Comprehensive humanitarian assistance for Ukraine in the second winter of the Russian war of aggression
15 December 2023
Largest logistics operation in the history of the Federal Agency for Technical Relief
Ukraine is living through the second winter of the illegal Russian war of aggression. Attacks continue to target civilian infrastructure such as the energy supply. The German Government is therefore continuing its comprehensive support for Ukrainian civil protection, with the particular help of the Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW). Deliveries of assistance are coordinated with the Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance and are predominantly financed via the EU civil protection mechanism and by the Federal Foreign Office.
Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser:
Now, in the face of another severe winter, we still stand by the people of Ukraine, for whom Putin’s inhumane war continues to cause incredible suffering. We want to continue providing help where it is most urgently needed. This is a humanitarian imperative. We have brought more than 400 transports of aid to Ukraine. This is the greatest logistical operation in the history of the Federal Agency for Technical Relief. I am sincerely grateful to the many volunteers who have contributed to this effort.
We provide support for the Ukrainian fire service, the emergency medical services and civil protection. We will now deliver another 500 generators as well as heaters, tents and portable cabins. This will help Ukraine to continue withstanding the massive attacks on its energy infrastructure and to accommodate people in need.
Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock:
With the winter shield assistance that we are providing to Ukraine, we are helping the people there to get through the bitterly cold winter. This assistance includes not only air defence systems but also generators, blankets, tents and battery storage units. Together with the Federal Agency for Technical Relief, we are getting further deliveries of relief goods worth 6.1 million euro underway for this winter. Because as Christmas approaches, and many of us are visiting Christmas markets and shopping for gifts, Russia continues to single-mindedly pursue its inhumane war on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure and its weaponisation of the cold this winter. With the aim of seeing water pipes freeze and people die of exposure in temperatures of minus twenty.
The Federal Agency for Technical Relief is currently preparing more than 500 additional power generators with a total value of around 3.5 million euro for transport, and has already delivered a number of them to Ukraine. The aim is to help the towns and villages in areas near the front in particular. As part of its efforts to support Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, the Federal Agency for Technical Relief has previously provided more than 1300 powerful generators (up to 1250 kVa) and 20 battery storage units. More than 800 generators and 15 battery storage units have been handed over to a range of partners in Ukraine. They are being used in combined heat-power plants and pumping stations as well as in industrial bakeries and hospitals, and to provide a decentralised power supply for local residents.
The Federal Agency for Technical Relief is also delivering heaters, campbeds, tents and portable cabins. Over 900 more heaters, 1700 winter sleeping bags, winter clothing and a mobile field kitchen are currently being prepared for transport. Meanwhile, two water purification units will soon be handed over to the national water authority so that people can be provided with clean water.
The Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance has been coordinating requests for assistance via the EU civil protection mechanism since the spring of 2022. The two federal agencies organise the transport of relief goods using their own vehicles or via EU intermediaries. To date, 415 deliveries of goods with a total value of over 250 million euro have arrived in Ukraine.
The Federal Agency for Technical Relief has provided particular support in the form of equipment and materials for the Ukrainian civil protection agency, which is also responsible for firefighting and emergency medical services. Over 120 vehicles such as fire engines, turntable ladders and tipper lorries as well as building equipment such as excavators have been delivered.
The Federal Agency for Technical Relief also works with other partners such as the national water authority, the Ukrainian border force and regional waterworks. It additionally has direct relationships with Ukrainian partners in areas near the front around Mykolaiv, Kherson, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia and Sumy. Vehicles, building equipment and tools to repair destroyed infrastructure have been delivered there.
Germany also supports the Ukrainian health system by taking in patients from Ukraine. This scheme, including transportation to Germany, is coordinated by the German Joint Information and Situation Centre at the Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance within the scope of the EU civil protection mechanism. Patients are distributed to participating hospitals in Germany in close coordination with the Länder, taking into account individual treatment needs. They are additionally provided with social services and, if needed, medical transport to return to Ukraine by aid organisations working on behalf of the Federal Ministry of the Interior as part of a project by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF). To date, 944 patients from Ukraine have received medical care in Germany as part of this distribution system and 101 return transports have taken place.