Largest payment of all time from the Foreign Ministry’s Foreign Disaster Fund (AKF)
In light of the humanitarian disaster in Ukraine due to the brutal Russian war of aggression and its grave consequences, which can be felt far beyond the region, the Austrian government is providing an additional nearly 46 million from the Foreign Ministry’s Foreign Disaster Fund (AKF). This year’s budget for humanitarian aid has thus exceeded the 100-million-euro mark for the first time.
The provision of 45.96 million euros from the AKF was approved by the Council of Ministers last Wednesday. It is the largest payment of all time. 41.96 million euros will be given to the “Nachbar in Not” (Neighbour in Need) aid campaign. The federal government has announced that it will double all private donations received by Easter Monday. Another 4 million euros will go to the World Food Programme (WFP) for its essential work in Lebanon, Syria, Yemen and Libya. Due to the rising prices of basic food items and the absence of grain exports from Russia and Ukraine, the WFP is planning for a dramatic increase in demand so it can supply the most necessary items to people in the region who are already impacted by humanitarian crises.
We see it as our humanitarian duty to help ease the suffering of the people in Ukraine. Since the start of the war, Austria has already provided a series of emergency relief packages, including 17.5 million euros from the Foreign Disaster Fund and deliveries of civilian emergency vehicles, helmets, body armour and fuel. With today’s decision by the Council of Ministers, the federal government is keeping the promise it made in March, doubling all donations to Ukraine that were collected through ORF’s “Nachbar in Not” campaign by Easter Monday. This money will now go where it is most urgently needed, as direct local assistance,
said Chancellor Karl Nehammer.
The fates and images of the suffering of the Ukrainian population are tragic, and they sometimes make us feel helpless. But in this hour of difficulty, Austrians’ have shown a great willingness to help support the victims. Today’s decision is important and right. The government will keep its promise of doubling Austrians’ private donations to ‘Nachbar in Not’. We will also give an additional 4 million euros to the World Food Programme. The AKF will again be increased by 46 million and this year’s budget for humanitarian aid will pass the 100-million-euro mark for the first time. It is quite clear: We stand by the Ukrainian population. With this 42-million-euro payment, we want to give “Nachbar in Not” rapid assistance, without red tape. Together we can better support all those who especially need our help and solidarity. I want to thank all of the donors who are committed to providing this important humanitarian aid,
said Vice-Chancellor Werner Kogler.
At least 15 million euros of the funds approved today will be used in projects to ease humanitarian suffering, particularly among women and girls. At least 5 million euros will be provided to organisations working in the Republic of Moldova, which has been particularly affected by floods of refugees from Ukraine. Thus, Austrian aid to Ukraine and other strongly impacted states will total more than 80 million euros since the start of the Russian war of aggression.
In light of the brutal Russian war of aggression, Ukraine deserves our unlimited solidarity and help. With the largest-ever payment from the Foreign Disaster Fund, we are particularly helping the most vulnerable people suffering the effects of this completely unjustified aggression. Thus, Austria is consistently pursuing its approach of providing aid on site – responsibly and thoughtfully,
said Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg.
Women and children are the ones who suffer the most from this devastating war in Ukraine. Therefore our priority as the federal government is to help women and children in particular, because they are the ones who most urgently need aid—both in Ukraine and in the neighbouring countries. We will provide at least 15 million euros from the AKF to this group alone. My sincere thanks go to all those who donated to the ‘Nachbar in Not’ campaign, or who otherwise helped and are still helping refugees from Ukraine,
concluded Minister for Women’s Affairs Susanne Raab.
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