Brussels, 11 September 2014
EU scales up its assistance for the conflict-affected people in Ukraine
The European Commission is mobilising funding of €22 million to assist the population of Ukrainian regions suffering from the consequences of the conflict. This funding consists of two parts: €5 million is humanitarian aid and €17 million development aid.
President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso said: "The European Union is following with great concern the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and in particular its impact on the civilian population. The current cease fire needs to be upheld and used as an opportunity to alleviate the conditions of those in need, namely women and children. This is why the European Commission is mobilising 22 million to assist the population in need and promote social and economic development in the country."
The humanitarian part of the funding to be channelled through humanitarian partner organisations addresses the basic needs of the population in the areas directly affected by the conflict, the internally displaced and refugees who have fled the conflict areas, as well as returnees who are going back home to areas recovered by the Ukrainian government forces. The funds will cover shelter, food, water, healthcare, psycho-social assistance and protection in preparation for the coming winter.
EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response Kristalina Georgieva added in this context: "The EU's humanitarian aid is based on needs and those, unfortunately, have been steeply increasing in the last months. With winter on the doorstep, the situation is additionally worrying. We are therefore scaling up our assistance to meet the basic humanitarian needs of the people who are affected," said Kristalina Georgieva,
With the aim to extend the objectives of humanitarian work to encourage a longer-term perspective and address vulnerability reduction, this immediate relief (€5 million) will be reinforced by development aid (€17 million) ensuring that mitigation is locally embedded and lays the groundwork to bring about positive socio-economic change.
In a coordinated effort, the European Commission is therefore working closely with the Ukrainian Government to mobilise development aid for direct support to local communities. Aid is granted under an ongoing programme of bilateral cooperation designed to foster regional development, with the direct participation of local authorities.
"At the beginning of the year we mobilised an unprecedented support package to help stabilise Ukraine's economy. Now we are engaged with our partners to make the best use of all existing cooperation programmes to deliver agreed results for the benefit of the country and its people," Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle said.
Funds for regional development will target several regions and municipalities in Ukraine. The communities most affected by conflict and those hosting internal refugees will be able to use these funds to address some of their most urgent needs. This intervention will support the implementation of local development projects in line with the regional strategies.
The €5 million for humanitarian assistance comes on the top of €2.5 million, which the European Commission allocated in August 2014 to assist the victims of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine. As the numbers of refuges and internally displaced continue to rise, the basic needs of the populations have also been constantly increasing.
This additional funding is also a contribution to the United Nations-led Preliminary Response Plan for Ukraine that calls for a more substantial, and especially better coordinated international support to Ukraine and which covers both emergency needs and early recovery.
The €17 million for development aid comes from the 2011 Programme to Support Ukraine Regional Development Policy. The overall objective of this programme is to contribute to the social, economic and territorial cohesion of the country, strengthening the capacity to develop and implement effective regional development policies.
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