Aspen partners with South African Government to evacuate South African Student’s from the Ukraine conflict
Johannesburg, South Africa – Aspen Pharmacare, Africa’s largest pharmaceutical company, has partnered with the South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation (“DIRCO”) to assist in the emergency evacuation of South African students who have been studying at various Universities in the Ukraine.
These students, many of whom have limited resources, where forced to flee the Ukraine into neighbouring countries as the Russian invasion of Ukraine erupted.
A total of 25 students were stranded in the neighbouring countries of Hungary, Poland, Romania, all unable to afford emergency flights back to South Africa.
After learning of the plight of these students, Aspen joined forces with DIRCO to expedite both the travel and funding requirements to assist with their safe return to South Africa. The first group of 10 students are expected to arrive via Air France at OR Tambo International Airport imminently.
Stavros Nicolaou, Aspen Senior Executive Strategic Trade, said, “The Russia-Ukraine conflict has created a significant humanitarian crisis, which has affected citizens of that nation as well as South African students studying in the Ukraine. After the student’s appeal to our Government and corporate South Africa, Aspen, who has a presence in Ukraine and neighbouring territories, joined forces with the South African Government to ensure the timeous and safe return of these students so that they could be reunited with their loved ones. Our youth are our future and it is a privilege for Aspen to demonstrate a spirit of Ubuntu by ensuring the safe return of these students who will hopefully be able to resume their studies as soon as circumstances permit. We expect 23 of the 25 students to be safely home by the weekend with the remaining two returning next week”.
Clayson Monyela, Deputy Director General DIRCO said, “We would like to thank Aspen Pharmacare for heeding the call of our Government to partner with us and bring our citizens back home. We also want to extend a word of gratitude to all our Ambassadors, team of diplomats and South African volunteers (at home and abroad) who played a role in this project. This is the diplomacy of Ubuntu in practice”.