The massive bombing Russia has been carrying out intentionally for several weeks against Ukraine’s energy infrastructure and civilian population bring with them the serious risk of a new humanitarian crisis as winter approaches. This critical situation requires urgent mobilization by the international community.
France has been resolutely committed to Ukraine and the Ukrainian people since the beginning of the illegal and unjustifiable aggression of which they are the victim. Since March 2022, as part of the $2 billion of assistance it has released to support Ukraine, France has provided several thousand tonnes of emergency aid (food, health, emergency services), equipment for rehabilitating homes, emergency bridges and, very soon, several dozen electricity generators. It has also supported, to the tune of €70 million, NGOs and international organizations playing an active role on the ground to provide essential services to the Ukrainian people and to prepare for winter. It is contributing to the European effort to support Ukraine, which currently stands at €22 billion, as well as through its contributions to the multilateral organizations mobilized to this end.
Massive, long-term assistance
For example, in response to the needs expressed by Ukraine, France has conducted more than 30 solidarity operations since the Russian aggression began, delivering more than 2,600 tonnes of goods with a value of €41 million, including 1,000 tonnes during the latest operation, “Un Bateau pour l’Ukraine” [a ship for Ukraine], which left the port of Marseille on 28 September and has arrived in the country.
Moreover, €30 million has been mobilized to support 17 NGOs whose action aims to address the essential needs of Ukrainian displaced people and refugees. In particular, emphasis has been put on the rehabilitation and insulation of community centres, increased health support to limit the spread of winter illnesses, support for the logistics chain to supply vulnerable people with equipment for the winter, and financial support to vulnerable people to buy essential goods. France is playing its full role in hosting Ukrainian refugees within the European Union, including by sending children to school.
France has also supported, through more than €38 million, the work of several international organizations (the High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Organization for Migration, the ICRC, UNICEF) engaged in helping vulnerable and displaced people.
It is also lending essential support to Ukraine’s emergency services, which have been put under great strain since the Russian aggression began. For example, more than 70 intervention vehicles, eight water craft and nearly 200 tonnes of specialized equipment have been provided since March 2022.
Finally, France is practically involved in supporting Ukrainian and ICC investigators to gather evidence and identify the victims of war crimes.
Mobilization to respond to the arrival of winter
With winter approaching, France will step up its active efforts, directly and through NGOs and international organizations, to provide practical responses to the Ukrainian people’s essential needs in terms of food, heating, lighting and electricity supplies: electricity generators, lamps, heating facilities, the repair and insulation of homes, and fuel purchases. The work of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs’ Crisis and Support Centre has been redirected towards this as a matter of priority for several weeks.
Organization of a conference in Paris on civilian resilience
To continue this commitment, as the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs has said, France will organize a conference in Paris on support for Ukraine’s civilian resilence, in the presence of multilateral donors and stakeholders wishing to take action alongside it. The conference will be held on 13 December. Its aim will be to identify practical responses to address the winter emergency. Special emphasis will be put on the supply of essential equipment and the rebuilding of critical infrastructure, in particular energy infrastructure. It will also seek to establish a working method and create a network bringing together Ukraine and the donors to ensure consistency between Ukraine’s needs and the international community’s support capabilities.