Before the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022, there were more than 200 EU-funded projects active in Ukraine across a wide range of sectors, regions and cities, supporting the country’s ambitious reform agenda. Since the start of the war, the European Commission’s Support Group for Ukraine together with the EU Delegation to Ukraine and EU projects working with Ukraine have reacted to the Russian aggression by rapidly repurposing their activities in the face of the humanitarian crisis and the massive displacement of populations. Up to 200 million euros worth of EU funding initially foreseen for the work of the projects and as grant money has been rechanneled to thousands of activities providing much needed assistance to Ukraine during the war. These range from providing emergency aid, essential supplies, setting up shelters, providing medicines and medical equipment, to supporting Ukrainian refugees, civil society organisations, media outlets, entrepreneurs, civil servants and many vulnerable groups.
A medical chatbot ‘medbot Marta’ is a fast and convenient channel of communication between patients and doctors available on Telegram and Viber in Ukraine. Medbot Marta is in high demand during the war due to the lack of physical access to medical care. The EU supports the work of the East Europe Foundation, which is helping the application’s team to work with doctors from Mariupol to make medical advice more accessible online.
The SOS Rescue – the training centre for organising and operating cross-border rescue actions project, previously worked to increase the effectiveness of trans-border mountain rescue actions, setting up coordination and training centres on both sides of the border, and equipping partners with advanced rescue devices. While the project’s training centre in Poland has now been turned into an Emergency Centre for Ukraine, trainings planned under the project are continuing, last week beginning a specialised training to provide medical first aid.
The EU4GenderEquality programme is responding to the emerging needs of women and men in Ukraine by providing support through civil society organisations in Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia. Its cooperation partner UNFPA Ukraine is providing psychological counselling, crisis communication support and essentials to Ukrainian women from vulnerable groups.
Together with UNDP Ukraine, the EU delivers food supplies to the hard-to-reach communities in Pryvillia, Kreminna and Nyzhnia Duvanka in the Luhansk oblast of Ukraine.
The EU is supporting the central government portal of Ukraine and the state hotline that provides information about assistance needs in Ukraine. Everyone wishing to provide humanitarian or financial assistance to Ukrainians can find relevant information on the platform or by calling to the hotline.
Besides much-needed humanitarian assistance, the International Migration Organisation (IOM) in Ukraine provides displaced people with timely and up-to-date information with financial assistance from the EU. At border crossing points, the IOM team distributes leaflets on temporary protection in EU countries to refugees.
The Mayors for Economic Growth programme is working with local authorities in Ukraine helping them develop a better emergency response that includes effective crisis management and timely provision of public services. Together with UNDP, the programme will strengthen the capacity of civil society to absorb and distribute humanitarian assistance.
Ukraine is one of the countries within the Collaborate for Impact project led by the European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA). Their partner SILab Ukraine is working hard to help Ukrainian companies overcome difficulties in times of war. They have recently launched a call for proposals for social enterprises through the Ukrainian Social Venture Fund.
The EU-funded ‘EU4Business: SME Competitiveness and Internationalisation’ programme has continued to support Ukrainian SMEs during the war, with cooperation temporarily concentrated in the western regions of Ukraine. Activities aim to preserve jobs and support the Ukrainian economy, provide jobs for IDPs and women, and help SMEs to diversify their business models, including by digitalising products and services. Read more
The European Endowment for Democracy has established with EU funding a centre for Ukrainian activists in Przemyśl in eastern Poland to serve as a working space for media and civic activists. The EED is also supporting Ukrainian civil society and independent media with rapid and flexible grants that are issued within 12 hours or less after the request is received.
The European Anti-Corruption Initiative provided humanitarian assistance to Ukraine during the first weeks of the war and is now continuing to support national anti-corruption institutions and protect Ukrainian journalists that provide coverage of the war. Read more
Civil society in and outside Ukraine is at the forefront of mobilising aid and monitoring the situation on the ground. Many of them are members of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum and are supported by the forum. Their activities include setting up shelters, providing aid, doing fact-checking, helping cultural NGOs and hosting Ukrainian freelancers. The forum also produces the Eastern Partnership Index that in its latest publication focused on Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova and their readiness to join the EU. Read more
The Pravo Justice II project is advising the Office of the Prosecutor General and other Ukrainian institutions on the investigation and documentation of war crimes, as well as providing advice to the Ukrainian government on developing legislation under martial law. Since the Russian invasion, the project has also supplied 1,700 tons of food to war-affected areas, as well as 20 tons of animal feed for pet shelters and zoos.
The e-Governance Academy continues its support for Ukraine within the EU4DigitalUA project and other projects supported by the EU. Their work focuses on strengthening Ukraine’s cybersecurity, the safety of Ukrainian public registers and databases, as well as support to various Ukrainian state bodies.
Within days of the invasion, the European Investment Bank, in cooperation with the European Commission, prepared an emergency solidarity package for Ukraine. The package included €668 million in immediate assistance for the Ukrainian authorities.
The Polish beneficiary of the EU-funded cross-border cooperation project ‘Rzeszów and Vynohradiv – animal-friendly cities’ (CBC4animals) is looking for new owners and support for shelter dogs fleeing the war in Ukraine. Read more
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