Rotary Foundation approves targeted funds for Pakistan and Ukraine
In response to the worsening humanitarian crises in Ukraine and Pakistan, the trustees of The Rotary Foundation voted in January to create two new, targeted funds that will continue offering lifesaving aid to those affected.
The Ukraine Response Fund and the 2022 Pakistan Flood Response Fund will be separate from the general Disaster Response Fund, which had previously been supporting relief efforts for both crises.
"Since Russia invaded Ukraine last February, Rotarians have already shown amazingly generous support to the people of Ukraine. This new temporary fund is prompted by the ongoing, urgent need and the wish of Rotarians to keep making a difference for the people there," says Trustee Chair Ian Riseley. "At the same time, the dreadful floods in Pakistan have caused extreme hardships for people there, and the 2022 Pakistan Flood Response Fund will help with the recovery."
According to the United Nations, around 18 million Ukrainians, or 40 percent of the country's population, required humanitarian assistance by the end of 2022. Russia's escalating attacks on Ukraine's critical infrastructure and civilian targets have caused massive destruction and death, leaving millions of people without reliable access to electricity, heating, and water. As of mid-January, nearly 8 million refugees from Ukraine were recorded across Europe, and they are in dire need of help.
In Pakistan, devastating flash floods during the 2022 monsoon season affected a total of more than 33 million people, washing away 2 million homes and displacing 8 million residents. About one third of the country was submerged. By early January, UNICEF said as many as 4 million children were still living near contaminated flood waters, putting their health at risk.
To alleviate that suffering, Riseley calls on Rotary members to contribute to the 2022 Pakistan Flood Response Fund and the Ukraine Response Fund, both of which will support aid projects for those affected. Contributions to both funds will be accepted through 31 December 2023 and will be spent by 30 June 2024.
The trustees specify that donations to both funds may include District Designated Funds. Unused assets will be transferred to the general Disaster Response Fund on 30 June 2024.
District 2232 (Belarus and Ukraine) can simultaneously apply for three Ukraine Response Grants of up to $100,000 each, while those bordering Ukraine can apply for grants of up to $100,000 at any one time. Other districts are eligible for single grants of up to $25,000 at any one time.
As for the 2022 Pakistan Flood Response Fund, Districts 3271 and 3272 (Pakistan) can apply for two grants simultaneously of up to $50,000 each.
"Having seen how generously Rotary members donated to both causes in 2022 through the Disaster Response Fund, the Trustees knew this opportunity for continuing support would be met with enthusiasm," Riseley said.
For more information and to contribute, visit my.rotary.org/donate.