As the military invasion of Ukraine has reached its 46th day, the Pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) has begun the second phase of its emergency aid package to the country. Immediately after the start of the war, ACN announced a first package of 1.3 million euros for the dioceses, eparchies and exarchates both in the West and in the East of Ukraine. These funds have already been distributed to their beneficiaries.
In this second phase significant financial assistance will go directly to the religious, priests and seminarians who have been hosting and caring for the millions of displaced Ukrainians who are in need of refuge and both physical and spiritual sustenance, as they try to make their way to the borders. A total of 687,180 euros has already been approved for this new aid package, with close to 202,500 euros to be added later (currently pending approval). In addition to this sum, ACN has approved 27 projects totalling 579,491 euros in Mass stipends for Ukrainian priests.
According to Magda Kaczmarek, project manager of ACN for Ukraine, the funds earmarked for this second phase of support for the Ukrainian Church will reinforce the emergency aid for monasteries and parishes sheltering refugees but also go to purchasing generators to supply energy and vehicles. “The world has responded with generosity to the plight of the Ukrainian people. Many donations are reaching the bordering countries, but there is now a need for vehicles to transport the goods to those who need them in the country, often in locations that have been heavily damaged, or are still under threat”, she explains. “ACN was one of the first organisations to pledge emergency support for Ukraine, a country where we have been funding projects for decades. It is important that the Ukrainians realise that even as this war drags on, with no end in sight, their fellow believers around the world will not forget them, and ACN will continue to look for ways to help effectively, on the ground, through the local Church”.
In addition to this financial aid, ACN looked for an opportunity to travel to the country to express solidarity with the local Christian community, as well as to see and understand the needs on the ground. Since last Friday, Magda Kaczmarek, project manager of ACN for Ukraine has been in the country.