About 12 million people are currently dependent on emergency aid as a result of the Russian attack on Ukraine. Many lack access to electricity, water, food and other basic necessities. Millions have been forced to flee their homes but remain in Ukraine. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) warns that over two million people have already fled to neighbouring countries – more than half of them to Poland. The vast majority of those displaced are women and children, as able-bodied men are obliged to remain behind in Ukraine to defend their country. In their latest appeals for support, the UN and the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement put the funding needs for Ukraine and neighbouring countries at just under USD 2 billion over the next three months.
Switzerland responded swiftly to the war in Ukraine with humanitarian aid. Switzerland's humanitarian support package currently involves three elements: sending relief supplies, deploying Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit (SHA) specialists and providing financial support to humanitarian organisations. To date, Switzerland has sent over 500 tonnes of relief supplies to Ukraine, Poland and Moldova. Switzerland's support package for the initial phase of the aid operation amounts to CHF 8 million.
Major increase in financial aid
In response to the refugee crisis, the Federal Council decided at its meeting of 11 March to increase humanitarian aid to Ukraine to a total of CHF 80 million. With this contribution, Switzerland is expressing its solidarity with the people of Ukraine in their time of need.
A quarter of this sum will be used to help Ukrainian refugees in neighbouring countries. Three quarters are earmarked to help those who have remained in Ukraine. The funds will go to the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, UN agencies, international and local NGOs and projects implemented by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) in Ukraine.
The FDFA is contributing CHF 21 million from existing credits; the Federal Department of Justice and Police CHF 6 million. The remaining CHF 53 million are additional funds and will be submitted to parliamentary approval.
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