Ukraine, which continues to suffer from acts of aggression in eastern part of the country as well as the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by the Russian Federation, has also been affected throughout all spheres of life. The EU welcomes the prevention measures taken by the Ukrainian government in response to the growing COVID-19 spread. We recognise the difficulty of some of these decisions.
The EU will continue to support Ukraine in this unprecedented crisis. In order to alleviate its impact on the health system, people's daily lives and the economy, the EU is preparing a set of assistance measures for individual partner countries, as well as for the Eastern Neighbourhood region as a whole. A first package for Ukraine comprises around €80 million.
Presenting the support package, Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi commented: “We stand by Ukraine in these extremely difficult times. With this support package, we aim at saving lives and strengthening societal resilience. We support the Ukrainian response to a spike in health and social assistance needs as well as the protection of businesses and jobs. We know we need to act quickly and efficiently in reinforcing government and civic action.”
The foreseen support package includes the following:
The overall funding mobilised for coronavirus-related measures amounts to a total of €140 million for the Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic Moldova, Ukraine) of which a significant part will be dedicated to Ukraine. Further measures under the 2020 budget will be added later this year, responding flexibly to emerging needs. This new CODIV-19 related initiative comes on top of recently announced additional €5.2 million in response to the conflict in Ukraine's eastern regions and the destabilisation of the Sea of Azov region.
The Commission can also provide assistance through TAIEX, its peer to peer instrument, by using EU Member States expertise, experience and examples of good practice on assessing emergency preparedness response scheme and health systems.
Furthermore, the EU stands ready to disburse €500 million to the Ukrainian state budget under the Macro-Financial Assistance programme in the form of low-interest loans. Disbursement of these funds is subject to the completion of the actions that Ukraine has agreed with the staff of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and that are needed for the IMF programme to be submitted to the IMF Executive Board for approval.
The EU, together with its Member States is the biggest donor of conflict response assistance to Ukraine. It has provided over €762.5 million since the beginning of the conflict, of which approximately half accounted for humanitarian aid.
Overall, EU support to Ukraine since 2014 totals over €15 billion in grants and concessional loans in support of Ukraine’s reform agenda as well as the political association and economic integration with the EU.