The European Commission has announced €24m in humanitarian aid for eastern Ukraine, to address the needs of people affected by conflict in the region.
In its announcement, the commission emphasises that it needed to provide humanitarian aid for eastern Ukraine because of the suspension of payment of social benefits, including pensions, and because the work of humanitarian organisations in the area has been restricted.
In response to the situation, the commission has partnered with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs for a high-level conference in Brussels, Belgium. The conference aims to raise awareness about the humanitarian consequences of the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine.
How will the money be spent?
The humanitarian aid money will be allocated towards addressing the basic needs of the most vulnerable populations in the non-government controlled areas, and will also help those who fled conflict areas to neighbouring countries.
The conference also discussed ways to strengthen the EU’s responses to crises and conflict situations, including through better linking of humanitarian assistance with early recovery and long-term reform to improve social cohesion.
The EU and its member states represent the biggest donor of early recovery, development assistance and humanitarian aid for eastern Ukraine. With today’s announcement, the EU has allocated more than €677m to Ukraine since the conflict began in 2014.
What did the commission say about the announcement?
Announcing the additional commitment to humanitarian aid for eastern Ukraine, European Commissioner Christos Stylianides said that ending the ongoing conflict in Ukraine – and aiding those who have suffered because of it – remains a priority for the EU.
He said: “Four years of conflict have put a tremendous strain on the civilian population in eastern Ukraine. We cannot overlook that there’s a humanitarian crisis at the European Union’s doorstep. Supporting all those in need, wherever they are, is a priority for the EU. Our new aid package will provide essential assistance such as food, healthcare and education for children.”