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Representatives of the European Commission and the Ministry of Health discussed priority areas of medical humanitarian assistance for 2024

22 September 2023

Representatives of the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) and WHO met with Deputy Minister for European Integration Maryna Slobodnichenko and discussed the priority areas of humanitarian medical assistance for 2024.

Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, EU countries have allocated almost EUR 770 million for emergency assistance to Ukraine through the EU civil protection mechanism. During this time, 32 countries have sent more than 95,000 tons of humanitarian aid.

As part of the cooperation between the Ministry of Health and the European Commission, with the support of the WHO, 180 evacuation flights have been carried out since April 2022, sending about 4,000 Ukrainians for specialized treatment in foreign clinics.  

“We are very grateful to the European Commission and the EU countries that continue to support Ukrainians and provide the most necessary medical care in the frontline regions, rural areas, and de-occupied settlements. Unfortunately, the war is not over yet: the enemy is destroying our infrastructure, shelling civilians, killing and maiming people in the occupied territories and at the frontline every day. And while our military is recapturing the occupied land, medical needs are only growing. We are talking about medicines and consumables, as well as evacuation vehicles, armored ambulances, modular stabilization centers, and rehabilitation,” said Deputy Minister Maryna Slobodnichenko.

Medical needs are constantly changing, but they can be divided into three blocks:

  • medical care: psychological support for medical workers and Ukrainians affected by the war, primary medical care in frontline regions and de-occupied settlements;
  • reconstruction and re-equipment: as a result of systematic hostile shelling of civilian infrastructure since the beginning of the full-scale war, 1,436 medical facilities have been damaged and 190 have been destroyed. All of them need to be rebuilt and provided with medical equipment;
  • support for the military: the need for modular stabilization units, armored medical vehicles, resuscitation vehicles and evacuation buses. There is also a need for medicines and consumables.

To manage the needs and humanitarian aid, the Ministry of Health has developed a dashboard with constantly updated lists of priority needs - medicines, medical devices and consumables - that Ukrainian medical institutions are currently in need of. In addition, a sectoral working group on healthcare is working under the Ministry of Health to consolidate the efforts of international partners.

During the meeting with ECHO and WHO, the parties also discussed the issue of strengthening Ukraine’s preparedness to respond to emergencies. In particular, representatives of the Ministry of Health told the international partners about the needs of epidemic, chemical, and radiation response teams that work within the framework of emergency services and helped prevent infectious diseases after the terrorist attack on the Kakhovka HPP. 

To strengthen emergency response teams, a series of situational exercises are needed, and there is a need to equip them with vehicles, dosimeters, personal protective equipment, and consumables, including reagents and laboratory equipment.

For reference: The Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG ECHO) is the European Commission’s department for humanitarian aid and civil protection abroad. It aims to save and preserve lives, prevent and alleviate human suffering and protect populations affected by natural and man-made disasters.

Since 2014, before the full-scale invasion began, the European Union and its member states have provided more than EUR 1 billion in humanitarian and early recovery assistance. EU assistance is aimed at addressing the urgent basic needs of the population in areas directly affected by the conflict, as well as for internally displaced persons.