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Increased humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and neighbouring countries

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‘Russia is waging a brutal war that is having a severe impact on the Ukrainian people. Norway is increasing its support for the people in Ukraine and displaced Ukrainians with a view to enhancing food security, combating human trafficking, and providing transport and medical evacuation,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt.

Russia’s war in Ukraine has already caused widespread suffering and civilian losses and the destruction of vital infrastructure. The scale of the crisis is growing with each passing day, and the humanitarian needs are enormous. More than seven million people are internally displaced and over four million have fled Ukraine for neighbouring countries. These numbers are rising every day.

The Government decided on 27 February that Norway would provide NOK 2 billion to Ukraine and its neighbouring countries in connection with Russia’s war of aggression. One of the neighbouring countries under the greatest pressure is Moldova. Norway has therefore earmarked NOK 100 million for Moldova.

So far, NOK 1.3 billion has been disbursed. The Government has now decided how to distribute the remaining support. The new measures are listed below.

Food security and the fight against hunger

‘The Ukrainian authorities have contacted Norway directly with a request for food aid. It is essential to address the need to increase access to food in Ukraine. That is why we have chosen to allocate NOK 215 million in funding to the World Food Programme,’ said Foreign Minister Huitfeldt.

The World Food Programme (WFP) is already distributing food and cash assistance. The organisation plans to scale up its efforts significantly in order to help the millions of people affected by the conflict in Ukraine.

Humanitarian assistance via Norwegian partner organisations

Due to the security situation in Ukraine, the delivery of humanitarian assistance entails considerable risks. The Norwegian humanitarian organisations are on the ground doing an invaluable job in Ukraine and its neighbouring countries. These organisations are providing a range of services, including health care and sanitation, food and water, cash payments, shelter, education, protection and efforts to reunite families.

Norwegian organisations have been present or carrying out activities in eastern Ukraine, directly or through partners, since 2014. Since the start of the war, these organisations have scaled up their efforts to encompass larger parts of Ukraine and the neighbouring countries that have taken in many refugees. NOK 155 million has been distributed to Norwegian organisations so far, and an additional NOK 100 million has now been allocated.

EU Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM)

Requests for assistance to Ukraine and its neighbouring countries are also received via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM), in which Norway participates.

So far during the Ukraine crisis, Norway has donated equipment and medical assistance valued at approximately NOK 100 million via the UCPM. This has included ambulances, medical equipment, protective gear, medicines/pharmaceutical products, tents and camp beds. This support is now being increased by a further NOK 150 million.

In addition, Norway will provide NOK 115 million via UCPM for medical evacuation.

‘Norway operates an air ambulance for the EU civil emergency authorities, and will cover the costs of using this to evacuate Ukrainian patients. Together with the EU, we will also provide funding for airlifting patients, either through Armed Forces agreements or the private sector. This will be an important, much-needed contribution in Europe’s joint humanitarian response to the war in Ukraine,’ said Minister of Health and Care Services Ingvild Kjerkol.

The situation in Ukraine is changing all the time, and new humanitarian needs may suddenly arise. Norway has set aside a reserve of roughly NOK 178 million for this purpose.

Fact box

Norway has decided to provide NOK 2 billion in support to Ukraine. An overview of how this funding has been allocated is given below.

The most recent allocation, amounting to NOK 758 million, is being distributed as follows:

  • NOK 215 million to the World Food Programme (WFP) for food security and the fight against hunger.
  • NOK 100 million to Norwegian humanitarian organisations.
  • NOK 265 million to the EU Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM).
  • NOK 178 million in reserve funding.

NOK 1.3 billion has already been distributed as follows:

  • NOK 250 million for activities under the UN Regional Refugee Response Plan, led by the UN Refugee Agency.
  • NOK 350 million to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
  • NOK 144 million to Norwegian humanitarian organisations for their relief efforts in Ukraine and neighbouring countries.
  • NOK 100 million in material assistance and medical supplies through the UCPM.
  • The remainder will primarily be disbursed to UN organisations for humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.
  • NOK 200 million in funding to help the Ukrainian government administration. This funding will be used to pay salaries for health care personnel, teachers and public sector employees, as well as pensions and social benefits.
  • NOK 100 million to Moldova. Moldova is one of the poorest countries in Europe and has seen an influx of over 400 000 refugees. The funding will be used both to provide assistance to vulnerable refugees and to facilitate the efforts of the Moldovan authorities.

Norway’s core support to the UN Refugee Agency, the World Food Programme, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and the UN Central Emergency Response Fund comes in addition to this.