The EU is mobilising funding of €22 million – of which €5 million is humanitarian aid and €17 million development aid - to assist regions suffering from the consequences of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
The Commission's humanitarian funding addresses the basic needs of the population in the areas directly affected by the conflict, the internally displaced and refugees who have fled the conflict areas, and the returnees who are going back home to areas recovered by the Ukrainian government forces. The funds will cover shelter, food, water, healthcare, psycho-social assistance and protection in preparation for the coming winter.
"EU's humanitarian aid is based on needs and those, unfortunately, have been steeply increasing throughout the past months. With the winter on the doorstep, the situation is additionally worrying. We are therefore scaling up our assistance to meet the basic humanitarian needs of the affected populations," said Kristalina Georgieva, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response.
"I call on all sides to respect the ceasefire as this brings about an increased possibility for a full and unimpeded humanitarian access to the civilian victims of the conflict, and allows for safe movement of the people out of the conflict zone. The work of international humanitarian organisations should be enabled and facilitated without delay and in accordance with international humanitarian law," the Commissioner added.
The €5 million for humanitarian assistance comes on the top of €2.5 million, which the European Commission allocated in August 2014 to assist the most vulnerable of those affected by the continued conflict in Eastern Ukraine. As the numbers of refuges and internally displaced continue to rise, the basic needs of the populations have also been constantly increasing.
This additional funding is also a contribution to the United Nations-led Preliminary Response Plan for Ukraine that calls for a more substantial, and especially better coordinated international support to Ukraine and which covers both emergency needs and early recovery.
The continued fighting as well as events which unfolded in March 2014 in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, have led to an increased displacement of the population inside Ukraine and beyond its borders.
Hundreds of thousands are internally displaced or have reportedly fled to neighbouring countries. As a result of the efforts of the Ukrainian military forces to regain the occupied territories in the east, a substantial number of people are returning to the recaptured areas.