Switzerland steps up humanitarian aid for Ukraine
Bern, 07.03.2022 - A fourth consignment of relief supplies to meet people's daily needs is departing from Switzerland today (Monday) by rail for Poland and the Ukrainian border. Swiss Humanitarian Aid has set up a hub for relief supplies in the Polish city of Lublin in order to coordinate its support for the Ukrainian population. The Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit has dispatched an additional rapid response team to Moldova. During this first phase of the relief operation, Swiss Humanitarian Aid's support package is initially set at 8 million Swiss francs.
In consultation with the Polish authorities, an 11-member team of Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit (SHA) specialists has set up a logistics hub for Swiss relief supplies in the eastern Polish city of Lublin. The objective is to transport urgently needed medical supplies and winter-proof emergency shelters to Ukraine as swiftly as possible. The first consignment, which arrived in Poland last week, was delivered at the Ukrainian border to Caritas Ukraine, which is transporting the supplies to the interior of the country and distributing them to those in need. With support of the Polish authorities, the City of Warsaw and the Polish and Ukrainian state railways, Switzerland also dispatched urgently needed medicines and medical supplies by rail from the Polish-Ukrainian border to Kyiv. The consignment arrived on Sunday evening and was received by the local authorities. This is the second large consignment to have reached the war zone.
A further consignment of Swiss relief supplies for the Ukrainian population is leaving Switzerland on Monday, 7 March, containing hygiene articles for daily use such as nappies, wet wipes, sanitary towels, tampons, toothpaste and baby food. These supplies, worth CHF 1 million, were donated by the Swiss supermarket chains Migros and Coop. SBB Cargo has agreed to bear the rail transport costs.
Four relief consignments in seven days and a second team in Moldova
Today's rail consignment is the fourth delivery of relief supplies to the Ukrainian population in the space of one week. A further convoy of ten lorries left Switzerland on Friday. The lorries are delivering 90 tonnes of supplies, including hospital beds, medical protective suits, disinfectants, burn dressings, sleeping bags, mattresses and woollen blankets to the Ukrainian border, from where they will be transported inland in cooperation with partner organisations. The supplies for this consignment and for the convoy of lorries that left Switzerland last Wednesday were provided by the Armed Forces Pharmacy of the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport.
Swiss Humanitarian Aid, which is part of the FDFA, will decide on and organise further deliveries of humanitarian aid in the coming days based on requests for assistance and capacity. In addition to the team of Swiss specialists who are currently deployed in Poland, a second SHA team will be dispatched to Moldova today (Monday). Additional relief supplies, including medicines and winter-proof family tents, will also be sent to Moldova during the course of this week. Further secondments of SHA personnel to international organisations are continuously being explored.
Financial support for humanitarian organisations
Switzerland is providing the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Ukraine with half a million Swiss francs and the UN with a quarter of a million. It is contributing a further 6.5 million to the UN and other international organisations. The following contributions have been decided to date: 2.5 million to the ICRC in Ukraine and 2 million to the UN emergency appeal for Ukraine, which will be used to support the activities of UNICEF (water and sanitation) and the WHO (health) in particular. A further 2 million is earmarked for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees' regional appeal to support Ukrainian refugees in neighbouring countries. Switzerland will also support local organisations that are particularly active on the ground and already providing humanitarian aid. Financial resources from the existing 8 million budget have been earmarked for the first phase of Switzerland's humanitarian aid support package.
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