By Andrey Sidorin, IFRC

Russian Red Cross has stepped up its support to people who have fled the conflict in Ukraine by providing health care to those most vulnerable.

“People fleeing from Ukraine don’t know how long they will have to stay in Russia,” said Davron Mukhamadiev, Head of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies representation in Russia, Belarus and Moldova.

“Due to their uncertain legal and social status, many of them did not have access to proper medical care until now. The project will also cover the most vulnerable groups of Ukraininan citizens staying in neighbouring Belarus” – he added.

Health care will be provided to the most vulnerable groups, including people with chronic diseases, HIV or tuberculosis, the elderly, disabled people, large families and single parents. With the support of the Russian Red Cross they will receive medical insurance cards and necessary health care products. They will also have access to free counselling on legal, medical and social issues.

The health care programme is implemented in four regions with the largest number of Ukrainian residents – Belgorod, Voronezh, Volgograd and Lipetsk – in close cooperation with local health and social protection services.

Since the beginning of the humanitarian crisis in 2014, the Russian Red Cross has assisted over 260,000 Ukrainian citizens with food, personal hygiene items, first aid and psychosocial support. The new health care initiative is funded by EU’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) and the Italian Red Cross.