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Solidarity Ireland to donate 5,000 meals and 200 flak jackets to Ukraine

The body armour and food ration packs, weighing approximately 10,000kg, come from existing Defence Forces’ stocks and have been shipped.

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A woman walks past a burning apartment building after shelling in Mariupol (Evgeniy Maloletka/AP)

A woman walks past a burning apartment building after shelling in Mariupol (Evgeniy Maloletka/AP)

A woman walks past a burning apartment building after shelling in Mariupol (Evgeniy Maloletka/AP)

Ireland will donate 5,000 ready-to-eat meals (MREs) and 200 pieces of body armour to Ukraine.

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence, Simon Coveney TD approved the decision to provide specific additional support to Ukraine today, in response to a direct request from the country for “specifically defined non-lethal equipment.”

The body armour and food ration packs, weighing approximately 10,000kg, come from existing Defence Forces’ stocks and have been shipped.

They are expected to arrive at a co-ordinating Polish logistics hub in the next few days.

On arrival there, the MREs and body armour will be unloaded and stored (on behalf of the EU) for onward shipping to Ukraine.

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Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence Simon Coveney (Niall Carson/PA)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence Simon Coveney (Niall Carson/PA)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence Simon Coveney (Niall Carson/PA)

Minister Coveney confirmed that “this contribution is a specific element of the Government’s approximately €11 million contribution through the European Peace Facility and the further €20 million in humanitarian assistance.”

“This practical assistance is a further tangible demonstration of Ireland’s support for and solidarity with the people of Ukraine,” he added.

It comes after more than 20,000 offers to provide accommodation to Ukrainian refugees have been made in Ireland.

There have been over 15,000 offers made through the Government’s pledge portal which includes spare rooms and vacant second homes.

However, a further 5,000 housing offers have been made through other non-governmental organisations (NGOs), bringing the total to over 20,000 offers.

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The Red Cross will begin contacting “small numbers” of people who have made some of the 15,000 pledges this week to start the process of housing incoming refugees.

Government officials will also be in place at Shannon Airport to assist Ukrainians on their arrival in Ireland. Some 5,500 people have already come to Ireland from Ukraine.

A ‘one-stop-shop’ centre is already in place at Dublin Airport, where officials from the departments of Justice and Social Protection provide people with PPS numbers and direct them towards accommodation.

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