Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian spoke today with representatives of major French NGOs that belong to the Humanitarian Consultation Group (Groupe de concertation humanitaire), an umbrella organization for humanitarian associations. They discussed the challenges of delivering and ensuring access to aid in response to the needs created by the war and massive population displacements, as well as logistical challenges and the coordination of relief, the protection of civilians, and compliance with international humanitarian law.
In light of the serious humanitarian repercussions of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, France put together a €100 million package to meet the most urgent humanitarian needs, as President Macron had requested. France’s emergency response is composed of material assistance channeled directly to the area, support for projects run by NGOs, and funding for international organizations such as the UN.
An airlift was organized as soon as the conflict broke out and it has already supplied Ukraine and neighboring countries such as Moldova with nearly 100 tons in emergency aid, particularly medical equipment, medicines and emergency shelters.
Two funds have been established to harness the exceptional outpouring of solidarity toward victims and refugees and to swiftly and effectively collect financial contributions for France’s humanitarian operations; these funds are being managed by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs’ Crisis and Support Center (CDCS). The Local Government External Action Fund (FACECO) has been operational since March 1; this mechanism allows all local governments, regardless of their size, to make financial contributions, should they wish to do so. FACECO has already raised more than €1.6 million in pledged donations. A similar fund was established for businesses.
The French people are feeling an overwhelming sense of solidarity. In order to more effectively meet the needs of Ukraine and its neighbors, individuals are advised at this stage to make financial donations to reputable organizations rather than send contributions in kind, which can present logistical problems connected with shipping and do not always correspond to the most urgent needs on the ground.