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The World Health Organization estimates that 1-2% of people worldwide have celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder resulting from a permanent intolerance to gluten. In Ukraine, according to experts, at least 300 thousand suffer from this disease.

“People can have gluten intolerance and may not know about it for years, and at the same time be treated for diseases caused by gluten intolerance.” explains Dr. Olga Naumova, an allergist, President of the Ukrainian Celiac Society.

Fifteen years ago, Dr. Naumova united families with children suffering from celiac disease and founded the Ukrainian Celiac Society. For the past decade, Dr. Naumova and volunteers have been conducting educational campaigns, explaining the dire consequences of this disease such as diabetes and infertility.

Before Russia’s full-scale invasion, there was a new, developing market focused on manufacturing of gluten-free foods. Eleven family-run Ukrainian companies produced licensed gluten-free products – four of them are currently under Russia’s temporary occupation and three ceased to exist. Families in need of gluten-free foods, have been facing both a sharp reduction in availability and significant price increase.

A grant from the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal (UHA) – a joint effort of the Canada-Ukraine Foundation and the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, to the Ukrainian Celiac Society is providing around 1,000 specialized food boxes a month for families with children suffering from gluten intolerance over a period of 12 months.

Thanks to the support of our Donors, with this grant we are helping families with children suffering from Celiac disease and support local manufacturers of licensed gluten-free foods.

“For parents of children with celiac disease, it is important not only to receive a specialty food box but also be able to source locally these foods in the future. The grant from UHA helps these families sustain their children’s health and the health of small niche businesses,” emphasized Dr. Olga Naumenko.

Thank you to all who continuously enable a variety of humanitarian aid to Ukraine through the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal – do donate, please follow the link


Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal (UHA) was launched in January of 2022 by the Canada-Ukraine Foundation (CUF) and the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) to coordinate the provision of humanitarian assistance quickly and efficiently to civilians impacted by Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, including relief for displaced persons in Europe and Canada.

To date, we have delivered over $70 million in food, medicine, emergency shelter, mental health support, surgical aid, firefighter gear, individual first aid kits, ambulances, generators, and many more types of aid, including in-kind donations.

Please click here to read further about our humanitarian relief efforts since the full-scale invasion on February 24th, 2022.

Canada-Ukraine Foundation (CUF) was established in 1995 to coordinate, develop, organize and implement aid projects created by Canadians and directed to Ukraine.