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Prime Minister De Croo and Minister Lahbib are shown around Borodyanka, a Kyiv suburb that suffered greatly under Russian occupation (November 2022) (© Photo News).
Unfortunately, the war in Ukraine is far from over. Since the start of the large-scale Russian invasion, hundreds of billions of euros worth of material damage has already been done.
Belgium therefore intends to continue supporting the Ukrainian people with a new aid package of 92 million euros on top of the support this country gave previously.
Below is an updated list of all the aid to date:
(Some components of the new €92 million aid package have yet to be approved by the government for implementation, but the amounts are fixed.)
HUMANITARIAN AID: €97.26 million
Belgium wants to help ensure that the Ukrainian civilian population, even in these extremely difficult circumstances, has access to basic services such as food, clean drinking water, medical care and education.
For example, the Belgian emergency intervention team B-FAST provided numerous shipments of emergency goods. On day 1 of the war, it was already sending tents, kitchen sets, blankets, hygiene kits and suchlike. This later included medical equipment such as surgical gloves, respirators, needles and syringes, masks and medicines. But also milk powder, generators for producing electricity, food, camp beds, sleeping bags, fire brigade equipment and so on. B-FAST is also addressing the disastrous consequences of the Kakhovka dam collapse.
A significant proportion of the aid (€74.45 million) is being channelled through specialist international institutions. This multilateral aid, as it is known, is being managed by the Directorate-General for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid and the Peace-Building Department of the FPS Foreign Affairs, among others.
For example, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) received 8 million euros, in part to support local communities with medical assistance, family reunification and raising awareness around the risks of unexploded explosives.
The United Nations Country-based pooled fund for Ukraine received 16 million euros. This flexible fund allows local and international players to respond quickly to developing needs and sudden crises, such as the Nova Kakhovka dam breach.
With 14 million euros of Belgian support, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) ensured that school-aged children and young people can continue to attend classes as safely as possible.
In addition, the Women's Peace and Humanitarian Fund – a partnership between the UN and civil society – will receive €600,000.
Furthermore, a great deal of support flowed to key UN agencies such as the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the World Food Programme (WFP). This includes the Grain from Ukraine initiative through which Belgium is supporting the WFP in shipping grain donated by Ukraine from the Black Sea to countries facing famine.
RESILIENCE AND REBUILDING: €28.65 million
It is important to invest in rebuilding Ukraine already now. For example, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) received €10 million to repair some ten hospitals located on the front lines or recently liberated by the Ukrainian army. Solar panels were also donated and used to renovate schools. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the World Bank Group are also receiving support (€1.5 million and €2 million, respectively).
Belgium will also support the activities of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Ukraine with €1 million. After all, nuclear safety in Ukraine is at risk due to hostilities near nuclear facilities.
This section also includes some extremely useful niche projects. For example, our country is having the archive of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry digitalised. The digitalisation should protect the archive from possible destruction during the war. In addition, our country is helping Ukraine create safe storage places for its works of art.
HUMAN RIGHTS AND BATTLE AGAINST IMPUNITY: €7.6 MILLION
It is essential for war crimes not to go unpunished. This is why Belgium is supporting the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in carrying out monitoring missions. In this regard, the International Criminal Court will also receive €1 million, including half a million for the Court's Victims Fund.
Our country also fully supports the battle against sexual violence, including through a €2 million contribution to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). With a contribution of €500,000, our country is also supporting UNICEF for the defence of children's rights in armed conflicts.
MILITARY SUPPORT: €290.1 million
From the start of the large-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Ministry of Defence has done everything possible to support Ukrainian forces. In addition to lethal support (weapons and ammunition), this area also includes a wide range of non-lethal support. This includes generators, mobile laboratories, fuel, helmets, binoculars, lorry parts and training.