Chef Andres urges unity in Ukrainian food aid ahead of harsh winter

Volunteers distribute food to local residents during the Ukrainian-Russian conflict on June 30, 2022 in Sieviero Donetsk city, Luhansk region, Ukraine. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko

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  • The group has over 7,000 food distribution sites in Ukraine.
  • Winter is coming, we’re seeing relocations, food demand is rising again
  • Zelensky praised the group’s work in a televised speech

KIEV (Reuters) – World Central Kitchen Group’s Jose Andrés has served more than 130 million meals in Ukraine since Russia invaded in February. winter.

As the war drags on, he warned, donations are dwindling. This means the WCK, which provides short-term emergency aid, will have to start scaling back just as the cold weather could exacerbate the problems facing millions of Ukrainians. warned that it means

Praised by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday in a televised address usually focused on the battlefield and diplomacy, Andres visited several of the WCK’s 7,500 distribution sites in Ukraine this month, We are calling for your support for the continued food assistance of

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“Cash will start to run out sooner or later. That’s why I’m calling … to all countries who want to help Ukraine … we need to come together,” Irpin, a city near Kyiv.

Irpin was recaptured by Ukrainian forces after a Russian attack in early March that killed nearly 300 people.

The Michelin-starred Spanish chef said, “If everyone is doing their own thing, especially with winter coming, they may be doubling down on their efforts, wasting money and not helping Ukraine. Hmm.

The United Nations estimates that at least 12 million people have fled their homes in Ukraine since the invasion, more than 5 million have fled to neighboring countries, and 7 million are believed to be internally displaced.

wider range

The WCK began feeding people on the Polish-Ukrainian border the day after what Russia called a “special military operation” and immediately began operations in Ukraine while people often waited days for them to flee the bombed areas. was expanded.

Andres, who met Zelensky in Kyiv on Thursday, said 5,000 volunteers have prepared and served millions of meals in Ukraine since then.

Ukrainian authorities are seeking to relocate up to 350,000 people to the country’s fighting-hit eastern Donbass region, which could lead to a renewed surge in food demand.

Zelensky said he and his government agreed with Andrés to “expand the scope of the WCK’s humanitarian mission, especially in areas that are being phased out of Russian occupation”. I didn’t understand.

Andrés said his group is quicker and more agile in responding to disasters than larger agencies like the United Nations World Food Programme, but that such agencies are required to continue strong food deliveries in Ukraine. He said he was looking to partner with

The chef, who helped popularize Spanish tapas in the United States and founded WCK after the 2010 earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people in Haiti, said that Ukraine’s problems have made it one of the world’s leading grain exporters. Given the role, said it was a global concern.

He may have withheld some of the $250 million WCK spent preparing meals there had he known the service would have required longer, but all the meals he served I needed it at the time.

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Reporting by Andrea Charal, additional reporting by Felix Hosquet. Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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