3.4 billion euros to help tackle the Ukrainian refugee crisis – POLITICO

The European Union will release 3.4 billion euros in recovery funds to help countries absorb Ukrainian refugees fleeing the Russian invasion, the Commission announced on Wednesday.

The money will fund investments in housing, education, health, jobs and childcare as Europe faces its biggest refugee crisis since World War II.

“This is an unprecedented historic challenge. And the response from Europe has also been unprecedented,” Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas said in announcing the spending.

According to Commission estimates, some 3.5 million people have fled to the EU. The funds will mainly help EU countries neighboring Ukraine – Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia – which have taken in the most people.

The release, which still requires approval from EU capitals, will be brought forward and drawn from this year’s €10 billion tranche of the REACT-EU recovery aid programme.

Beyond funding, the Commission is also making efforts to help newly arrived Ukrainians to integrate, for example by setting up resources in Ukrainian for education and employment.

Schinas told reporters that the EU also contributes to health care. It is working with the World Health Organization to set up centers capable of identifying Ukrainian patients and referring them to available hospitals. Efforts to increase the use of the coronavirus vaccine – which is low among Ukrainians – were also underway and vaccine stocks were sufficient to inoculate new arrivals.


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