Sweden further increases humanitarian support to Ukraine
On Sunday 27 February, Minister for International Development Cooperation Matilda Ernkrans held a press briefing on Sweden’s support to Ukraine together with Göran Holmqvist, Director of Humanitarian Support at Sida.
Sweden has long been one of the biggest donors of development assistance to Ukraine, comprising both reform-oriented development cooperation and humanitarian support. In response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Government has decided to provide additional funds to alleviate the suffering of the Ukrainian people.
“In light of the horrendous developments in recent days, the Government has now decided to donate an additional SEK 20 million to support the work of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Ukraine. Sweden has thus increased its humanitarian response to Ukraine to SEK 55 million,” said Ms Ernkrans.
Each year, Sweden provides substantial development aid to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which is operating on the ground at the border between Ukraine and Moldova, where many Ukrainians are fleeing. The support can be used for swift action to help refugees, where the needs are greatest.
“In view of rapidly increasing refugee flows, the Government has also decided to bring forward a payment of SEK 50 million to UNHCR to address the humanitarian needs caused by the developments in Ukraine,” said Ms Ernkrans.
Ms Ernkrans presented disbursements and support measures worth a total of SEK 100 million. This consists of SEK 50 million to UNHCR, SEK 30 million to the UN’s humanitarian country-level pooled fund and SEK 20 million to the ICRC.
Sweden has thus contributed a total of SEK 391 million in humanitarian aid to Ukraine since 2014.
Sida’s Director of Humanitarian Support Göran Holmqvist stressed the seriousness of the humanitarian situation and that the greatest needs will be among those who are unable to flee. Sida can quickly approve the transfer of resources to where they are most needed. Sida is currently awaiting needs analyses from UN bodies such as OCHA and UNHCR so as to be able to respond to the situation effectively.