red cross

The sum raised by CERN personnel, the Staff Association and the Organization’s Directorate  contributed to the Swiss Red Cross’s life-saving humanitarian response to the war in Ukraine 

More than eight months after its start, a war of aggression continues to sow destruction in Ukraine, a CERN Associate Member State, making humanitarian support to the country ever more vital. The military invasion was condemned in the strongest term by CERN, whose Council, in response, implemented measures concerning the involvement of Russia and Belarus in the Organization’s programme. 

In parallel, the CERN community demonstrated its solidarity and generosity by raising funds through a campaign organised by the Staff Association, which also contributed financially to the campaign. The CERN Directorate matched, from the CERN budget, donations made by the personnel. As a result, CERN was able to provide 820 000 CHF to the Swiss Red Cross (SRC). This sum fed into the 42 million francs of total donations made to the SRC for its humanitarian response to the war in Ukraine. Around half of these funds have so-far been spent on life-saving actions, and a new report released by the SRC details how they have been used to alleviate the suffering of people of Ukraine.

Aiding the 7.4 million refugees abroad and the 7 million internally displaced Ukrainians has been a priority for both the SRC and the International Federation of the Red Cross, its parent Organization. The SRC, with the funds made available by donors like CERN, has contributed to the international effort to support refugees by providing emergency relief – including cash assistance, medical supplies and household appliances – and expanding capacities in the western provinces of Ternopil and Ivano-Frankivsk alongside the Ukrainian Red Cross. In parallel, 27 SRC emergency relief specialists have been deployed to the region to improve the logistics and the coordination of the humanitarian effort between the many humanitarian organizations involved in the international response. 
In addition, the SRC has been active in two neighbouring countries that have welcomed sizeable refugee populations, namely Moldova and Poland. In Moldova, the SRC has helped complement the limited capacities of local authorities and charities by deploying an emergency specialist and building a stockpile of equipment to facilitate blood transfers to the refugee population.

In Poland, the SRC supported the humanitarian efforts of the local branch of the Red Cross, which has distributed almost 7000 tonnes of relief supplies, through a direct financial contribution. The society has also made direct financial contributions to the International Federation, in support of a multilateral response to the humanitarian crisis. 
Finally, some of the funds made available to the SRC have been used to support the Swiss authorities and population as they welcomed thousands of Ukrainian refugees in their country. The SRC activities on Swiss territory have so far consisted of providing psychological support through collaboration with therapists, teachers and people supporting refugees, as well as the publication of reliable information through various platforms to foster social integration. Financial support has also been granted by the SRC to those refugees that struggle with high food and electricity prices. 

Although identifying the specific actions into which CERN donations have been channeled is impossible, these funds have undoubtedly contributed to the timely and effective delivery of the relief effort described above. And as the war shows no sign of abating, the SRC stresses that additional actions will be undertaken in the coming months to bring much-needed relief to the Ukrainian people, drawing on the remaining 19.6 million francs made available by donors like the CERN community, and on any future donations made to the charity.  

Find out more about the SRC’s humanitarian response in the full SRC report.