Corona relief: Even under normal circumstances, Ukraine’s health and welfare systems are in a difficult state. Most of the medical centers across the state are primitive and unable to provide advanced medical care. They operate without advanced equipment and adequate medical supplies and suffer from a constant shortage of beds and respirators.
Similarly, the welfare system is dysfunctional and almost non-existent. There are no social services or social workers, budgets to help the needy, or monitoring of the needs of citizens in distress.
Given the immediate danger to life due to the Coronavirus epidemic, the Federation of Jewish Communities of the CIS (FSU) in collaboration with the Federation of Jewish Communities of Ukraine have launched a new emergency hotline named “For Life” to respond to the vital needs of Ukraine’s Jewish population.
As already well known, the coronavirus threatens primarily the weak population who suffer chronically from malnutrition, poor medical care, and are unable to protect themselves. Among the Jewish community scattered throughout Ukraine, this population includes the elderly who are at the forefront – including many Holocaust survivors and people without families who live on their own – and thousands of families in distress with children of all ages who are now left without a minimal income.
This needy population, who suffer from lack of resources throughout the year, is now in immediate danger, in the absence of protective measures, basic food, adequate information, and medical treatment.
The newly established hotline serves as a welfare and emergency assistance system that provides a comprehensive response to the needy Jewish community, including the delivery of protective kits (with face masks, disinfectants, gloves, and other accessories), hot meals, food packages or coupons, financial assistance for a wide range of needs, medicine and medical supplies, emotional support and psychological treatment, informative materials and more.
Operated by an energetic and dedicated team and hundreds of young volunteers, the hotline serves the entire Jewish population of Ukraine including from remote communities. In addition to the deliveries distributing the aid, young volunteers embrace the elderly and disabled and make sure to dispel their loneliness through phone calls showing interest in their well-being.