The Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations (AFUO) warmly welcomes the first visit of an Australian Prime Minister to Ukraine and the additional $100 million in aid promised to help Ukraine defend itself against Russia’s illegal, unwarranted and criminal invasion.
“Australia has now provided $388 million in military aid to Ukraine, and $65 million in humanitarian assistance. In Ukraine, people know what a “Bushmaster” is – a gift from Australia which saves lives,” said Mr Stefan Romaniw, AFUO Co-Chair, who is also currently in Kyiv and spent time with the PM during his visit to Ukraine.
Mr Romaniw is in Irpin to open temporary accommodation for displaced Ukrainian people, built with funds raised by the Australian Ukraine Crisis Appeal, a collaboration between the AFUO, Rotary Australia Community World Service and Caritas Ukraine.
The Ukraine Crisis Appeal has been working with Rotary Kyiv to repurpose schools, kindergartens, sanatoriums and halls into accommodation for 200-500 people, at a cost of approximately $700,000.
“Generous donations from ordinary Australians, corporate Australia and the Queensland, Western Australia and South Australian state governments to the Ukraine Crisis Appeal have raised over $6.4 million,” said Mr Romaniw.
“But we can’t sink into ‘Ukraine fatigue’ and think there’s nothing more we can do. Almost 12 million Ukrainians are internally displaced. The need for essential supplies and shelter, like this shelter in Irpin, is urgent and ongoing,” he added.
On Sunday 3 July, PM Anthony Albanese paid a visit to Kyiv. His trip included the war-torn towns of Bucha and Borodyanka, ravaged by Russian forces before they were liberated in April 2022.
“[It was] an honour to be with the Prime Minister of Australia Anthony Albanese on his visit to Kyiv Ukraine. A strong show of support. Together with Ambassador Myroshnychenko we discussed a range of issues with PM, and warmly welcome the announcements he made while he was in Ukraine” said Mr Romaniw.
Stefan Romaniw, Co Chair AFUO: 0419 531 255
Julian Knysh, Aust-Ukrainian film maker/journalist living in Kyiv, part of media contingent which visited Bucha/Borodyanka with the PM: 0404 023 460 (via WhatsApp)
Darka Senko, AFUO Director of Humanitarian Aid Initiatives: 0417 237 938