ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – As the war rages on in Ukraine, millions of Ukrainians have been displaced so far. As fighting continues, numerous efforts both locally and abroad are doing what they can to assist those in need.
The United Nations estimates more than 3.7 million Ukrainians have fled their country since Russia’s invasion began last month. Many have fled to neighboring Poland and Romania, but some could soon be on the way to the United States.
During his ongoing visit to Europe, President Biden yesterday announced that the US would welcome up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees, with some local families already ready to help out.
“Hopefully we’ll see some of the people here. There’s families who have volunteered to me already that they’re interested in taking in some refugees. Hopefully it happens soon,” said Andrij Baran, the president of the local chapter of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America.
Baran says local efforts to assist refugees and those still in Ukraine have been tremendous, “We’ve sent off three trucks already to Newark Airport. I think the fundraising has been very good, so we were able to send over humanitarian supplies, tunicates, things like that.”
Having a friend in the Ukrainian military currently stationed in Kyiv, he says the biggest need for those still in the country are medical supplies.
“He said that that’s what they desperately need. They’re actually hoping to get body armor available, we’re waiting to get licensed to do that. But he said right now, shift the money to tunicates, first aid kits.”
That’s an effort the Albany County Legislature is hoping to assist with.
From now through March 31st, donations can be made at the Albany County Office Building, Albany County Courthouse and MVP Arena. Those looking to help out can bring bandages, gauze, first aid kits, pain relievers and several other medical supplies to assist those in need.
The county has partnered with St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church in Watervliet, who will be sending these medical supplies overseas once the drive is complete.