The European Union steps up humanitarian assistance for Ukraine by €20 million

Wednesday, 16 March 2016 13:05 GMT

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Today, the European Commission is increasing its humanitarian response to help people affected by the conflict in eastern Ukraine, with a new humanitarian aid package worth €20 million. The announcement comes as European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides arrives in the country for a visit from 16 to 18 March 2016.

"The European Union remains as committed as ever to supporting the Ukrainian people. Ukraine needs to stay high on our agenda. Today we are announcing new support to help people affected by the conflict in eastern Ukraine. The support will boost our on-going aid operations, reaching the most vulnerable people both in government and non-government-held areas. Despite the decrease in breaches to the ceasefire, the impact of the violence on the civilian population remains a humanitarian concern. It is essential that humanitarian aid gets to all vulnerable people affected by the conflict swiftly, safely and impartially", European Commissioner Christos Stylianides said.

An estimated 3.1 million people are still in need of assistance in Ukraine and neighbouring countries. About 55% of the Commission's humanitarian assistance targets people in need in non-government controlled areas.

The new funding brings the Commission's total humanitarian assistance to vulnerable people hit by the conflict in Ukraine to over €63 million, in addition to important bilateral assistance from a number of EU Member States. Together with the funding provided directly by the Member States, the EU as a whole has directed over €146 million of aid to those affected by the conflict since early 2014.

Background

The European Commission provides humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable communities, irrespective of which area of the conflict they live in or have fled to.

Returnees, refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) are facing shortages of essentials such as food, medicine and health care, basic household items, clean water and shelter. Basic services are not available in all areas as a result of damage to the infrastructure, electricity grid and water supply systems.

The Commission is assisting Ukrainian refugees in Belarus and Russia through the national Red Cross Societies in the respective countries. All EU humanitarian assistance is based solely on the needs of the affected populations.

The EU has kept the humanitarian aspect of conflict in Ukraine high on its agenda from the early days of the conflict. It also stands ready to further increase its support depending on the humanitarian situation.

Read more about the EU's humanitarian assistance in Ukraine.

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