The former prime minister asks the ‘great British public’ to ‘dig deep’ this Christmas and help Ukrainian medics battling to save lives
By Daniel Martin, DEPUTY POLITICAL EDITOR
26 November 2022
Boris Johnson has launched a Christmas appeal for medical supplies for hospitals in Ukraine.
The former prime minister warned that without donations, hospitals in the war-torn country face running out of vital items such as bandages and defibrillators within weeks.
He has teamed up with Circle Health, the UK’s largest hospital group, which has delivered £3 million-worth of medical supplies in 13 lorry loads to hospitals across Kyiv, Kharkiv, Mykolaiv, Odesa, Lviv and Kherson since the war began.
It came as Mr Johnson was awarded the title of the honorary citizen of Kyiv.
Vitaliy Klitschko, Kyiv’s mayor, posted on Telegram: “The Kyiv City Council approved a decision to award Boris Johnson, a great friend of Ukraine, the title of honorary citizen of Kyiv.
“Boris visited the Ukrainian capital several times – both in peacetime and in the most dramatic time of our struggle against the Russian aggressor.
“Johnson has done and, I am sure, will continue to do everything possible so that Great Britain and world leaders provide the necessary assistance to Ukraine. We thank you for your support! We are waiting for you in Kyiv again to present this honourable award.”
Mr Johnson visited the Enfield warehouse where supplies are gathered from Circle Health hospitals with the Ukrainian Ambassador to see first-hand the logistics of transporting hospital kit in bulk across Europe by lorry.
He was briefed by Ukrainian doctors helping to co-ordinate relief efforts and helped to load the latest lorry with hospital beds and anaesthetic machines. Speaking after the visit, he called on people to give generously to the appeal.
“The great British public are renowned for their generosity of spirit – even when times are tough at home – so I’m calling on them to dig deep this Christmas and help send hope to the heroic Ukrainian medics battling to save lives by supporting Circle Health’s vital humanitarian mission,” he said.
“Not one bandage or bed you fund will go to waste in the Herculean task of rebuilding beautiful, brave Ukraine. Slava Ukraini: the British people stand with you, this Christmas and always.”
Paolo Pieri, chief executive of Circle Health, said: “It’s so easy to get caught up in problems at home and become immune to the immense hardship facing people in Ukraine.
“As a fellow hospital operator, we are determined to stand with these Ukrainian hospitals for the long-haul. As winter sets in, new medical supplies have never been more vital, and we hope our regular shipments will help show this remarkable group of doctors that they’re not alone.”