On February 5, 2015, Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the U.S. government intends to provide$16.4 million in new humanitarian assistance to help Ukrainians affected by the violence in the Donbas. These contributions will support the work of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Office of Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), and other organizations. The funding will be used to support the Ukrainian government’s response to the crisis caused by Russia’s aggressive actions and will also help alleviate the suffering of people in conflict-affected areas of eastern Ukraine, including Donetsk and Luhansk. Many of these people are extremely vulnerable and unable to leave.
This assistance will provide urgently needed shelter and home repairs, blankets, bedding, warm clothing, and other support to meet the most critical humanitarian needs. In addition, this funding will provide physical therapy, wheel chairs, rehabilitation, and support counseling for those traumatized by the violence. Finally, this package will help improve facilities for internally displaced persons, make other small infrastructure repairs, and assist local governments in restoring public services in conflict-affected areas.
This announcement brings total U.S. government humanitarian and early recovery assistance to Ukraine since the crisis began to over $38 million. These funds are supporting the work in Ukraine of the UNHCR, the International Organization for Migration, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the United Nations Population Fund, OCHA, and non-governmental organizations.
Including these funds, the U.S. has provided over $355 million in assistance over the past year to ensure Ukraine has the support it needs to establish security, restore economic stability, and carry out vital reforms. This is in addition to a $1 billion loan guarantee issued in May 2014 as well as recent announcements of the Administration’s intention to work with Congress to support up to $2 billion in additional loan guarantees in 2015 if Ukraine continues making progress on its reform agenda and conditions warrant.