Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) Open letter on the topic of urging the European Union’s leadership to take immediate action to provide needed medical aid and support hosting war refugees from Ukrainian was submitted by MEP Juozas Olekas, supported by other 35 members of the European Parliament from 17 countries.
In the letter addressed to the President of France Emmanuel Macron the President of the European Council Charles Michel and Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, it is noted that The EU must take immediate action.
The MEPS underline the need to respond in order to avoid any health crises that may arise as a result of the increasing population migration.
– “Furthermore, it is critical to guarantee that hosting countries have sufficient capacity to provide immediate assistance to people with chronic diseases, as well as to ensure that routine immunization of arriving children is continued in the short and long term” it is written in the open letter.
In the letter, it is noted that the aggressor, Putin’s Russia, crossed more than one red line and began the invasion of Ukraine in the previous week, disrupting Europe’s long-lasting peace.
– “The horrifying images and voices of Ukrainians, heard around the world, are pleading for assistance, and we are glad to affirm that the European Union did not stand by. During this crisis, a Europe united in solidarity took on new colours, once again demonstrating that the period of bloodshed is over and the war has no place on our continent. While the heroic people of Ukraine are ready to fight for their nation with everything they have, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees reports that more than 660 000 Ukrainian refugees have fled the country in search of safety. The number of refugees is anticipated to rise, while females with children make up a big part of the moving population. We applaud the country’s willingness to provide a safe shelter and much-needed assistance to those fleeing Putin’s destructive force. However, given that the COVID-19 pandemic is still spreading around the world, it is critical to support the Member States in need, to ensure the continuation of COVID-19 vaccinations for incoming refugees, and to ensure adequate treatment capacity in terms of equipment, medical personnel, and drugs. Despite high levels of caution among Ukrainians when seeking shelter, such as wearing facemasks, we must ensure that all resources are available to assist persons in medical need and throughout the countries. We would like to welcome Poland’s announcement to provide immediate COVID-19
vaccination to all incoming refugees. Additionally, given the high concentration of children fleeing the country, it is critical to ensure the continuation of routine vaccinations. Continuation of refugee children’s vaccination against diseases such as Hepatitis B, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Acellular Pertussis, Meningococcal should be addressed as soon as possible with the necessary financial and equipment assistance to the Member States receiving refugees, especially non-member States such as Moldova. A part of the refugees reaching the European border have immediate health issues or are affected by chronic diseases. Europe should activate all available tools to cover these healthcare services. Finally, while Europe is promoting One Health approach, health service for pet animals should also be made available as this may influence infectious zoonotic risks.” its stated in the letter of the MEPS.
As a consequence, the members of the European Parliament, demand that the European Union’s leadership:
- Immediately increase emergency support via voluntary pool and rescEU of the Union
Civil Protection Mechanism;
- Activate EU Solidarity Fund to provide medical support, medical service and
humanitarian aid to affected countries;
- Use the flexibilities within Emergency Support Instrument to strengthen the supply of
routine and COVID-19 vaccines to countries, to provide healthcare service to people
with pre-existing health conditions in the countries hosting refugees, including non-EU
- Activate ECDC’s surveillance and alert system on vaccinations and threats of emerging
infectious diseases for the population of refugees and affected territories;
- Include the refugees state of health tracker in IPCR system;
- Activate One Health approach for the animals of fleeing people.
Juozas OLEKAS, Lithuania, S&D;
Alviina ALAMETSÄ, Finland, the Greens/EFA;
Attila ARA-KOVÁCS, Hungary, S&D;
Brando BENIFEI, Italy, S&D;
Vilija BLINKEVIČIŪTĖ, Lithuania, S&D;
Damian BOESELAGER, Germany, the Greens/EFA;
Manuel BOMPARD, France, GUE/NGL;
Isabel CARVALHAIS, Portugal, S&D;
Fabio Massimo CASTALDO, Italy,
Clara PONSATÍ OBIOLS, Spain,
Antoni COMÍN I OLIVERES, Spain,
Cyrus ENGERER, Malta, S&D;
Eleonora EVI, Italy, the Greens/EFA;
Claude GRUFFAT, France, the Greens/EFA;
Krzysztof HETMAN, Poland, EPP;
Danuta Maria HÜBNER, Poland, EPP;
Rasa JUKNEVIČIENĖ, Lithuania, EPP;
Łukasz KOHUT, Poland, S&D;
Athanasios KONSTANTINOU, Greece,
Miriam LEXMANN, Slovakia, EPP;
Benoît LUTGEN, Belgium, EPP;
Aušra MALDEIKIENĖ, Lithuania, EPP;
Claudiu MANDA, Romania, S&D;
Liudas MAŽYLIS, Lithuania, EPP;
Dace MELBĀRDE, Latvia, ECR;
Tilly METZ, Luxembourg, the Greens/EFA;
Sven MIKSER, Estonia, S&D;
Carles PUIGDEMONT I CASAMAJÓ, Spain,
Manuela RIPA, Germany, the Greens/EFA;
María Soraya RODRÍGUEZ RAMOS, Spain, Renew;
Domènec RUIZ DEVESA, Spain, S&D;
Nicolae ŞTEFĂNUȚĂ, Romania, Renew;
Eugen TOMAC, Romania, EPP;
Valdemar TOMAŠEVSKI, Lithuania, ECR;
István UJHELYI, Hungary, S&D;
Nikolaj VILLUMSEN, Denmark, GUE/NGL.