A humanitarian flight carrying 230 Ukrainian citizens arrived in Regina on Monday evening, accompanied by a woman whose photo 50 years ago came to symbolize the horrors of another war.
A Saskatchewan government spokesman confirmed Phan Thị Kim Phuc, the girl in the famous 1972 Vietnam napalm attack photo, was aboard the flight carrying refugees from Russia’s war in Ukraine from Warsaw to Canada.
An Associated Press report noted Kim Phuc, 59, who is a Canadian citizen, travelled with her husband Bui Huy Toan from Toronto to board the humanitarian flight.
The report said she wants her story and work for refugees to be a message of peace.
Phuc’s iconic Associated Press photo in which she runs with her napalm-scalded body exposed, was etched onto the fuselage of the private non-governmental organization plane that flew the refugees to Regina.
The Saskatchewan government said in a news release that more than 1,000 Ukrainians have arrived in the province since Russian army forces invaded the country in February.
“Saskatchewan officials have been working with the Ukraine Embassy to Canada to co-ordinate assistance and support for Ukrainian citizens fleeing the ongoing war in their home country,” MLA Terry Dennis, who is also the legislative secretary responsible for Saskatchewan Ukrainian relations, said in a statement.
“In true Saskatchewan spirit, a number of community groups, organizations and individuals have also been spending hours and hours preparing to help these Ukrainian families and individuals settle into life in our province.”
Passengers on the Monday flight were to receive temporary accommodations in Regina, access to key supports and information related to living in Saskatchewan, the government said.
The government also said there is a settlement reception centre, with interpreters, where the new arrivals can get Saskatchewan health cards, assistance with setting up bank accounts, and information about housing, employment, education and income.
The province said it will send non-perishable food items, sleeping bags, medical supplies and other in-demand items on the return flight to be distributed to people in Ukraine.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 4, 2022.