By Paul Albright
National postal agencies from at least 30 countries have volunteered to help beleaguered Ukraine as the war-torn country tries to maintain and restore its crippled postal services.
International support includes financial contributions, assistance to Ukrainian refugees, the issuance of commemorative stamps and the waiving of postage, especially for humanitarian shipments into the country.
About 20% of Ukraine’s territory was cut off from postal services in the spring, with around 500 post offices destroyed or damaged and 450 facilities inaccessible due to the occupation by Russian forces, according to Julia Pavlenko, director of international operations at the Post Office. country. agency, Ukrposhta.
In addition, 20% of Ukrposhta employees work in occupied territory, with mail transport hampered by damaged roads, bridges and railways.
Since the start of the conflict in late February, Ukrposhta has opened 372 mobile post offices and 14 fixed post offices, as well as temporary locations in schools and government buildings. The continuation and adaptation of Ukrposhta services is essential for access to pensions, mandates and important assets, Pavlenko added.
In response to this crisis, postal administrations across Europe and beyond have responded with fundraising, free postal services, humanitarian aid and jobs for Ukrainian refugees.
Two funds managed through the Universal Postal Union provide additional financial support.
Contributions to the UPU’s Quality of Service Fund and its Emergency and Solidarity Fund are intended for the reconstruction of postal infrastructure and the restoration of postal services.
The UPU’s Emergency and Solidarity Fund relies on voluntary contributions from its 192 member countries, postal unions and other entities in the postal sector. For example, PostNL in the Netherlands donated around $516,340, while Japan donated $106,270 to support Ukraine.
The UPU reported other financial pledges from postal agencies in Italy, Panama and Slovakia, while Posti in Finland raised around $51,320 for charities that support Ukrainian citizens.
About two dozen other countries – mostly in Europe – are flying humanitarian packages to Ukraine for free, while encouraging and coordinating fundraising efforts, and providing free financial and communications services to refugees.
Even though Belarus gave tacit support to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, its postal agency, Belpochta, launched a campaign among its employees to collect toys and personal hygiene items for Ukrainian children, according to the UPU.
So far, the postal agencies of Austria, Canada, Croatia, Estonia, France, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Spain and others have issued commemorative stamps or semi-postal stamps to raise funds for Ukraine. The problems of Croatia, Lithuania and Moldova, which were not previously illustrated in by Linnare presented here.
In addition, Ukraine should benefit from sales of semi-postal stamps …
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