The European Union has now provided more than €1 billion in humanitarian aid to Ukraine with efforts now focused on preparing for winter, the EU’s Commissioner for Crisis Management said on Thursday.
Speaking from the EU Emergency Response Coordination Centre in Brussels, Janez Lenarčič said that in the nine months since Russia launched the war, the bloc has “provided Ukraine with humanitarian and civil protection assistance in a combined value of around €1 billion.”
“We have prioritised winterisation already months ago,” Lenarčič added, with hundreds of shelter units already deployed across the county.
The country’s energy needs are also being prioritised, especially as Russia has stepped up strikes against civilian infrastructure.
According to the United Nations, Russian missile attacks against Ukrainian critical infrastructure have left millions of people without electricity, water or heating in at least 16 of the country’s 24 regions, and in the capital Kyiv.
In recently-liberated Kherson, people have not had water and electricity for over two weeks, while markets are running low on food, most shops are empty, and pharmacies and health facilities have no medicines, the UN said this week.
The EU has provided 500 generators through its Civil Protection Mechanism with another 300 funded through humanitarian aid. Repair kits to mend damage on electricity grids were also provided.
“But of course, much more is needed in view of the damage that is being done,” Lenarčič stressed.
Most of this aid is being funnelled through three hubs in neighbouring Poland, Slovakia and Romania, which are also being urged to prepare for possible waves of refugees over the winter.