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On International Women’s Day image of Yelena Burainchenko with injuries in Ukraine worth 1,000 words



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A picture is worth a thousand words and never more so than in a warzone. On International Women’s Day, the front page image of Yelena Burainchenko with injuries sustained when her apartment building was attacked was incredibly powerful.

That photo followed countless others showing the death and destruction orchestrated by Vladimir Putin and carried out by his military.

In the face of this horror, there is a critical need for humanitarian assistance as people are forced to flee their homes and seek safety.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky's address to MPs in House of Commons.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky's address to MPs in House of Commons.

The UK has provided £395 million of support to Ukraine so far, including £220 million of humanitarian aid to save lives and protect people both inside the country and in the wider region. In addition, medical supplies have been provided to Ukraine from vital medicines to intensive care equipment.

Over £100 million has been provided by the British public to the Disasters Emergency Committee to help charities provide food, water, shelter, and healthcare to refugees and displaced families. These donations are the fastest way to assist people in need.

That generosity has also seen initiatives locally, including collections by Vets1 and Bar and Beyond, to provide practical help and gather essential supplies.

Lynn's Bar and Beyond holding a clothing collection for Ukraine on behalf of the Red Cross. Pictured Steve Baron (manager). MLNF-22MF3027
Lynn's Bar and Beyond holding a clothing collection for Ukraine on behalf of the Red Cross. Pictured Steve Baron (manager). MLNF-22MF3027

It is vital that Britain also offers a place of safety to people fleeing conflict. The new Ukraine Family Route is welcome but there needs to be a massive ramp up of resources to process applications as quickly as possible and make the process simpler by, for example, allowing biometric information to be provided using technology.

I continue to assist a constituents with expediting applications. For those people without family links, the new humanitarian route must be up and running rapidly and provide a generous route. I’ve also had very kind offers from constituents of accommodation for those coming to this country.

Regrettably due to having Covid, I was unable to be in the House of Commons for the historic address by President Zelensky on the battle for freedom, peace, and democracy. His strength and leadership in the face of Russian aggression is remarkable.

North West Norfolk MP James Wild.
North West Norfolk MP James Wild.

The conflict caused by Russia means further pressure on costs for individuals, as well as for businesses. The Chancellor has already put in place support for energy costs but ahead of his spring statement this month it is right to consider further steps to help people. Energy intensive industries, including local manufacturing and engineering businesses, are also facing steep increases and further action should be considered.

Throughout Covid, local firms have shown resilience in the face of restrictions and the huge disruption it caused.

So it was disappointing that due to isolating, I was not to be able to attend the Mayor’s Business Awards sponsored by this paper to recognise the successes companies and their employees have enjoyed over the last year. The nominations underlined the strength of industry and enterprise across West Norfolk and I offer my congratulations to all the winners.

As we now learn to live with Covid, there are opportunities despite the inflationary pressures to use the Town Deal and other investment to back businesses to support jobs and growth.

James Wild MP



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