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Dutch government announces second aid package for Ukraine, and new envoy for reconstruction efforts

NETHERLANDS, July 5 - News item | 05-07-2023 | 15:45

The Netherlands has earmarked over €118 million for its second aid package for Ukraine for 2023. A sum of €93 million will be drawn from the €2.5 billion reserved by the government for support to Ukraine this year, and the remaining €25 million will come from the Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation budget.

The government has also appointed top diplomat Roderick van Schreven as a Special Envoy to facilitate the involvement of the Dutch business community in the reconstruction of Ukraine. Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Liesje Schreinemacher announced these developments to the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

Ukraine Envoy

The government has appointed Roderick van Schreven as Special Envoy for Business and the Reconstruction of Ukraine. Mr van Schreven, who has had a long career as a senior diplomat, possesses both the necessary experience and an extensive network of contacts within the Dutch and international business communities. This will enable him to advise Dutch companies effectively and support them in making contact with multilateral organisations.

Reconstruction and healthcare

The ongoing war continues to take its toll on Ukrainian society and the economy. As a result, there is a great need for assistance. The government has allocated €83 million for repair works and healthcare, €58 million of which will go to repairing infrastructure, residential buildings and drinking water facilities. The remaining €25 million has been set aside for medical equipment and support for mobile clinics. In order to implement this aid package, the Dutch government is working closely with the UN, the World Bank, the European Investment Bank, Dutch public drinking water companies and NGOs.

Emergency aid and human rights

The destruction of the Kakhovka dam has had major consequences for Ukraine. The Netherlands is working, at both bilateral and multilateral level, to support victims of this disaster. To that end, this second aid package includes €10 million for emergency aid. These funds are intended for goods like rescue boats.

An amount of €875,000 will be donated, via the Dutch Human Rights Fund, to local NGO projects to support Ukrainian human rights defenders. They play a key role in providing access to reliable information, particularly for people living in occupied areas.

Support for the private sector

The government supports companies that want to do business with Ukraine while also contributing to the reconstruction of the country. The emphasis is on sectors of the economy where the need is greatest and where Dutch involvement would have the greatest added value: agriculture, water and healthcare. In practice, however, companies are facing a number of challenges, including funding obstacles arising from the war.

With this in mind the government is allocating €25 million in grants to companies and civil society organisations. These grants will go to projects that meet the needs of the Ukrainian people and contribute to reconstruction and recovery. Starting in September, companies and civil society organisations can submit project proposals, in partnership with local organisations, to the Netherlands Enterprise Agency.

Additional financial support is also being provided to a Ukrainian company in the western part of the country, for the construction of a plant for manufacturing building materials. The necessary machinery will be supplied by a Dutch SME. The government is also exploring ways of offsetting the risks faced by businesses that export to or invest in Ukraine, by means of a guarantee or insurance facility.