As the conflict in eastern Ukraine enters its seventh year, the European Commission announces today €13 million to support the most vulnerable people affected by the ongoing hostilities. At the same time, EU-funded humanitarian projects will also help address the coronavirus outbreak.
Janez Lenarčič, Commissioner for Crisis Management, said: “The European Union stands in full solidarity with the people in eastern Ukraine. EU aid helps vulnerable people who are exhausted by six years of conflict reach basic services, such as health and water. Access to such services is even more important in the face of the coronavirus outbreak. The EU supports people in need on both sides of the contact line.”
Humanitarian needs in eastern Ukraine continue to rise. The funding announced today will help repair buildings damaged by the conflict, such as schools and health facilities, and provide basic needs, such as education and water. All EU humanitarian assistance is channelled via UN agencies, NGOs, and the International Committee of the Red Cross. The EU consistently calls for unimpeded access for the humanitarian organisations providing support on the ground to the non-government-controlled areas.
The situation in eastern Ukraine remains extremely volatile. Since March 2014, the conflict has affected over 5.2 million people, of whom 3.5 million are still in need of humanitarian assistance. Humanitarian needs are steadily on the rise due to the increased economic vulnerability of the conflict-affected population, mainly in the non-government-controlled areas where humanitarian access is facing even further restrictions due to the coronavirus outbreak. Indiscriminate shelling continues to hamper the provision of essential services, such as water and electricity, on both sides of the contact line.
Ukraine ranks fifth in the world for civilian casualties linked to landmines and unexploded ordnances.