Jersey has committed £360,000 in response to the crisis in Ukraine

As at 2 March 2022, Jersey Overseas Aid (JOA), the island’s official, publicly-funded relief and development agency, has pledged an initial £360,000 in response to the crisis in Ukraine.

Today, JOA Commissioners agreed to make initial grants worth £360,000 to be split equally among three organisations; The Red Cross, UNHCR (The UN’s refugee agency), and OCHA (The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs). Between them these organisations will provide essential services to the hundreds of thousands of people who have already sought shelter in neighbouring countries and the millions still facing terrible hardship in Ukraine.

“Like all Islanders, I have been appalled at the cruelty and violence inflicted on the innocent people of Ukraine by the Russian invasion. Jersey knows exactly what it is to be occupied by a foreign force, and it will come as no surprise that the Island will do all we can to oppose this illegal war and to help those affected by it,” said Jersey’s Minister for International  Development and Chair of the JOA Commission, Deputy Carolyn Labey.

In a statement to the States on 2 nd March, Minister Labey gave more details of JOA’s first support to Ukraine.

UNHCR (£120,000)
UNHCR estimates that up to 4 million refugees may flee Ukraine. UNHCR coordinates the implementation of the inter-agency Regional Refugee Response Plan, one of the two plans launched on March 1st, to support governments in their response to a refugee influx through the provision of core relief items. These include shelter, emergency relief items, cash assistance, mental health and psychosocial support, and helping people with specific needs, such as unaccompanied children.

Red Cross (£120,000)
Both the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have launched emergency appeals for their  operations in Ukraine and neighbouring countries. ICRC’s response is targeting the support of health facilities, the provision of medical equipment and food, as well as reuniting separated families. The IFRC will focus on assisting an initial two million people in need with a special focus on vulnerable people, including unaccompanied minors, single women with children, elderly, and people with disabilities. Funds will increase the capacity of Red Cross teams in Ukraine and neighbouring countries.

OCHA (£120,000)
The Ukraine Humanitarian Fund (UHF) was established in February 2019 to help meet the most critical needs of the conflict-affected population in eastern Ukraine. This is one of the worst-affected areas in the current conflict, and has now suffered eight years of war. Like other Country Based Pooled Funds (CBPFs), the UHF allows donors to pool their contributions to enable humanitarian partners such as local relief agencies to access funds rapidly deliver timely and coordinated assistance. It will now be greatly scaled up, with others joining us to support it.

“Jersey Overseas Aid has a proud record of directing life-saving support to those afflicted by natural disasters and conflict, aided by a network of partners operating at the front line of such emergencies and a professional staff who have themselves worked in such situations. Fast-moving humanitarian emergencies are difficult to respond to. The needs of people on the ground change rapidly, and the capabilities of those able to help them also change as the humanitarian space contracts. We have been in touch with several charities and UN Agencies, and participated in yesterday’s launch of the UN Flash Appeal for Ukraine. We have even received detailed information on the Ukrainian Ministry of Health’s requirements, and are in discussions with a specialist logistics and procurement organisation with offices in Ukraine,” added Deputy Labey.

JOA expects to make additional grants as required, as well as assisting the Bailiff’s Ukraine Appeal, which was launched yesterday.

The Bailiff’s Ukraine Appeal will provide an opportunity for Islanders and Island organisations to contribute financially to support the people caught up in the conflict. JOA will ensure that the funds are directed to the agencies and locations where they will have the most impact, and also ensure the funds are properly accounted for. Meanwhile, Jersey Side By Side, the charity established following the 2004 Tsunami, is gearing up to help process donations eligible for tax relief, meaning that £1 donated by a taxpayer can be worth £1.25 to the appeal..

“Jersey may be a small country, but we will not stand by while innocent people suffer the effects of a barbaric and totally unnecessary war. We have a tradition of helping others, just as we ourselves were helped in 1945, and we will do all we can for the heroic people of  Ukraine,” concluded Deputy Labey.