Psychosocial Support: The New Challenge for Humanitarian Activity

  • Post category:Issue XX

Antonio Gazzanti Pugliese di Cotrone
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta to Ukraine


Abstract. The article examines humanitarian activities of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta. Special attention is drawn to activities on psychological rehabilitation.
It is mentioned that the years of 2018 and 2019 were important milestones in the relations between the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Ukraine. In 2018, the states celebrated the 10th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. In addition, in 2019, the governments of the two states concluded the first Agreement on Cooperation in the Facilitation of Humanitarian Activities of the Sovereign Order of Malta in Ukraine.
It is stressed that the Sovereign Order of Malta has carried out its activities in Ukraine since 1991, providing assistance to the sick and needy, children and orphans, the most vulnerable social groups. In 2015, in the east of Ukraine, the Order started activities on psychological rehabilitation for almost 15,000 people.
It is emphasised that psychological health has always been a matter of heightened concern in many countries. However, quantitative analysis and assessement of programmes for psychological health and psychosocial support are quite complex. One of the reasons is that psychological health remains a taboo. Since July 2015, under the auspices of Malteser Ukraine, a team of 80 specialists started its operation in the centres for psychological rehabilitation. These centres operate in different cities of Ukraine, providing free legal, psychological, and social support for internally displaced persons, while officials, social workers, and volunteers acquire knowledge and skills in psychological rehabilitation at trainings, workshops, and panel discussions.
The article considers a state visit to the psychological rehabilitation center in Sloviansk in 2016. Three Ministers for Foreign Affairs visited it and shared their opinions with employees and participants of various rehabilitation programmes.
The article concludes that this and many other directions of activities confirm the readiness of the Sovereign Order of Malta to improve humanitarian conditions in Ukraine by cooperating with central or local governmental agencies as well as with Ukrainian and international organisations.
Key words: humanitarian activities, the Sovereign Order of Malta, psychological health, psychological rehabilitation centers, cooperation. 

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