From 10 February 2022 (pre-conflict period) until the present, at the national level, 3,123,996 Ukrainian citizens entered Romania, from the total of over 7.7 million Ukrainian citizens that crossed the country. The data from UNHCR indicated that over 80,000 Ukrainian citizens stay in this moment in Romania, of which approximative 67,000 with temporary protection.
The Federația Băncilor pentru Alimente din România (FBAR), together with the network of the nine Regional Food Banks from Bucharest, Roman, Cluj, Oradea, Brașov, Timișoara, Constanța, Craiova, and Galați, have helped refugees in Romania, supporting at the national level with food and non-food products the partner charities that care for refugees. Together they collected and distributed over 1,776.58 tonnes of products, through 127 partner organisations with over 19,910 refugees.
Also, since the start of the refugee crisis until the present, they made 28 humanitarian transports in Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova and 1 humanitarian convoy to Banca de Alimente Moldova. The affected population was supported with more than 655 tonnes of food and non-food products.
In Romania, FBAR has regularly supported 127 partner NGOs that offer services of different types to the refugees: accommodation, hot meals in the social canteens, material aid in food and other types of products, educational services, medical, legal services, counselling, integration on the labour work, emergency assistance, Romanian language courses and professional training, therapeutic services and recovery for children and adults with disabilities and other conditions etc.
FBAR managed this also by organizing, in the spring of 2022, national food collections for the refugees from Ukraine in 212 stores across the entire country: LIDL, Kaufland, Penny, Auchan, and Selgros. Over 44 tonnes of food products were collected through those collections.
Besides the support from FEBA and European partners, FBAR received support from the Fondation Auchan and they bought 48,16 tonnes of food products and products for personal hygiene for the refugees from Ukraine.
To face the challenges and to offer constant help to the local organisations and to those that care for refugees, FBAR continued on straightening the logistic and operational capacity of the Food Banks by buying equipment (forklifts, electric forklifts), building cold and congelation rooms in warehouses, hiring additional personnel that carry out the activity in the warehouse (warehouse operative, drivers, PC operators, administrative support personnel, etc.) and buying 5 vans and 1 truck that serve all the regional Food Banks and which were used for transporting humanitarian aid.
The community of refugees in Romania needs further support, with food products and with social, integration, educational, medical, formation services, etc. To the extent possible to identify financial and product resources, the network of Food Banks from Romania wishes to continue this intervention. Without the support from the Food Banks, the refugees and the organisations that care for them could not cover their basic needs of food.
„Against a human tragedy such as the one we encountered since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, we strongly believe that the only answer is the solidarity with the ones forced to flee from the war, leaving behind their loved ones, their home, their life until now. The experience of the network of Food Banks from Romania since the outbreak of this humanitarian crisis is reflecting actually our daily experience, to reduce food waste and to help the ones in need, taking into account only their humanity and need. We are aware that it is needed that our support and the support from our partners to continue, the refugees and the local community are still in great need of food and hope.” said Gabriel Sescu, President at Federația Băncilor pentru Alimente din România.