MOSCOW, July 3 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian Red Cross (RRC) has approved a long-term assistance program for refugees from Ukraine, Raisa Lukutsova, the RRC head and member of the Presidential Human Rights Council said Thursday.
“Within the framework of this program we will use both funds that we have already raised and those that are still being collected. It is a special purpose program, which is aimed at rendering assistance solely to refugees,” Lukutsova said.
Lukutsova added that as of June 25, the RRC central office had raised 1.9 million rubles (over $55,000) to lend humanitarian aid to Ukrainian refugees.
The RRC head elaborated that many regional departments are collecting funds, for example the Rostov regional Red Cross department has raised 47 million rubles (about $137,000) to date.
Late June, the RRC board held a session, during which it discussed assistance to Ukrainian refugees staying in Russia, among other topics.
“Following the results of the session [the board] made the decision to approve a long-term charitable program on assistance to Ukrainian citizens forced to leave Ukraine and currently staying in Russia,” the statement published on the council’s website reads.
According to recent estimates by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) about 110,000 people have fled Ukraine to Russia since the beginning of the crisis.
Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed the government to take urgent measures to support the regions sheltering Ukrainian refugees.
A special task force has been set up to make temporary social arrangements for the refugees. Earlier this week, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev finalized the list of members for the task force.