Skip to content

Kofod: Danish volunteers around the world mobilise to help stranded Danes

As country after country shuts down options for returning home to Denmark, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark launches an unconventional initiative to assist stranded Danes.

The battle to stop the spread of coronavirus/Covid-19 has created an unprecedented situation for Danish travellers around the world. More countries every day are introducing measures to curb contagion. Aircraft, busses and trains have been taken out of operation, increasing the risk that Danes become stranded far away from home.

In response, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark is launching an initiative to mobilise volunteers around the world who are willing and able to provide practical assistance – such as temporary accommodations, helpful advice, etc – in locations where travellers are facing the greatest difficulties and where a small effort can make a major difference.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Jeppe Kofod says:

“The situation is extremely challenging. We are hearing about many Danes at risk of expulsion from their hotels because everything is shutting down. We must therefore immediately start coordinating all available helpful resources. And that is what we are doing now. Thanks to organisations such as Danes Worldwide and Danish NGOs, we are establishing a volunteer network to find local solutions for fellow Danes who are stranded. For example, Oxfam IBIS has contacts in Guatemala, International Media Support in the Philippines, and WWF Denmark in Ecuador. This will hopefully prove to be the added little help that makes a big difference, alongside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark’s active consular services efforts around the globe.”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark has reached out directly to volunteer organisations and Danes residing abroad, who will now be put into contact with Danish travellers via a special Facebook group. This platform offers users an opportunity to seek and hopefully find a helping hand close by.

Secretary General Anne Marie Dalgaard of Danes Worldwide says:

“It is a natural extension of our mission at Danes Worldwide to provide assistance in any way we can in this situation.We wholeheartedly support the extensive efforts of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark. Danes Worldwide has members around the world, and we know that expat Danes have a great love of Denmark and very much want to help.”

Minister for Foreign Affairs Jeppe Kofod says:

“Travelling Danes are spread all around the globe. We are a people who love to travel. On the one hand, that makes it extremely complex to reach all the Danes located far from our embassies and who may be travelling alone or in small groups. On the other hand, it also means that many of these places are home to expat Danes familiar with the local conditions – Danes who are able and willing to give a helping hand to their fellow countrymen until other solutions are available. We want to help facilitate this contact.”

Alongside the new coordinated platform where volunteers can offer a helping hand, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark Global Help Desk continues round-the-clock efforts to find solutions for Danes in need of help. The volunteer initiative is thereby a supplement to existing and ongoing efforts via traditional diplomatic channels, which include the establishment of special task forces and hotlines at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark to assist Danes in Asia and South America.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Jeppe Kofod says:

“As Minister for Foreign Affairs – and as a father – it truly warms my heart to see the tremendous social consciousness exhibited by volunteers in these days. If we can expand their reach through Danish organisations and their extensive networks, perhaps the young backpackers on their first big trip abroad can get a small piece of advice or help finding a place to stay for the night, making a precarious situation just a little easier. The coronavirus crisis is placing great demands on us all. Nonetheless, many are still offering to help wherever they can. To them, I would like to express my deepest gratitude.”

ABOUT THE INITATIVE:

The Facebook group can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/danskereglobalt

The initiative by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark is being carried out in dialogue with Danes Worldwide (DW), Danish Church Abroad (DSUK), and a number of NGOs with a local presence in locations around the globe.

The initiative will facilitate assistance with practical issues, such as accommodations, purchasing necessities, etc.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark does not operate the Facebook group but has coordinated contact between organisations and volunteers worldwide to facilitate the most possible matches with travelling Danes in need of help.

If you need emergency assistance:
If you are in need of emergency assistance or have specific questions for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, write to us at bbb@um.dk or phone our 24-hour hotline on (+45) 33 92 11 12.

Task force, Asia: (+45) 33 92 13 44 or e-mail: coronaasien@um.dk

Task force, South America: (+45) 33 92 13 45 or via e-mail at coronasydamerika@um.dk

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about travel here:https://um.dk/da/rejse-og-ophold/rejse-til-udlandet/coronavirus/

General information about coronavirus/Covid-19 can be found at www.coronasmitte.dk.

***

For additional press enquiries, contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark press desk: +45 61 97 92 47 or pressevagten@um.dk



Latest news

    See All