EU Steps Up Humanitarian Aid to Ukraine
As the humanitarian situation in Ukraine worsens the European Union has committed an additional €90 million for emergency aid programmes to help civilians affected by the war. The additional funding follows an urgent appeal by the United Nations and will assist Ukraine and neighbouring countries that are receiving Ukrainians fleeing their country.
According to the United Nations more than half a million refugees have now fled Ukraine for neighbouring countries.
Reports from BBC news say that fighting on the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, is intensifying. A weekend curfew was lifted today allowing people out to stock up on essential supplies, however, many were forced to return to shelters as air raid sirens were heard. Long queues were reported as supermarkets run out of food and other necessary supplies.
Following the invasion by Russia into Ukraine, the humanitarian needs are expected to be disastrous. The armed violence is causing widespread human suffering, civilian casualties, damage to civilian infrastructures, large-scale displacement and the exacerbation of the existing humanitarian needs stemming from years of conflict and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The European Commission is also coordinating the delivery of material assistance via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism to Ukraine, with offers from currently 20 Member States, which includes 8 million essential medical care items and civil protection support. A first truck load from Slovenia arrived yesterday to Kyiv.
Moldova has activated the Mechanism to support Ukrainians arriving to their country. Already Austria, France and the Netherlands offered emergency support such as shelter items and medical assistance to Moldova.
The Commission is in constant contact with other neighbouring countries of Ukraine and stands ready to provide further assistance as requested.
Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, said, “Civilians are paying the highest price of the illegal Russian military aggression on Ukraine. The war risks displacing millions of Ukrainians, leading to a sharp rise in humanitarian needs. Inside Ukraine, but also in neighbouring countries where Ukrainians seek safety. The EU stands in full solidarity with the Ukrainian people and our initial funding will allow our humanitarian partners to deliver urgently needed assistance. I urge the entire international donor community to also generously respond.”