Need help staying warm this winter

Martin Banks
KYIV, UKRAINE - Mar. 29, 2022: War in Ukraine. Shopping center that was damaged by shelling on 21 March by a Russian attack in Kyiv, where according to emergency service, at least six people died

Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) Animals and people in Ukraine are in desperate need of help to stay warm amid frequent shelling and cuts in power and water networks. 

As temperatures are dropping below zero and snow has already fallen in Ukraine, the International Fund for  Animal Welfare, or IFAW is expanding its efforts to ensure pets can stay warm and fed during winter. 

Céline Sissler-Bienvenu – IFAW Program Director, Disaster Response in Europe.

“The people and animals of Ukraine are now facing below-freezing temperatures and a lack of basic needs. We continue to be there for them – working together with local groups to provide critically, but lifesaving support,” says Céline Sissler-Bienvenu – IFAW Program Director, Disaster Response in Europe. 

Together with Mykolaiv Red Cross IFAW provides food, beds, mattresses, and blankets to animals of families in need. Free home visits by veterinary specialists will also be organized, which will include consultation, examination, and basic treatment for pets. 

“We are excited to partner with IFAW to be able to provide for the basic needs of pets during active armed hostilities in the Mykolaiv region,” says Andriy Skorokhod, Head of Mykolaiv Red Cross.  

A refugee and her pet are suffering from the cold and rain in March 2022, when it was winter and the war in Ukraine had just started. Photo: Michael Zomer / © IFAW

“We see this as an integral part of the psychosocial and health support that the Red Cross offers to people in Ukraine.” 

To ensure animals across Ukraine continue to receive emergency relief, IFAW has also partnered with NOVA Ukraine a charity that operates all over the country to support animals in shelters and those with war-related injuries.  

“With IFAW’s support we are able to provide urgent veterinary care for more animals that have suffered injuries from the war,” says Alena Rurik, Head of Animal Welfare at NOVA Ukraine.  

“We will also distribute food and supply appropriate sheltering, such as thermal kennels and insulated dog and cat houses, and construct a basement to install kennels which will house and protect animals from the cold and the ongoing war.” 

Nine months into the war in Ukraine, IFAW has directly helped 102,440 companion and wild animals by supporting over 80 grantees and partners to purchase and distribute food and pet supplies, provide veterinary care, and rescue and evacuate captive wildlife from zoos and sanctuaries.  

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Brussels Morning is a daily online newspaper based in Belgium. BM publishes unique and independent coverage on international and European affairs. With a Europe-wide perspective, BM covers policies and politics of the EU, significant Member State developments, and looks at the international agenda with a European perspective.
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Martin Banks is an experienced British-born journalist who has been covering the EU beat (and much else besides) in Brussels since 2001. Previously, he had worked for many years in regional journalism in the UK and freelanced for national titles. He has a keen interest in foreign affairs and has closely followed the workings of the European Parliament and MEPs in particular for some years.