Since the start of Russia’s invasion on 24 February, the humanitarian needs in Ukraine have risen to unprecedented levels. More than 15.7 million people require humanitarian assistance.
The ongoing war endangers the lives of civilians and causes severe damage to housing, water and electricity supply, heating, but also public infrastructure such as schools and health facilities. Millions of people have no access to basic needs.
The EU has mobilised all possible resources to enable emergency assistance into Ukraine.
The war in Ukraine has already forced more than 14 million people to leave their homes, of which over 7.7 million people have crossed the border to neighbouring countries, including the Republic of Moldova, Romania, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary. Since February, 2.5 million Ukrainians have returned home.
The majority of those fleeing Ukraine are women and children. This is the fastest-growing refugee crisis in the world.
It is estimated that more than 7.1 million people are internally displaced. Meanwhile, close to 13 million people are stranded in affected areas, either unwilling or unable to leave due to military action.
The war in Ukraine has spiralled into a fully-fledged humanitarian catastrophe.
Needs inside the country
The worst situation is currently seen in eastern and southern Ukraine, especially in besieged Mariupol, and along the former line of contact in Donbas.
The Russian aggression against Ukraine has provoked serious humanitarian challenges. Millions of people do not have access to basic services, including water, electricity and heating, while food supplies are running low. They also need sleeping equipment and clothing. The provision of shelter is also extremely urgent.
The war has also provoked significant protection challenges as civilians are exposed to shelling, armed violence, mines, family separation, looting or eviction, and human trafficking.
The safety risks for women and girls are extremely worrying, as well as the situation of the most vulnerable groups (children, older persons, persons with disabilities, and LGBTIQ+ people).
Humanitarian access and windows of silence are essential to deliver relief items to those in need and to enable safe evacuation of civilians from areas under siege.
The international community is extremely concerned about the violations of international humanitarian law and allegations of war crimes. The EU is committed to support Ukraine in holding the perpetrators accountable.
How are we helping?
Response to Russia’s war
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, Turkey and North Macedonia, have offered in-kind assistance ranging from medical supplies and shelter items to vehicles and energy equipment. The items are being delivered both directly to Ukraine and through logistical hubs established in Poland, Romania, and Slovakia. As of 17 June, over 40,000 tonnes have been delivered via the logistical hubs.
Furthermore, a substantial contribution from the rescEU medical stockpiles, with a total financial value of over €14 million, has been sent to Ukraine.
This includes specialised medical equipment, like ultrasound diagnostic devices, oxygen concentrators, patient monitors, infusion pumps and ventilators, but also protective material, like masks and gowns.
Also, the EU is coordinating medical evacuations of Ukrainian patients in urgent need of treatment, transferring them to hospitals across Europe to receive specialised care.
These evacuation operations are supported by the new rescEU medical evacuation plane, financed by the EU and hosted by Norway.
A team of EU civil protection experts is operating on the ground in Poland. They assist the authorities to coordinate the incoming assistance.
The EU is also supporting Poland, Moldova, Slovakia, Czechia, and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. Already 18 Member States and Norway have supplied resources including shelter equipment, power generators and hygiene kits to Moldova alone.
EU humanitarian aid in Ukraine
Since 28 February, the European Commission has allocated €348 million for humanitarian aid programmes to help civilians affected by the war in Ukraine. This includes respectively €335 million for Ukraine and €13 million for Moldova.
EU humanitarian partners strengthened or swiftly re-established presence all over the country and mobilised assistance on the ground. Despite security and access constraints particularly in eastern Ukraine, humanitarian assistance flows across the country to meet the needs of those internally displaced.
So far, over 7.8 million people have benefitted from humanitarian assistance in Ukraine. Over 6.6 million people have received food assistance, whereas nearly 2.7 million have benefitted from health interventions or supplies. Nearly 1.7 million people have received cash assistance.
The new funding is helping people inside Ukraine by providing them with (i) food, (ii) water, (iii) essential household items, (iv) health care, (v) psychosocial support, (vi) emergency shelter, (vii) protection, and (viii) cash assistance to help to cover their basic needs.
Since the start of Russia’s invasion on 24 February, EU countries alone have mobilised nearly €950 million in humanitarian assistance.
The EU’s Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations have been operating in Ukraine since February 2014. Since then, the EU and Member States have provided around €1.28 billion in humanitarian aid.
EU humanitarian offices in Ukraine and Moldova play a key role in facilitating humanitarian coordination and information sharing among various organisations, including donors, authorities and humanitarian partners.
