ACI Europe and disaster logistics non-profit Airlink are to raise money to help fund the movement of humanitarian aid to Ukrainian refugees.

Airport trade association ACI Europe has launched a fundraising campaign amongst its 500+ members and their business partners and staff in aid of the relief efforts triggered by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and subsequent humanitarian crisis.

The Ukraine Crisis Airport Response is a joint initiative between ACI Europe and Airlink, the not-for-profit humanitarian logistics organisation, and is the first time that the two have partnered on this type of disaster response fundraising exercise.

Airlink provides free and heavily subsidised airlifts for a partnership of over 120 NGOs, ensuring that the costs of air travel are not a bar to organisations responding to disasters. Last year, the organisation moved more than 1,000 responders, shipped 10 million items of PPE and delivered humanitarian aid that directly helped more than 7.8 million people.

Olivier Jankovec, Director General of ACI Europe, said: “The scale of humanitarian need we are seeing unfolding in the region is unimaginable. We are shocked, saddened and appalled to see the distress and suffering not only in Ukraine but rippling through Europe as the diaspora of refugees seek safety, aid and shelter.

“We all want to do what we can – and our partnership with Airlink will enable airports and their wider business communities to channel transport resources and support where they are most needed. I am grateful for the amazing work Airlink is doing and for the opportunity to partner with them and engage our airport community in their actions.”

Since the start of the invasion of Ukraine by Russian armed forces almost three weeks ago, Airlink has delivered over 108,000lbs of humanitarian aid, including medical supplies, blankets, tarps and solar generators. It has also delivered 87 responders on behalf of 16 different NGOs. These early teams included medical personnel as well as assessment and scouting teams that enable NGOs to set up warehousing and distribution networks. 

“We are delighted to have the support of ACI Europe and its membership. We are very proud to be a part of the aviation family which again has shown how willing it is to support vulnerable communities in crisis”, said Steve Smith, Airlink President and CEO. “The funds that ACI Europe and its members raise will make a material difference to the lives of thousands of Ukrainian refugees.

Airlink anticipates that the needs of Ukrainian refugees will exist longer after hostilities abate, and that this will require a sustained response from NGOs for a number of years.

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