This is how Austria helps – “to normalize the lives of those plagued by war”

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This is how Austria helps – “to normalize the lives of those plagued by war”

Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen ended his highly symbolic visit to Ukraine on Thursday after inspecting an aid project in Uzhgorod in the west of the country. President Selenskyj thanked Van der Bellen for the professional support of aid organizations such as Caritas, the Red Cross and Volkshilfe.

Caritas, Red Cross and Volkshilfe – Austria’s best-known and most renowned aid organizations have been helping Ukrainians with medical, humanitarian and psychological – ie mental – support since the beginning of Tsar Putin’s bloody offensive war. Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen visited the facilities of the red-white-red helpers as part of his sensitive mission. And President Volodymyr Zelenskyi touchingly thanked the Austrians for their professional support to his country.

For example, Caritas – whose employees have been working in Ukraine for 20 years – is involved in charity work across the country. A pre-Christmas visit to the local “Krone” in Odessa showed how much heart and brains are put into helping the refugees who seek refuge in the port city. The main focus is on treating the wounds and psychological care for the traumatized. When asked how his people handled the stressful situation, Andreas Knapp, Secretary General for International Programs, replied pragmatically: “By helping!” In figures: so far with 72 million euros.

The Red Cross also offers customized medical support. “By providing mobile services, we have been able to improve access to health care and wintering opportunities since the conflict actually began in 2014,” said RK Secretary General Michael Opriesnig. Eight Austrians are part of the organizing team of hundreds, often volunteers, in the Ukraine.

“With a school in Butscha and a maternity hospital in Kiev – renovated thanks to Austrian funding – we are trying to normalize the lives of people plagued by war,” Erich Fenninger, general manager of Volkshilfe, describes two projects of his helpers.

Also gratifying: “The Austrian delegation also arrived with a specific gift in their luggage. We are supplying the urgently needed generators and Wienerberger is supplying building materials for the construction of 200 houses,” added Energy Minister Leonore Gewessler (Greens).

Source: Krone

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