Addressing the humanitarian and economic emergency in Ukraine


From the first day of Russia’s war of aggression, France, with its partners, has supported Ukraine and the surrounding countries hardest hit by the conflict. A total of €300 million has been raised to meet the emergency humanitarian needs and to repair essential infrastructures.

Responding to the most urgent humanitarian needs

Russia’s war of aggression on Ukraine has caused a serious humanitarian crisis. Since the conflict began, several million Ukrainians have had to leave their homes to flee fighting and bombardment.

The Crisis and Support Centre (CDCS) of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs is working to help victims and refugees amid this humanitarian emergency, in both Ukraine and neighbouring countries. Since the start of the war, the CDCS has coordinated more than 50 solidarity missions, delivering several tons of humanitarian items and equipment to Ukraine and neighbouring countries and demonstrating France’s exceptional commitment to supporting the Ukrainian people.

Thanks to the coordination provided through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, France’s emergency humanitarian assistance is meeting the priority needs expressed by Ukraine and neighbouring countries.
The donations cover the sectors of medical aid, food aid, search and rescue equipment, emergency electrical supplies for hospitals, emergency shelters and essentials for displaced persons and refugees, support for mobility of populations, mine clearance and support to Ukrainian journalists.

In response to the challenge of transporting assistance, CDCS teams have set up a land, air and sea logistics bridge to transport different types of equipment to address the emergency on the ground from the start of the conflict.

“A Ship for Ukraine” solidarity operation

The “A Ship for Ukraine” operation in late 2022 is France’s largest humanitarian assistance operation in support of Ukraine since the start of Russia’s war of aggression. More than 1,000 tons of humanitarian freight was shipped to Ukraine, addressing the priorities expressed by the Ukrainian authorities. It included aid for civil security, medical supplies, food aid and emergency rehabilitation equipment. This operation demonstrated France’s solidarity and that of its local government bodies, civil society and businesses with the Ukrainian people.

Support for the energy sector

In November 2022, 100 generators were sent, part of the total of 500 generators sent to Ukraine by the European Union. Moreover, in relation to the pledges made at the conference of 13 December 2022, some 5 million LED light bulbs were sent to Ukraine in February 2023.

Destruction of the Kakhovka dam

France also provided emergency humanitarian assistance after the destruction of the Kakhovka dam in June 2023 in order to come to the aid of the populations who were directly affected by the resulting floods more swiftly (donations of water pumps, inflatable boats and generators ). This assistance included 5 water purification stations, 6 water storage units and generators, nearly 40 boats, 210 water pumps, and 40 water storage units.

Medical evacuations

The CDCS has also coordinated 26 medical evacuation operations from Ukraine to France for close to 120 patients (wounded soldiers and children with cancer).

Outpouring of solidarity from many sources

All of this action illustrates France’s continuous engagement since 24 February 2022, on the part of the central government, local government and civil society in support of the Ukrainian people.

An exceptional outpouring of solidarity has been seen among the French population since 24 February 2022, with 1,700 local government bodies and more than 60 companies making contributions to help the Ukrainian victims of the war via the Ministry’s finance mechanisms, which raised more than €9 million.

How can you contribute?

  1. If you are a company
  2. If you are a local government

France’s support to NGOs in Ukraine

In addition, the CDCS has allocated more than €90 million to support 28 organizations working to meet the essential needs of displaced Ukrainian people and refugees: support for humanitarian mine clearance, the fight against impunity and sexual crimes, and support for independent news, education and energy.

For more information, see the infographics on France’s support for NGOs in Ukraine

Dedicated humanitarian assistance for Ukrainian women and children

France is working for Ukrainian women in many areas including health, sexual and reproductive rights, psychosocial support, information, education and housing.

The CDCS provides funding for many programmes implemented by NGOs to meet the needs of women who have fled, with or without children, to neighbouring countries or France. Some 58% of the humanitarian projects financed are aimed wholly or partly at helping Ukrainian women.

France is also providing financial support to UN humanitarian agencies, including the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), as well as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies that are active in Ukraine and neighbouring countries to protect women and girls from sexual and gender-based violence.

Some 90% of Ukrainian refugees in France and the wider EU are women and children. France is therefore operating specific initiatives for access to fundamental rights like health services, as well as transport, accommodation and learning the French language.

Assistance in Ukraine’s reconstruction

France continues to take action, with its partners, and to lay down the main principles for Ukraine’s reconstruction.

A portion of France’s efforts are focused on the Chernihiv region, which has enjoyed longstanding ties with France and was greatly damaged by Russia’s bombing at the start of the conflict. France provides economic and financial aid, including direct loans, an investment guarantee mechanism and support for French companies involved in reconstruction.

France is at the helm of several tangible initiatives.

Material recycling project in Hostomel

This project conducted by the French company Neo-Eco aims to speed up reconstruction efforts by recycling building materials.

Railway track supply by Saarstahl Rail

This project aims to supply 20,000 tons of rails to the Ukrainian rail company Ukrzaliznytsia to repair more than 150 kilometres of railway tracks. The rails are manufactured in France by Saarstahl Rail in Hayange (Moselle). Amounting to €37.6 million and funded by a concessional loan from the French Treasury, this initiative has been critical to reconstruction since the destruction of the only rail factory, in Mariupol.

Delivery of metallic modular bridges by the company Matière

Three metallic modular bridges were delivered by the French company Matière to the Chernihiv region, contributing to the reconstruction of essential infrastructure.

A project to support authorities in the Chernihiv region in reconstruction and decentralization

This project aims to meet the urgent needs of Ukrainian people, support the preparation of Ukraine’s reconstruction and facilitate its accession to the European Union. An Expertise France office with three full-time equivalent positions will open its doors soon in the Chernihiv region to coordinate the project’s activities.

France’s commitment to safeguarding Ukraine’s cultural heritage

According to UNESCO, more than 250 cultural sites have been destroyed or damaged since the start of Russia’s war of aggression, which shows a deliberate intention to target Ukrainian cultural heritage including museums, religious buildings, historic buildings, monuments and libraries – sites that are an integral part of Ukrainian culture.

That is why France, which is strongly committed to protecting heritage in conflict areas, is working alongside all of its European and international partners to safeguard Ukrainian heritage.

Since the beginning of the war, France and its partners have been working to ensure that specific measures are put in place in liaison with international organizations such as UNESCO, the International Council of Museums (ICOM) and the International Alliance for the Protection of Heritage in Conflict Areas (ALIPH Foundation). The ALIPH Foundation, of which France is a founding member, raised almost €3 million, including a financial commitment from the European Commission of €2 million, for projects protecting Ukrainian heritage, including staff training in preventive protection and the delivery of equipment to protect collections. A total of four convoys and 60 tons of equipment have been sent to Ukraine and 150 collections have been protected.

Lastly, the Ministry of Culture and its major public institutions such as the Louvre Museum and the National Library of France have hosted Ukrainian curators and restorers since the beginning of the war and are working with them on structural actions (such as protecting, restoring and digitizing) to protect the collections kept in Ukrainian museums and cultural institutions and training their staff in restoring damaged heritage items.

Updated: February 2024