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Austria Supports Ukraine With Additional 15 Million Euros in Humanitarian Aid from the Foreign Disaster Fund

AUSTRIA, February 27 - Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine has dramatically intensified the humanitarian crisis that has been underway since 2014 as a result of the illegal annexation of Crimea and the conflict in Eastern Ukraine. While the state of emergency was previously concentrated along the “line of contact” and the adjacent areas of the Donbas region, it now practically encompasses the entire country due to the current hostilities and massive internal refugee movements.

Consequently, over the weekend the Austrian government put together a second comprehensive aid package. The Foreign Ministry’s Foreign Disaster Fund (AKF) will provide an additional 15 million euros in humanitarian aid for the Ukrainian population.

The most important thing now is to help people on the ground quickly, effectively and without complications. In addition to the package we put together last week, we will be providing an additional 15 million euros from the AKF during the next Council of Ministers on Wednesday – because timely help is twice as valuable,

said Federal Chancellor Karl Nehammer.

Thus, emergency aid from Austria now totals 17.5 million euros, since Austria already responded rapidly last week and approved 2.5 million euros from the AKF as an initial aid measure. Of that amount, 1 million euros were allocated to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and 750,000 euros each to the Austrian Red Cross and Caritas for emergency humanitarian aid. In addition, the Ministry of the Interior sent two convoys to Ukraine with urgently needed helmets and body armour, as well as 100,000 litres of fuel, for civilian forces.

The additional 15 million euros will now go to the ICRC, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Austrian NGOs in Ukraine.

We will not abandon the Ukrainian population in this difficult hour. Also in this war, the civilian population suffer disproportionately. That makes it all the more important to provide fast, supportive aid for refugees and displaced persons in Ukraine,

said Vice-Chancellor Werner Kogler.

Ukraine’s humanitarian needs will be increasing rapidly due to the Russian war of aggression. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) expects that up to 18 million people will be affected by the fighting, and approx. 7.5 million will be internally displaced. UNHCR estimates that approx. 1.2 million people will be seeking refuge beyond the country’s borders in the near future.

Austria is in complete solidarity with Ukraine, which is currently falling victim to unprecedented military aggression. Wherever we can help Ukraine, we will do so with great commitment. This extensive aid package is intended to help ease the humanitarian suffering of the Ukrainian population and to provide emergency aid without red tape,

explained Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg.

The Austrian funds will help supply the supported humanitarian organisations with food and water, as well as providing emergency shelter and basic medical care. A sharp increase in demand is expected when it comes to medical care for the wounded.