Community News

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Flu Pandemic has reached Critical Proportions in Ukraine

Courtesy of Ukrainian Canadian Congress

Toronto, November 8, 2009 -The Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) and the Canada Ukraine Foundation (CUF) are appealing to the Prime Minister of Canada to direct Canadian foreign aid funding immediately toward humanitarian aid to help the Government of Ukraine to fight the increasing global H1N1 flu pandemic.

"I have requested that the Prime Minister of Canada designate a portion of foreign assistance funding toward immediate humanitarian medical aid to help Ukraine fight the H1N1 flu pandemic", stated Ukrainian Canadian Congress President, Paul Grod. "As the pandemic spreads across Ukraine, pushing into the European Union, I urge the Prime Minister, on behalf of all Canadians, to generously donate funds and medical supplies to combat this deadly virus. What impacts Ukraine, and Europe, affects Canada."

The World Health Organization reports the pandemic now covers 14 Oblasts (Provinces), including Kyiv, Donetsk, Zhytomyr, and Kirovograd, all of whom now exceed World Health Organization (WHO) standards for epidemic status. In the last 48 hours, the number of persons sick with serious respiratory illnesses has exploded from 250,000 to almost 900,000, and 37,031 children under 18 years old have been reported ill, with nearly 40,000 people hospitalized.

First respondents to the Ukrainian Canadian appeal include Air Canada, the Cole Group, Purolator, Jim Temerty and Health Partners International (HPI), who answered the call for crucial medical supplies, funds and logistics support.

"These companies and individuals have been incredible. Not only are we grateful for their quick response and overwhelming generosity, these companies understand that, as nations, we are inextricably linked between Europe and North America" stated Bob Onyschuk Q.C. Chairman of the Canada Ukraine Foundation. "Donate, because it can save the lives of children in need," stated Onyschuk.

"Canada has always been a strong humanitarian and economic partner with Ukraine", stated Ambassador Ihor Ostash, Ukraine's Ambassador to Ukraine. "We are prepared to work side by side with Canadians to defeat this pandemic and we are grateful for their support."

Valued at $200,000, the first shipment is scheduled to depart Toronto, Canada on November 9 via Air Canada for Kyiv, the nation's capital. The Government of Ukraine, through the Embassy of Ukraine in Canada, has guaranteed rapid distribution of the supplies upon arrival at Borispol airport.

Donations of supplies, vitamins and antibiotics valued at over $160,000 and donations of over $60,000 in cash for medical supplies have been received by the Canada Ukraine Foundation. These funds will be used to purchase additional medical supplies and their distribution to the areas in Ukraine ravaged by the pandemic.


Contact:, or by mailing donations to
CUF, 203-952 Main Street, Winnipeg, MB Canada R2W 3P4.

For more information, contact: Details on what is needed and how you can donate or help are available at or or you may contact Lesia Demkowicz at or tel: (204) 942-4627.

CUF Media Contact:
Canada Ukraine Foundation
Bob Onyschuk, Q.C.
Tel. (416) 369-4574

UCC Media Contact:
Darla Penner
Telephone: 204-942-4627

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