MNA Board of Directors Statement of Support for the People and Caregivers of Ukraine
The Massachusetts Nurses Association is proud to stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, the Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine, and with the thousands of nurses, physicians, and other caregivers of that embattled nation in calling for an immediate ceasefire and withdrawal of Russian troops to allow for a diplomatic solution to this international crisis.
We condemn Russia’s unprovoked and unconscionable act of aggression against this sovereign nation, and we stand with all peace-loving nations who are involved in a worldwide effort to bring whatever humanitarian aid is needed to support the Ukrainian people and the refugee crisis this war has caused.
We were appalled to see the deliberate shelling of hospitals throughout Ukraine, the targeting of entire cities and defenseless civilians, and we are in awe of the heroic efforts by all the health care workers who are risking their lives every day to continue providing medical and nursing care. Russia has launched more than 30 attacks against healthcare facilities and ambulances, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
These acts of aggression have violated international law and contributed to a humanitarian crisis harming millions of people. WHO reports that more than 4,300 births have occurred in Ukraine since the start of war and 80,000 Ukrainian women are expected to give birth in the next three months. Oxygen and medical supplies are running low and overall access to healthcare services is being restricted by indiscriminate violence. We fear the long-term health consequences. Crowded, unsanitary conditions, widespread refugee migration and the impacts of trauma will undoubtedly wreak havoc on the populace for years to come.
These caregivers and this nation, who have already struggled to endure and survive the COVID-19 pandemic, now must face the scourge of this senseless war. We also stand with the people of Russia, who in the face of imprisonment and retaliation, are taking to the streets and in other ways voicing their resistance to this unjust war.
The continuation of this war poses serious consequences for all of Europe, if not the entire world. Ukraine is one of the continent’s largest providers of grain and other essential agricultural foodstuffs and has been called the breadbasket of Europe. A number of organizations have warned of serious food shortages impacting the health and safety of millions should this crisis continue. Further, the prospect of escalation to other NATO nations poses a threat to the entire world, as we for the first time in decades face the specter of the fallout from a nuclear exchange.
Now, particularly as the people of the world look with some optimism that the pandemic may be concluding, we must unite and resolve to oppose this and all forms of aggression, in whatever region of the world, to ensure not only the survival of Ukraine, but the restoration of the rule of international law for the good of all people on our planet.
Links to Organizations for MNA Members Who Want to Support the People of Ukraine
Médecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders
Ukraine | How to Help & FAQs | Doctors Without Borders
MSF runs a range of activities in Ukraine working with local volunteers, organizations, health care professionals and authorities to help people travel to health care facilities and access prescribed medications.
International Committee of the Red Cross
This Switzerland-based organization is aiming to help people affected by the conflict and support the work of the Ukrainian Red Cross.
UNICEF supports health, nutrition, HIV prevention, education, safe drinking water, sanitation and protection for children and families caught in the conflict in Ukraine.
UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR)
Aid to Refugees & Displaced People Worldwide | USA for UNHCR (unrefugees.org)
The international organization aims to provide emergency assistance to families in Ukraine.
Voices of Children
Голоси дітей (voices.org.ua)
The Ukrainian organization's Charitable Foundation helps provide psychological and psychosocial support to children affected by the armed conflict, according to its website. Voices of Children's efforts of support for kids include art therapy, video storytelling, providing mobile psychologists and even individual help for families.