The Order of Malta has launched a programme for the distribution of food and basic necessities to migrants currently stranded on the border between Poland and Belarus. “Over 1,000 bags containing food, baby food and milk have been distributed, and another 2,000 will be arriving in the next few days,” explains Douglas Saurma, member of Malteser Hilfsdienst’s executive board and president of Malteser International Europe – respectively the Order of Malta’s German and International Relief Agencies – which are sending aid to the border area between the two countries.
“Caritas, our long-standing partner, has several volunteers and employees in the diocese of Grodno in Belarus helping to organize and distribute aid. The migrants’ situation is dramatic; they have been living in the open, in freezing weather, for days. It goes without saying that these people need help, and need it now,” Saurma says.
At the same time, Malteser Hilfsdienst and Caritas Belarus continue to support the disadvantaged population living in the border area. “The elderly and the homeless have always been dependent on social assistance and we will not forget them now. The ongoing migration crisis and the rising price of basic goods also raises many concerns for their condition,” Saurma explains.
Malteser International also has a long partnership with Caritas Belarus to help the poor and the disabled. This has enabled the Order of Malta to respond promptly to the current crisis by accelerating its aid operations.