Against the dramatic background of the outbreak of war in Ukraine and the humanitarian catastrophe it has caused, the Romanian Orthodox Church has been mobilized since the early days of this conflict unleashed by Russia against an independent and sovereign country, providing considerable aid to Ukrainian refugees who arrived on the territory of Romania, in the Republic of Moldova, as well as citizens remaining in Ukraine.
Thus, the dioceses on Romania’s border with Ukraine, the Metropolis of Bessarabia, the Archdiocese of Suceava and Radauti, the Diocese of Maramureş, and Sătmar and the Diocese of Tulcea were the first to provide humanitarian aid at the border crossings through which refugees arrived.
At the same time, the following online platforms were activated: ajutacubucurie.ro (Romanian Patriarchate in collaboration with Filatropia Federation) and fiideajutor.ro (Archdiocese of Iași).
At the level of the Romanian Patriarchate, until March 10, 2022, 4,310 people, including priests and volunteers, participated in charitable actions and provided permanent assistance in teams working in eight-hour shifts.
The humanitarian support consisted of money and goods (hot food, food products, baby food, hygiene, and sanitary products, medicines, blankets, clothing, toys, etc.), plus a number of ongoing social services (translation – 42,707 beneficiaries; counseling and guidance – 29,587 beneficiaries; and medical assistance – 9,048 beneficiaries). As regards refugee accommodation, 8,174 places were identified, of which 7,521 with meal services included.
Another important component of the Church’s charitable intervention is the organization of humanitarian transports. So far 128 shipments have been carried out in Romania, 47 in Ukraine, and 10 in the Republic of Moldova.
In the same context, the volunteers of the Chapel of the Romanian People’s Salvation Cathedral carried out a blood donation action called “Donate blood for Ukraine!” as part of the Romanian Patriarchate’s Campaign “Donate blood, save a life!”. The action took place between March 2 and 8, 2022, in collaboration with the medical staff of the Blood Transfusion Centre of the Ministry of National Defence. This action will continue on March 15 and 16, 2022, at the General Inspectorate of the Romanian Gendarmerie headquarters.
Until March 10, 2022, the humanitarian aid offered by the Romanian Orthodox Church in the context caused by the war in Ukraine amounts to 18,823,874 lei (3,803,122 euros).