EU-funded humanitarian assistance is provided in line with the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence. It is delivered through the UN humanitarian agencies, non-governmental organisations and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
- 9 JuneThe EU announces additional €205 million in humanitarian aid
During his visit to Ukraine, Commissioner Lenarčič announced new humanitarian funding as part of the Commission’s previous pledges. This brings the total EU humanitarian aid in response to the war in Ukraine to €348 million.
- 3 JuneThe EU has coordinated over 500 medical evacuations
The EU has reached a milestone of more than 500 Ukrainian patients transferred to hospitals across Europe via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.
- 19 AprilAdditional €50 million in humanitarian aid
The EU allocated a further €50 million to support the people affected by Russia’s war on Ukraine, with €45 million for humanitarian projects in Ukraine and €5 million for Moldova.
- 12 AprilEuropean Humanitarian Response Capacity
On top of already provided EU humanitarian funding, a humanitarian operation in Moldova has set-up a warehouse in Chisinau for humanitarian partners and the delivery of over EU-owned 1,200 tents and 4,000 blankets for people displaced by the conflict. Another humanitarian warehouse is being set up in Vinnytsia, Ukraine.
- 6 AprilEU develops strategic reserves for chemical, biological and radio-nuclear emergencies
The EU mobilised its new rescEU reserve to procure potassium iodide tablets. As of 6 April, 3 million such tablets have been delivered to Ukraine via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, with the help of France and Spain.
- 29 MarchNew channel for private donations to Ukraine created by the European Commission
In kind donations will supply vital items such as medicines, vaccines, medical equipment, tents, beds and emergency blankets through this extension of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.
- 23 MarchNew logistics hub in Slovakia fully operational
Commissioner Lenarčič visited a new civil protection hub set up in Kosice. The centre is now fully operational and coordinating emergency assistance offered by 29 countries to Ukraine via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.
- 22 MarchNew EU civil protection and humanitarian aid office in Ukraine
The EU’s Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations department opened an office in Lviv, Ukraine.
- 13 MarchEU's first medical evacuation operation in Ukraine crisis
The EU coordinated its first medical evacuation in the Ukraine crisis, helping to transfer 3 chronically ill Ukrainian children with their relatives from Poland to Italy.
- 11 MarchCzechia activates the EU Civil Protection Mechanism
Czechia requested assistance due to large influx of refugees, in the form of emergency temporary shelters, accommodations items, and camp manager experts.
- 10 MarchAdditional €3 million in humanitarian funding to Moldova
This new funding will support the Ukrainians forced to flee their country. It will help provide winterisation items and shelters, protection services, transportation, access to healthcare, and cash assistance.
- 4 MarchNew assistance with emergency logistical hubs and rescEU aid
The EU mobilised further assistance via the rescEU medical stockpiles based in Germany, Hungary and the Netherlands.
Logistical hubs have been established in Poland, with others being set up in Romania and Slovakia, to distribute required aid to Ukraine as quickly as possible.
- 2 MarchMore emergency assistance and Commissioner visits Poland
As of 2 March, 26 European countries, including recently Bulgaria, Czechia, Estonia, Luxembourg, Norway and Portugal, had already offered support such as medical aid kits, medicine, sleeping bags, generators.
Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, and Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, travelled to Poland to assess the situation on the ground and assistance and coordination needs for providing protection to people fleeing the war in Ukraine.
- 1 March€500 million from EU budget
President Von der Leyen announced at least €500 million EU funding for response activities dealing with the humanitarian consequences of the crisis.
- 28 FebruaryPoland activates the EU Civil Protection Mechanism
Poland activated the EU Civil Protection Mechanism requesting medical items and medicines. So far, 6 countries have offered essential items to Poland.
- 28 February€90 million in EU humanitarian funding for Ukraine
The Commission announces an additional €90 million for emergency aid programmes to help civilians affected by the war in Ukraine.
- 27 FebruarySlovakia requests assistance via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism
Slovakia requested equipment to manage, accommodate and feed the refugees fleeing from Ukraine. So far, 10 countries have responded offering shelter and medical items.
ERCC Liaison officers were deployed to Poland and Slovakia.
- 25 FebruaryMoldova activates the EU Civil Protection Mechanism
Moldova activated the EU Civil Protection Mechanism for assistance for the management of migration flows.
- 24 FebruaryUkraine requests additional civil protection assistance
On the date of Russia’s invasion, Ukraine activated the EU Civil Protection Mechanism to request civil protection supplies.
On top of the previous assistance, Croatia, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Spain, Denmark and Sweden offered over 2 million essential items.
- 15 FebruaryUkraine requests assistance due to the threat of further escalation
Following a request from the Government of Ukraine for emergency assistance, the European Commission coordinated the delivery of essential supplies to support the civilian population via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.