The suffering that Ukrainians are enduring is very much on the minds of Canadians.
The dislocation and devastation in Ukraine since Russia invaded in late February has left roughly 16 million Ukrainians in urgent need of humanitarian relief, says the United Nations. That startling figure doesn’t even include the almost 6 million people who have fled Ukraine on packed trains or in endless lines of cars. It’s Europe’s largest humanitarian crisis since the end of the Second World War.
Across Canada, to express solidarity and hope, blue and yellow flags have sprouted from cars and homes like bright spring flowers. With gestures and in other ways, Canadians are responding to Ukraine’s dire need.
Stamp recognizes Ukraine’s needs, Canadians’ generosity
Recognizing Canadians’ generosity towards people in crisis, Canada Post has issued a fundraising stamp that gives Canadians a way to support Ukrainians. The stamps are available for pre-order on canadapost.ca today and will be available for purchase in post offices on July 7. This is the first time that Canada Post has issued a stamp in support of a country in need of humanitarian assistance.
Funds raised through the purchase of this stamp will be distributed through the Canada-Ukraine Foundation (CUF). This well-established organization has a long history of enabling assistance to Ukraine. In the current crisis, it has been delivering aid wherever it is needed, from heavily shelled areas in Ukraine’s north and east, to the displaced Ukrainians to the west and in neighbouring countries.
Canada Post President and CEO Doug Ettinger and Orest Sklierenko, President and CEO of the CUF, recently met in Ottawa to discuss this initiative.
A donation of $1 from each booklet of 10 stamps (and 10 cents from each Official First Day Cover/collectible envelope) will provide much-needed financial assistance to those affected by the war.
Sunflower design a fitting symbol for Ukraine
A stamp with a sunflower was chosen because it is the national flower of Ukraine, and now a widely recognized symbol of peace and unity. The bright yellow flower can be seen throughout Ukraine; it also adorns the vinok, the traditional floral headdress. Canada Post originally issued a stamp with this colourful image in 2011; reissuing it now with a “Help for Ukraine” title makes the stamp available sooner than would be the case with a new stamp. That should help the aid flow sooner.
In issuing this stamp, Canada Post recognizes the strong bond between Canada and Ukraine – a bond that is both historic and current. The first wave of Ukrainian immigrants began to arrive in Canada in the 1890s. Canada was the first Western country to recognize Ukraine’s independence in 1991. Today, nearly 4 per cent of Canadians can trace their roots to Ukraine – and many have close relatives in that country.
Canada Post has also taken other measures to support Ukrainians. It worked this spring with MoneyGram to eliminate fees for anyone trying to send money to their loved ones in Ukraine. Canada Post is also working hard with its international partners to ensure mail from Canada will continue to get to the Ukrainian people, while advising that delays are unavoidable.
The war in Ukraine touches everything.
By touching Canadians’ hearts, this stamp can offer much-needed aid and a measure of hope to Ukrainians.
New stamp offers opportunity to support Ukrainians in time of dire needAvailable for pre-order