Sunday Express

Mother uses skills to get aid to needy

- By Lucy Johnston and Tony Whitfield

A UKRAINIAN tech guru in the UK has launched a humanitari­an “delivery service” to get urgent informatio­n and help – including essentials supplies like nappies and baby milk – to those trapped in the war-torn country.

London-based Irra Ariela Khi, 37, is using her skills developing software for airlines to wage a “smartphone war” to “get informatio­n out and aid in”.

Ms Khi’s father, stepmother, stepsister­s and godmother still live in Ukraine, along with her grandparen­ts, aged 90 and 95, who live in a village near Dnipro.

She has created Sunflower Relief, the only grassroots humanitari­an organisati­on in the UK with a network throughout Ukraine.

It is getting money, food, water, baby food and milk, and medicines to people struggling to survive.

The aim is to get aid to those areas where western aid agencies can’t reach and the organisati­on is now in contact with Business Secretary Greg Hands as well as receiving the support of Ukrainian ministers.the Ukraine’s Ministry of Health is also working with her.

Those trapped in basements are able to use several encrypted chat groups to alert Sunflower to what is desperatel­y needed.

The items are then sourced and forwarded to delivery networks, who then distribute them to where it is needed most. Airlines are also offering Sunflower cargo space to get aid to the region.

Ms Khi, a mother of four who speaks Ukrainian, Russian, Polish and English, uses her languages to put aid delivery drivers in touch with truck drivers on the borders.

“If you’re not fighting you are either too young, too old, or too unwell to leave and they are in a desperate situation without food, clean water or medicines,” said Ms Khi, who has temporaril­y stepped back from her job as CEO of Zamma, which makes blockchain technology for airlines.

“Pharmacies have been bombed or destroyed. But people don’t stop being sick, children don’t stop needing to eat and women don’t stop having babies.”

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 ?? ?? FAMILY CRISIS: Irra Ariela Khi is helping those in need in native Ukraine
FAMILY CRISIS: Irra Ariela Khi is helping those in need in native Ukraine

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