Ukraine: EU launches winter shelter programme, boosts humanitarian aid by 175M euro

The European Commission (EC) announced on October 19 a new emergency shelter and winterised facilities programme for Ukraine, as Russia’s war continues to destroy civilian infrastructure, the EC said.

The EC will provide an additional 175 million euro in humanitarian assistance to support those most in need in Ukraine and Moldova, the statement said.

The announcement came European Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, visited Ukraine to help co-ordinate one of the EU’s most extensive emergency response operations.

During Lenarčič’s visit, he met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as well as the Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Olga Stefanishyna, Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, Internal Affairs Minister, Denys Monastyrsky, and Communities and Territories Minister, Oleksiy Chernyshov.

Lenarčič said: “While Russia is further escalating its brutal attacks against Ukraine, specifically targeting civilian infrastructure and residential buildings, I stand here in Kyiv reiterating that the EU is as dedicated as ever in its support to Ukraine.

“The upcoming winter is likely to bring major challenges to Ukraine and we must be prepared. Via our rescEU reserve, a temporary shelter capacity will be immediately deployed to three different regions in Ukraine: Rivne, Bucha and Kharkiv,” he said.

Lenarčič said that the EU was boosting its humanitarian aid funding with further a 175 million euro to provide education, food, access to water, and protection from the cold winter for the most vulnerable.

“We are also working together by preparing a pathway for Ukraine to join the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.”

The statement said that the EU humanitarian response this winter would include the the rescEU strategic reserve being mobilised to deploy emergency stockpiles of shelter units and other items to Ukraine with a total value of 62.3 million euro.

Overall, together with a second shelter reserve hosted by Romania, the EU has acquired the capacity to provide temporary emergency shelter for up to 46 000 people.

It would also include a further 175 million euro in humanitarian aid to target the most vulnerable in ukraine. Out of this, 150 milion euro is allocated for operations in Ukraine, while 25 million euro is for operations in Moldova.

“The key priority is to provide winterised shelter in view of the expected freezing temperatures,” the statement said.

Other priorities include education in emergencies, health, and protection assistance.

“This new funding will bring the total of EU humanitarian aid in response to Russia’s war in Ukraine to over 500 million euro,” the EC said.

The EC and Ukraine have also started to work together to prepare Ukraine to join the EU Civil Protection Mechanism in the future.

“The mechanism has already been mobilised in its full force to support Ukraine with more than 70 000 tonnes of life-saving items delivered to Ukraine from 31 different European countries,” the statement said.

(Photo: EC Audiovisual Service)

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