Church of Ireland Bishops’ Appeal Responds to Ukraine Crisis

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Support for refugees channelled through Habitat for Humanity & Christian Aid

The Church of Ireland Bishops’ Appeal for World Aid and Development has committed €10,000 (£8,300) from its emergency funds to assist with the humanitarian response to the current crisis in Ukraine.  Bishops’ Appeal is partnering with Habitat for Humanity Ireland and Christian Aid, and encouraging parishes across the island to contribute to our response to help people seeking refuge.

Jenny Williams, Chief Executive of Habitat for Humanity Ireland, remarked: “UNHCR reports that over 500,000 people fled Ukraine into neighbouring and nearby countries from 24th February to 1st March.  We have strong programmes in Poland, Hungary and Romania and our European office is in Slovakia so we are on the ground responding.

“Habitat is meeting UNHCR daily and co-ordinates with governments to add value and ensure there isn’t duplication of effort.  Colleagues from Hungary and Romania spent the weekend at their borders. In Romania, the need was to provide additional heat for a camp – even more important given that there was more snow at the weekend and people were cold.  More broadly our focus is on supporting the shelter needs of refugees, ensuring that more people can feel safe.  We will support them for the long term.”

Christian Aid’s funds will go to sister agencies in the ACT Alliance.  This network of Christian aid and development agencies includes the Lutheran World Federation and Hungarian Church Aid which are both working in neighbouring countries. As the situation within Ukraine is changing by the day and there is a high level of violence within the country, Bishops’ Appeal will not be funding work within Ukraine at this stage although this will be kept under consideration.

The Most Revd John McDowell, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, said: “The tragic and wholly avoidable destruction which we are witnessing in Ukraine leaves many of us in the West lost for words and at a loss to know how best to respond to alleviate suffering. However, wars always create refugees and I am grateful that Bishops’ Appeal is targeting its immediate aid efforts to assist trusted agencies working in neighbouring countries to help those who have been displaced by this invasion.  I would urge all parishes to consider helping Bishops’ Appeal to increase the aid which it can provide by contributing generously in one of the ways outlined below.”

The Most Revd Dr Michael Jackson, Archbishop of Dublin and Primate of Ireland, said: “The developing and declining situation in Ukraine has already had devastating consequences for hundreds of thousands of people. Prayerful assistance and practical assistance are both important components of our response. I commend the current initiative by Bishops’ Appeal.”

Lydia Monds, Bishops’ Appeal’s Education Advisor, added: “Bishops’ Appeal will continue to monitor access to refugees so that we as a Church can stand in solidarity with them and support them in the most effective ways possible.  We will only release funding through channels that enable vital aid to reach those who need it most.  We will continue to liaise with partner agencies working on the ground to provide relief.  Our emergency funds will be released immediately and we invite parishes to continue to give to the Appeal so that we can continue to support efforts in a constantly evolving crisis.”

How you can help

Parishes are encouraged to contribute to the response and donations can be made, by euro or sterling, in the following ways:

  • An online donation at www.bishopsappeal.ireland.anglican.org/give
  • A direct lodgement into the Bishops’ Appeal bank account (details of which are provided on the Bishops’ Appeal website at the link provided above);
  • Sending a cheque, payable to Church of Ireland Bishops’ Appeal, to: Church of Ireland Bishops’ Appeal, Church of Ireland House, Church Avenue, Rathmines, Dublin 6, D06 CF67;
  • Making a donation through a Church of Ireland parish or diocesan office.

Taxpayers can give more help by gift aiding donations (if resident in the UK) or tax relief on donations (in the Republic of Ireland).  The appropriate forms and further details on how to give are also available atwww.bishopsappeal.ireland.anglican.org/give