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CNEWA Canada renews support for Ukraine as war enters second year

Leading Canadian Catholic agency looks ahead to further Ukraine relief efforts.

Ottawa, February 23, 2023 — One year following the Russian invasion of Ukraine — which has displaced a third of the nation’s 41 million people, killed, scarred and wounded tens of thousands of soldiers and civilians, and devastated the country’s infrastructure and economy — CNEWA’s support to its churches and people remains steadfast.


“This situation that we have seen in Ukraine has been nothing short of painful and tragic beyond measure,” said Dr. Adriana Bara, National Director of CNEWA Canada. “Despite the pain and suffering felt by so many people in Ukraine, CNEWA and its partners on the ground in Ukraine and neighbouring countries have been able to provide life and light to so many. We’re committed to doing more in 2023 and to seeing that the people of Ukraine are cared for and supported.”

In the past year, CNEWA has rushed $5.8 million in emergency funds to support church-led relief initiatives in Ukraine.


Mobilizing its vast network of local charities, Caritas Ukraine, the charitable initiative of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, has reached more than 2.1 million people alone, primarily in the form of food and hygienic services, shelter, bedding and provision of water.


“I am incredibly encouraged by the generosity and prayerful support of so many donors from coast to coast to coast,” Archbishop Marcel Damphousse of Ottawa-Cornwall said.

As Chair of the CNEWA Canada Board of Directors, Archbishop Damphousse is heartened by the compassion and love for neighbour that has been shown to the people of Ukraine in such impactful ways through sharing of time and financial treasure, as well as prayer.

CNEWA, in both Canada and the United States, has supported more than 100 specific relief initiatives in Ukraine — much of it through Caritas, but also through Greek Catholic and Orthodox eparchies, parishes, seminaries and religious houses, as well as the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv, including:


  • emergency food packages for more than 40,000 people in areas under siege

  • care for displaced pensioners near Odesa

  • shelter for people with special needs in Sambir-Drohobych

  • spiritual and psychological counseling for those displaced to Ternopil

  • temporary housing for displaced families from Mariupol in Zaporizhzhia

  • medicines and other aid to nine medical facilities, including Lviv’s Sheptytsky Hospital.


The incredible generosity of Canadians in supporting Ukraine last year did not go unnoticed by Monsignor Peter Vaccari, President of CNEWA in New York.

“I am grateful to God that donors across the Canadian and American church have come together in such a powerful way to support the people of Ukraine in their time of need,” he said. “We hope and pray for continued contributions, as we support those who have been affected by this tragedy.”

Having worked with the Church in Ukraine previously, CNEWA offices in both Canada and the United States were uniquely equipped to respond with immediacy to the escalation of violence by Russian forces.

Learn more about CNEWA’s work in Ukraine by visiting or following the organization on Facebook (@CNEWACanada), Twitter (@CnewaC) and Instagram @cnewacanada.

Bishops and Catholic Organizations in Canada Launch Turkey/ Syria Earthquake Emergency Aid Campaign
Ottawa, February 10, 2023: With the support of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), Aid to Church in Need (ACN), Canadian Jesuits International (CJI), Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) Canada, and Development and Peace-Caritas Canada (DPCC) are launching an emergency aid campaign in response to the destructive earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria on Monday. They have pledged the total sum of nearly one million Canadian dollars.

“As Catholics we are compelled to come to the aid of our brothers and sisters in dire circumstances like the thousands of families that have lost loved ones, or are injured and have lost their homes, due to the earthquake,” said Bishop Poisson, president of the CCCB and Bishop of Saint-Jérôme- Mont-Laurier. “For this reason, local Bishops have been invited to promote this emergency campaign in their dioceses/eparchies and to invite their faithful to donate to any one of the organizations collecting funds.”
“These four organizations are well positioned in the region to respond quickly and efficiently with their Caritas and Jesuit Refugee Service networks, local Eastern Churches, and their many social and emergency initiatives,” said Bishop Poisson.

“Our partners in the region know the local reality and they have been working together on the ground to support Syrian families in Syria and Syrian refugees in Turkey who have been affected by 12 years of civil war,” said, Marie-Claude Lalonde, National Director of ACN, Jenny Cafiso Executive Director of CJI, Dr. Adriana Bara, National Director of CNEWA Canada and Carl Hétu Executive Director of DPCC.
Funds received will be used now and in the coming months for food, medical supplies, shelter, and other essentials to meet basic human needs. These funds will also serve to meet long term needs to help families go back to a more stable life.

To donate or for any inquiries you can contact the organisations as follows: ACN: web: Toll free #: 1-800-585-6333 Ext 228

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