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Independent

Brexit is preventing small charities from getting supplies to the Ukrainian border.

Organisations attempting to ease the humanitarian crisis in the country that has emerged since Russia invaded last month have complained that paperwork and other border red tape has been muzzling their efforts.

Agnieszka Lokaj from the Lewisham Polish Centre charity told the Press Association that its vans were temporarily blocked from getting on a ferry because they didn't have the right paperwork - that's labelling all goods with commodity codes and the origin and destination of all items.

Meanwhile, the Polish British Social Integration Club Wawel, a London-based community organisation, confirmed it had closed its donation point and stopped shipments due to the border issues.

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The organisation's chair, Kasia Zimna, said: “We just want to deliver the stuff, people are dying from hunger.

“It’s quite heartbreaking for us because we have resources, but the law isn’t helping.”

It comes as The World Health Organization said attacks on Ukrainian hospitals, ambulances and other healthcare facilities had increased “rapidly” in recent days and vital medical supplies were running low.

Ukrainian president Zelensky addressed the UK parliament and called on the government to do more to support their efforts against Putin.

A spokesperson for HMRC toldthe Guardian that government advice remained that the “best way to help” was to donate money through the Disasters Emergency Committee or other trusted charities.

It also said people could consult the Export Support Service or call the helpline 0300 303 8955 to get advice on the paperwork.

Brexit keeps on getting better and better.

The Independent has a proud history of campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable, and we first ran our Refugees Welcome campaign during the war in Syria in 2015. Now, as we renew our campaign and launch this petition in the wake of the unfolding Ukrainian crisis, we are calling on the government to go further and faster to ensure help is delivered. To find out more about our Refugees Welcome campaign, click here. To sign the petition click here. If you would like to donate then please click here for our GoFundMe page.

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