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European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations
News article19 October 2022Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)

Ukraine: EU launches winter shelter programme and boosts humanitarian aid by €175 million

Janez Lenarčič meets President Zelenskyy in Ukraine
Commissioner Lenarčič meets with Ukrainian President Zelenskyy
© European Union, 2022

On 19 October, the European Commission announced a new emergency shelter and winterised facilities programme for Ukraine, as Russia's war continues to destroy civilian infrastructure. Furthermore, the Commission will provide an additional €175 million in humanitarian assistance to support those most in need in Ukraine and Moldova.

The announcement comes as Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, is visiting Ukraine today to help coordinate one of the EU's most extensive emergency response operations.

During his visit, he met with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as well as the Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Olga Stefanishyna, Head of the President of Ukraine’s Office, Mr Andryi Yermak, and the Minister of Internal Affairs, Mr Denys Monastyrsky.

Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič said: “While Russia is further escalating its brutal attacks against Ukraine, specifically targeting civilian infrastructure and residential buildings, I stand here in Kyiv reiterating that the EU is as dedicated as ever in its support to Ukraine. The upcoming winter is likely to bring major challenges to Ukraine and we must be prepared. Via our rescEU reserve, a temporary shelter capacity will be immediately deployed to three different regions in Ukraine: Rivne, Bucha and Kharkiv. In addition, the EU is boosting its humanitarian aid funding with further a €175 million to provide education, food, access to water, and protection from the cold winter for the most vulnerable. We are also working together by preparing a pathway for Ukraine to join the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.”

EU humanitarian response this winter will include:

  • The rescEU strategic reserve will be mobilised to deploy emergency stockpiles of shelter units and other items to Ukraine with a total value of €62.3 million. Overall, together with a second shelter reserve hosted by Romania, the EU has acquired the capacity to provide temporary emergency shelter for up to 46,000 people.
  • An additional €175 million in humanitarian aid will target the most vulnerable in Ukraine. Out of this, €150 milion is allocated for operations in Ukraine, while €25 million is for operations in Moldova. The key priority is to provide winterised shelter in view of the expected freezing temperatures. Other priorities include education in emergencies, health, and protection assistance. This new funding will bring the total of EU humanitarian aid in response to Russia's war in Ukraine to over €500 million.

The European Commission and Ukraine have also started to work together to prepare Ukraine to join the EU Civil Protection Mechanism in the future.

The Mechanism has already been mobilised in its full force to support Ukraine with more than 70,000 tonnes of life-saving items delivered to Ukraine from 31 different European countries.


In response to the Russia's military aggression against Ukraine in February 2022, the European Commission is coordinating its largest ever operation under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.

All 27 EU countries, plus Norway, Türkiye, North Macedonia and Iceland, have offered in-kind assistance ranging from medical supplies and shelter items to vehicles and energy equipment.

Since 24 February, the European Commission has allocated €523 million for humanitarian aid programmes to help civilians affected by the war in Ukraine. This includes respectively €485 million for Ukraine and €38 million for Moldova.

To further strengthen its emergency response, the EU is developing its own shelter reserves that can be deployed in the context of crises or disasters.

As a first pilot, the EU is in the process of deploying 500 temporary shelter units to the Rivne region, 550 to the Bucha region – in addition to 1,000 beds – and 600 to the Kharkiv region in Ukraine.

Each unit can host up to 5 people and is fully equipped with beds and heaters. The units are being shipped to Ukraine from the rescEU emergency stockpile hosted by Sweden.

This emergency shelter reserve includes temporary housing units that will be equipped with showers, toilets, basic toiletry kits, and communal spaces for gathering or eating.

The Commission has also procured thousands of beds that can be used in temporary accommodation centres to welcome refugees or internally displaced persons. The shelter units are being provided as a temporary solution, while more permanent housing is being made available.


Publication date
19 October 2022 (Last updated on: 20 October 2022)
Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)