As humanitarian needs continue to rise in Ukraine due to the illegal Russian invasion, the EU is providing direct operational support to aid organisations working inside the country. In this regard, the EU has set-up and fully funded two warehouses in Ukraine, respectively in Vinnytsia and Dnipro, as well as contracting trucking services to get humanitarian aid to those in need.
The use of these EU funded humanitarian services is offered free of charge to aid organisations operating in Ukraine, as part of the new European Humanitarian Response Capacity system, currently implemented by Handicap International. France will also co-fund these operations in Ukraine, the first EU Member State to join the initiative.
Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, said: “Humanitarian principles are being violated by the ongoing war against Ukraine. While the EU keeps supporting civilians in neighbouring countries who are fleeing from war, we must continue assistance inside Ukraine for those who did not leave, by choice or need. The European Humanitarian Response Capacity initiative provides services to humanitarian partners and EU Member States ensuring a more impactful response.”
EU supported trucking operations in Ukraine started earlier in April this year. Until now, they supported more than 18 EU and local humanitarian partners in delivering over 750 tonnes of humanitarian cargo through 56 consignments.
Deliveries managed to get aid to hard-to-reach districts such as the city centre of Kharkiv and Kramatorsk. Humanitarian aid already delivered includes food and essential items, hygiene and medical supplies. The warehouse in Vinnytsia is also equipped with a temperature-controlled facility to ensure the compliance with storage requirements for items such as medicines.
The war in Ukraine has already forced more than 6.8 million people to flee to neighbouring countries like Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania and Slovakia, the majority of them being women and children. This is the fastest growing refugee crisis in the world.
The Commission is working on all fronts to provide emergency assistance to people fleeing from war in Ukraine, helping neighbouring countries to strengthen their response and by providing support inside Ukraine. Despite the heavy fighting that is severely hampering access in eastern Ukraine, EU's humanitarian partners are ensuring that assistance reaches the most vulnerable people even in the restricted areas.
Earlier in April, the European Humanitarian Response Capacity (EHRC) rolled out a first operation in aid of Ukraine in Moldova, featuring the set-up of the EU hub in Chisinau and the deployment of shelter supplies funded by the EU.
Moreover, all 27 EU Member States, plus Norway, Turkey and North Macedonia have offered in-kind assistance to Ukraine through the largest ever operation of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. It includes amongst others, delivery of medical supplies, mobile hospitals, shelter equipment, ambulances, firefighting equipment, and food. Given the magnitude of needs, the Commission has also mobilised medical equipment from the rescEU medical stockpiles hosted by Germany, the Netherlands, Hungary and Greece.
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