ADRA delivers relief materials in flooded Ukraine, Hungary

News and Press Release
Originally published
Contact: Beth Schaefer, News & Information Officer
Phone: (301) 680-6355 Fax: (301) 680-6370
KIEV, UKRAINE - The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is providing relief materials for thousands of the most affected families in Mukachevo and Beregovo Districts and other areas located in the Trans-Carpathian region of Ukraine and northeastern Hungary where heavy rains on November 3 and 4 caused severe flooding.

With one-third of the population of the Trans-Carpathian region affected, ADRA Ukraine is delivering 55-pound (25-kilogram) parcels consisting mainly of flour, rice, vegetable oil, sugar, canned food, hygienic supplies, vitamins and basic medicine such as antibiotics to 5,000 of the most affected families. ADRA is providing the same families with 14 tons (12.6 metric tons) of clothing and 300 homes with electric heaters.

ADRA Ukraine signed a working agreement with the Ukraine Ministry of Emergency Situations (UMES) to assist in the selection of beneficiaries and for coordinating the transportation of relief supplies. The beneficiaries will be selected on a needs basis with the cooperation of local authorities. The Hungarian Government has granted more than US$250,000 for relief efforts.

"The flood destroyed part of a railroad in Mukachevo, temporarily halting the movement of trains and vehicles," reports Sergey Taranyuk, ADRA Ukraine projects coordinator. "The water level in some places has surpassed 23 feet (seven meters). Some people are on their roofs waiting to be rescued but there are few boats around."

"The situation is very complicated as winter is approaching and people have lost all the food they stocked up for the winter," says Gregory Galan, ADRA Ukraine director.

According to Taranyuk, a partial evacuation of people is taking place in Trans-Carpathia. Reports in Ukraine indicate that 14 people were killed; 24,340 people are temporarily evacuated; 2,300 inhabited buildings are destroyed; and 102 settlements are without electricity. Twenty bridges and nearly 108 miles (175 kilometers) of dams are destroyed, and more than 210 miles (nearly 340 kilometers) of highway are flooded. Mukachevo itself is suffering from 80 percent flooding, destroying approximately 60 homes, and damaging 600 others. All figures are taken from Monday, November 16, report from the Minister of Emergency Situations.

Northeastern Hungary is also seriously flooded. ADRA Hungary began relief efforts on Friday, November 6, by collecting blankets, mattresses, detergents and disinfectants for distribution. ADRA Hungary volunteers completed the distribution of six tons (5.4 metric tons) of these relief supplies and are beginning the distribution of six more tons.

"Detergents and disinfectants are very important because carcasses are now infecting the water," explains Tom Lestar, ADRA Hungary international coordinator.

Today, ADRA Hungary is sending out two more busloads of blankets, clothes and food donated by Hungarian citizens into the Ukraine to assist with relief efforts there. ADRA sent several busloads and a large truck packed with relief material into the Ukraine earlier in the month. The ADRA truck is also being made available as a shelter for some people whose homes were destroyed. "These ADRA relief efforts are receiving media attention through hourly radio reports," Lestar says.

ADRA has been working in the Ukraine since 1993, operating emergency food and clothing distribution projects and soup kitchens. ADRA Ukraine has gained experience in five disaster relief programs in Ukraine and other areas abroad, financed by donors such as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

In the territory of the former Soviet Union, ADRA's activities span more than nine years. During this time, ADRA implemented more than 20 disaster relief projects in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia/Abkhazia, Moldova, Tajikistan, Ukraine and Russia. The relief projects include the earthquake of Armenia in 1988, when ADRA established a children's rehabilitation center and eight satellite clinics. In 1995, ADRA assisted the victims of the earthquake in Neftegorsk, Sakhalin Island, a US$25,000 project, and implemented the Chechnya Food and Clothing Emergency Distribution Program valued at US$150,000. ADRA made emergency food and clothing distribution possible to approximately 5,000 victims of the ongoing civil wars in Abkhazia, Georgia, and Tajikistan from 1992-1997.


ADRA Central Office
12501 Old Columbia Pike
Silver Spring, MD 20904
Ph: 800-424-ADRA (1-800-424-2372); Fax: 301-680-6370
E-mail: Beth Schaefer, News & Information Officer