Insurance industry comes together to support the people of Ukraine

Over £22,000 worth of supplies provided to Ukrainians impacted by the conflict

Insurance industry comes together to support the people of Ukraine

Non-Profits & Charities

By Lyle Adriano

The insurance industry has collaborated in a humanitarian mission to Ukraine, to support families who have been impacted by the ongoing war.

Insurance businesswoman Kirsty Diclaudio spearheaded the effort, which began with a fundraiser on December 8. The charity event was organised together with her business partner Travel & Health Insurance Series (THIS) co-founder Sarah Watson.

THIS Manged to not only collect donations from industry participants and event sponsors, but also received donated equipment from other companies. In total, THIS managed to collect just over £22,000 worth of supplies to be handed over to Ukrainians in need.

Less than a week after the fundraiser, Diclaudio would travel to Ukraine to hand-deliver the donations. For security reasons, her charity mission was carried out in absolute secrecy, and Diclaudio engaged risk advisory firm Inherent Risks prior to her visit. She also secured high-risk emergency medical and evacuation insurance through Hotspot Cover, which is underwritten by Lloyd’s insurer Atrium Underwriters.

Through a nine-hour vehicle drive from Poland, Diclaudio finally reached Ukraine. There, she and her security team visited a Soviet-era residential block to meet desperate families with young children. These families had gone through periods without power, heat, hot water, and reliable access to warm food. Diclaudio also met with an organisation that supplies frontline troops with warm clothing and medical supplies.

Diclaudio’s visit exposed her to the harsh realities Ukrainians face because of the war. She spent an evening in a hotel in complete darkness, with zero essential services due to electricity blackouts, while air raid sirens punctuated the night. The following morning, she visited an underground air raid shelter to witness the living conditions of the people and was later escorted to the main hospital of the city.

At the hospital, Diclaudio met with staff and patients while gifting them the donations of generators, battery packs, blankets, clothing, and other requested supplies.

“A heartbreaking moment was being led into a dilapidated basement, to find a neonatal ward of very unwell, vulnerable premature babies,” said Diclaudio of her experience. “They are in the basement as it was the safest space in the hospital in the event of an incoming missile from Russia hitting in or around the hospital. The staff, although lacking basic medical supplies and facing their own troubles at home caused by war, remained incredibly positive and professional.”

Diclaudio added that she feels compelled to tell her story to raise awareness of the situation, and says she hopes to return “very soon” to help the people she was introduced to.

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