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The people of Ukraine are grateful for our support

It’s been over 2 years since Russian troops invaded Ukraine. Since then, we’ve seen tens of thousands of people injured and killed, immeasurable suffering and destruction on both sides.

Georg Jachan from the Austrian aid organisation Association for Worldwide Emergency Aid in a donation warehouse

Georg Jachan from the Austrian aid organisation Association for Worldwide Emergency Aid has been delivering supplies to Ukraine since the beginning of the war. We met up with him again for an interview.

Thanks to his long-standing contacts with organisations and networks, Georg was able to make his way to Ukraine and deliver relief supplies only days after the war broke out. Over the past 2 years, Georg and his team have also arranged for several supply deliveries on behalf of our Unite for Ukraine campaign with the help of our Austrian suppliers. They kindly contributed by donating items or giving us discounts on urgent supplies such as work clothes, head lamps, power banks and batteries.

Georg, how are the people of Ukraine doing after 2 years of war?

The situation on the front lines is similar to the trench warfare that was happening in World War I. We’re still supplying 15 villages in Donezk, only a few kilometres from the front lines. The people there are persevering in hopes that the war will be over soon. The constant fear of being bombed is something that Ukraine’s population, particularly in large cities, must live with every day. What they’re going through is unimaginable. It’s hard to believe that there are people who stay on the front lines with all the shooting happening around them.

You’ve been supporting the people on site for 2 years. What is it that drives you?

Compassion. Looking into the face of misery makes me want to continue to help. The work we’re doing has turned into something none of us could’ve imagined. Since the onset of the war, we’ve transported 26 40-tonne lorries filled with humanitarian aid to the war zone. We bought 125 minibuses’ worth of food and medical supplies in nearby countries like Romania and delivered them to the front lines in Ukraine where they were needed the most. And we don’t just drop them off at the border, we take them as far as we can. 

What challenges do you struggle with the most?

Every trip is a logistical challenge with new regulations and dangers. People even shoot at transport vehicles, which we’ve experienced first-hand! As we were handing out food and clothes to people in shelters, shots were being fired above us. Assessing these types of dangers is the biggest challenge of all. So, we stick to the military’s instructions. None of us want to die on the front lines. And then there’s also the logistics on the Ukrainian side: all relief supplies have to be registered online in advance. They need to know exactly what’s coming into the country to keep out unwanted deliveries.

How can people support your organisation?

We continue to speak with the people on site. Their demands change depending on their circumstances. We only deliver supplies we know they need. Food and medical items are a priority right now. We need more and more financial support because of how expensive our journeys have become. Organising transport with a 40-tonne lorry costs about 4,000 euros. At the onset of the war, we had many people supporting us and submitting donations. But there’s been a massive decline since then.

And it doesn’t look like the war will be ending any time soon.

No one can say when the war might end, it’s all just speculation. Personally, I think that at some point, negotiations need to happen. But until then, we’ll carry on doing what we’re doing. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Unite for our cooperation. Especially the people in Donbas have asked me to say that they’re very grateful for all the support. And not only for the tangible support, but also for setting an example and saying: “We stand by you; we are Europe”.

Three people are forming a heart with their hands

Thank you, Georg Jachan

We would like to thank Georg Jachan and his team for all their incredible work in Ukraine. We’re honoured to work together and do our part in helping the people in Ukraine in any way we can. If you too would like to support Georg Jachan’s organisation with financial or in-kind donations, you can find out more here.

A map of Europe showing the distance between Germany and Ukraine

Unite for Ukraine: cooperation with suppliers

With Unite for Ukraine, we’ve created a platform on our website where people can find out more about what the aid organisation Association for Worldwide Emergency Aid does and how to get involved. At Unite, we’re grateful for any and all support. We also invite our suppliers to get in touch and continue to support this cause.