Chair of the CNEWA Canada Board of Directors, Archbishop Damphousse is heartened by the compassion and love for neighbour that has been shown to the people of Ukraine in such impactful ways through sharing of time and financial treasure, as well as prayer.
CNEWA, in both Canada and the United States, has supported more than 100 specific relief initiatives in Ukraine — much of it through Caritas, but also through Greek Catholic and Orthodox eparchies, parishes, seminaries and religious houses, as well as the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv, including:
- emergency food packages for more than 40,000 people in areas under siege
- care for displaced pensioners near Odesa
- shelter for people with special needs in Sambir-Drohobych
- spiritual and psychological counseling for those displaced to Ternopil
- temporary housing for displaced families from Mariupol in Zaporizhzhia
- medicines and other aid to nine medical facilities, including Lviv’s Sheptytsky Hospital.
The incredible generosity of Canadians in supporting Ukraine last year did not go unnoticed by Monsignor Peter Vaccari, President of CNEWA in New York.
“I am grateful to God that donors across the Canadian and American church have come together in such a powerful way to support the people of Ukraine in their time of need,” he said. “We hope and pray for continued contributions, as we support those who have been affected by this tragedy.”
Having worked with the Church in Ukraine previously, CNEWA offices in both Canada and the United States were uniquely equipped to respond with immediacy to the escalation of violence by Russian forces.
Learn more about CNEWA’s work in Ukraine by visiting cnewa.ca or following the organization on Facebook (@CNEWACanada), Twitter (@CnewaC) and Instagram (@cnewacanada).
An agency of the Holy See, CNEWA works for, through and with Eastern churches throughout the Middle East, Northeast Africa, India and Eastern Europe, providing pastoral and humanitarian support. Founded by Pope Pius XI in 1926, CNEWA was incorporated in Canada as a registered charity by Canada Revenue Agency in 2003. For more information, visit cnewa.ca.
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