Chef José Andrés makes a moving plea as he helps feed Ukrainian refugees at the Polish border: “Why are we putting young men and women in this situation?”

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Chef José Andrés made a moving appeal to the world by helping feed Ukrainian refugees at the Polish border, saying “we must denounce the leaders who separate us”.

Andrés shared a selfie-style video on Monday night drawing attention to the plight of Ukrainians fleeing violence in the country. He said “it’s hard to know” that Ukrainian refugees – mostly women with children – are outside in freezing temperatures or in their cars without gas queuing to leave the country.

“Why are we putting young men and women in this situation?” he said. “We haven’t learned enough from the horrors of the past.”

Andrés also took aim at Russian President Vladimir Putin, who called for an invasion of Ukraine. “People, we need to speak out against the leaders who separate us…” he said. “Life is not a game of Monopoly. Life is real. And the voiceless and the poor always suffer the consequences.”

At least 677,000 people have fled Ukraine since the invasion began, and many more are expected to leave, according to the United Nations refugee agency.

The world-renowned charity, World Central Kitchen, said it is now in Ukraine, Romania and Poland to help feed the hungry who have been moved. In a Tuesday update, Andrés filmed himself at a local bakery outside Lviv, Ukraine, where he helped deliver flour to a bakery in need.

“People need to be fed,” he said. “And sometimes in a bakery like this you see people helping out with the bread.”

The UN and aid agencies issued an emergency appeal for $1.7 billion, citing a “sharp increase in humanitarian needs as essential supplies and services are disrupted and civilians flee fighting”. The UN estimates that 12 million Ukrainians will need protection and relief.


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