On Friday, March 11, 2022, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark along the Danish Red Cross Secretary General, Mr. Anders Ladekarl and Danish Red Cross National Chief, Ms. Marie-Louise Gotholdt, participated in a meeting in Copenhagen regarding the Danish Red Cross’ activities in Ukraine. The Crown Prince is Patron of the organization.
Per a press release from the Danish Red Cross, the humanitarian organization currently has a team of:
“… twelve men gathered in Chernivtsi in southwestern Ukraine consisting of i.a. logisticians, disaster coordinators and delegates specializing in mental health first aid. The team ensures that the emergency aid reaches some of the hundreds of thousands of refugees who are on the run internally in the country.
‘It is a humanitarian catastrophe that is unfolding before our eyes. I saw mile-long queues of pedestrians, mostly women and children, in the icy cold on their way away from fighting to safer places in the country. They need help – very basic emergency help such as food and blankets and hygiene items, but also mental first aid,’ said Anders Ladekarl.”
The meeting was also attended by the Danish Red Cross Country Manager in Ukraine, Mr. Antoine Terrien, via online. He reported on the very complicated operation that is currently underway in Ukraine. The aid from Denmark and many other countries is collected in warehouses in Chernivtsi, and from there it is distributed to all parts of the country by the Ukrainian Red Cross with logistical support from Danish Red Cross.
The Crown Prince asked Mr. Antoine Terrien how this took place in practice and how the communication takes place. The Mr. Terrien described how the Ukrainian Red Cross’ 6,000 volunteers and staff assess local needs and order the necessary emergency assistance. Regarding communication, Mr. Antoine Terrien reported on extremely difficult conditions with little or no internet and major operational disruptions on the mobile network.
10 days into the conflict, the Danish Red Cross has jointly distributed 600 tons of emergency aid, established six emergency aid depots and a transit depot. So far, 44 million Danish Krone has been purchased including blankets, mattresses, hygiene packages and food for distribution over the coming weeks.
“The primary reason why the Red Cross in Denmark plays such a large and central role is that we have worked in the country for many years and established a close collaboration with the Ukrainian Red Cross. It gives us a very strong starting point and enables us to work on behalf of the entire Red Cross movement in Ukraine, ”says Anders Ladekarl.
Photos courtesy of the Danish Red Cross/J.Dall