Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna will be in Marseille on September 28 to attend the launch of Operation Un bateau pour l’Ukraine [a ship for Ukraine]. She will be joined by representatives of the various partners involved in this operation, including the Grand-Est, Ile-de-France and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur regions; the Bouches-du-Rhône department; and the city of Marseille.
In light of the tragic consequences of Russia’s war of aggression, France is stepping up its efforts to assist the Ukrainian people.
The Crisis and Support Center of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs is coordinating this unprecedented maritime operation with support from the CMA CGM Foundation, a partner since January 2020. On March 21, the foundation leased an A330 cargo plane carrying 55 tons of donated supplies, and it is now making its Aknoul cargo ship available for this operation.
In response to the urgent need expressed by the Ukrainian authorities, more than 1,000 tons of humanitarian relief will be shipped to the port of Costanţa, Romania, made up of contributions from the public and private sectors. They include:
- civil security equipment: 15 fire and rescue vehicles adapted to Ukrainian standards, including 5 used vehicles donated by our fire and rescue services and 10 new vehicles; 8 semi-rigid inflatable boats; and 19 tons of equipment (rescue, clearance and protective equipment)
- medical assistance: 25 tons of emergency and resuscitation drugs, including 14 tons donated by the Tulipe association and its affiliated healthcare companies; and a medical vehicle equipped with mobile X-ray equipment making it possible to perform examinations in the field
- food aid: 60,000 food rations (two meals per ration), 48 tons of prepared meals, and 13 tons of milk
- emergency repair equipment: 5 emergency generators, construction equipment and tarps.
France is also donating emergency bridges (measuring more than 200 meters) to be used to quickly repair Ukrainian civil infrastructure: 3 prefab Bailey bridges acquired from the French public agency Cerema, and 3 modular steel bridges purchased from the French company Matière (one of these will be transported from France by road).
After it arrives in Costanţa, the cargo will be transported to the humanitarian hub in Suceava, Romania. The fire and rescue vehicles will be transported in a convoy composed of a detachment of 34 fire and rescue workers from French Civil Security military units as well as two firefighters from the Marseille Naval Fire Battalion.
In conjunction with our embassies in Romania and Ukraine, the donations will be turned over to the Ukrainian beneficiaries that we have identified: the Ukrainian State Emergency Service, the Ministry of Health, the Oblasts and cities of Chernihiv and Kharkiv, and the municipalities of Odesa and Stryi. In line with the commitments France undertook at the Lugano Conference, the reconstruction effort will focus on the Chernihiv region, based on the patronage mechanism proposed by President Zelensky.
The Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs thanks all those who contributed to this extraordinary operation: the Grand-Est, Ile-de-France and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur regions, as well as the Bouches-du-Rhône department and the city of Marseille; the Ministry of the Interior and Overseas France; the Ministry of Health and Prevention; the CMA CGM Foundation; the Marseille Naval Fire Battalion; the Tulipe association; Architectes de l’Urgence; Cerema; Cofigeo; the Groupe ADP Foundation; the Latalis Group; and Matière.
We also wish to thank the 1,700 local governments and dozens of companies that contributed to the dedicated funds established by the Crisis and Support Center (CDCS).
This operation, which falls under the scope of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism (EUCPM), once again reflects France’s solidarity with the Ukrainian people and that of its local governments, civil society and businesses.