Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) The European Commission has launched a system for in-kind donations to Ukraine, neighbouring EU member states and Moldova, and refugees.
The system is in place to help the private sector to donate goods and services with the aim of providing aid to refugees and internally displaced people, according to a statement released Wednesday.
The bloc is to coordinate delivery of large-scale donations of necessities including medicines and medical equipment, beds, tents and more.
The EU Health Emergency preparedness and Response Authority (HERA) will provide essential medicines in cooperation with national ministries of health and pharmaceutical companies, with the EC stressing that this will lower the risk of an epidemic.
French Sanofi pharmaceutical company’s foundation will donate 200,000 tetanus and diphtheria vaccines to Ukraine and 70,000 to Moldova, Slovakia and the Czech Republic via the mechanism.
The EC pointed out that companies can use the mechanism to donate other goods and services with the aim of improving the living conditions of displaced Ukrainians.
The Commission stressed that it will maintain close contact with civil protection authorities in Ukraine and neighbouring countries to stay updated on urgent needs and respond accordingly.
It pointed out that private companies can submit their offers, which will be evaluated with the countries that are requesting assistance.
If the EC accepts the offer, the company will be instructed to deliver the donation to a warehouse, after which the Commission will “organise and financially cover the delivery of items to its logistical hubs in either Poland, Romania or Slovakia.”
EC President Ursula von der Leyen stressed that “the brave people of Ukraine need our help and they need it now.”
“We are launching this new donation system as part of our global effort to support the 13 million people who were forced to leave their homes to flee [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s bombs,” she added and concluded that the “international community is standing by Ukraine.”
Janez Lenarčič, European Commissioner for Crisis Management, pointed out that the EC is “opening additional channels for the private sector to donate aid to Ukraine” via the EU.
Stella Kyriakides, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, stressed the importance of providing healthcare as part of broader support to Ukraine.