The Biden Administration Announces New Humanitarian, Development, and Democracy Assistance to Ukraine and the Surrounding Region
The United States is proud to be the largest single donor of humanitarian, democracy, and human rights assistance to Ukraine, working closely with our European partners. We remain committed to ensuring those affected by President Putin’s war of aggression, especially vulnerable populations such as women, children, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTQI+) persons, and persons with disabilities, are able to access food, clean water, shelter, and medical care. In addition to assisting people in need within Ukraine, we are supporting the efforts of Ukraine’s neighbors and the European Union to welcome and host millions of refugees. And we will do our part to welcome Ukrainians to the United States.
Today, the United States is announcing that we are prepared to provide more than $1 billion in new funding towards humanitarian assistance for those affected by Russia’s war in Ukraine and its severe impacts around the world, including a marked rise in food insecurity, over the coming months. This funding will provide food, shelter, clean water, medical supplies and other forms of assistance. We are also announcing an additional $320 million in democracy and human rights funding to Ukraine and its neighbors. Since 2021, the United States has provided over $1.1 billion in economic, health, democracy and human rights, and humanitarian assistance to the Europe and Eurasia region.
In addition to our humanitarian assistance, the United States continues to support public health initiatives in Ukraine and the region to tamp down the spread of communicable diseases like polio, tuberculosis, and COVID, and to help ensure patients continue to have access to medical care. And we remain committed to defending and strengthening democratic governance, human rights, and the fight against corruption in Ukraine and its neighbors, as together we reject autocracy and aggression.
- Providing refuge to Displaced Ukrainians. While we expect many Ukrainians will choose to remain in Europe close to family and their homes in Ukraine, today, the United States is announcing plans to welcome up to 100,000 Ukrainians and others fleeing Russia’s aggression through the full range of legal pathways, including the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. In particular, we are working to expand and develop new programs with a focus on welcoming Ukrainians who have family members in the United States. The United States and the European Union are also coordinating closely to ensure that these efforts, and other forms of humanitarian admission or transfers, are complementary and provide much-needed support to Ukraine’s neighbors.
- Supporting humanitarian assistance in Ukraine. Today, the Biden Administration is announcing that we are prepared to provide more than $1 billion in new funding towards humanitarian assistance to support people within Ukraine and assist those affected by the global impacts of Russia’s war. This support builds on the 25-person humanitarian response team the United States has deployed to the region to assess needs, provide assistance, and coordinate closely with the United Nations, NGOs, and the Government of Ukraine, including the State Emergency Services of Ukraine. With the support of the United States and Allies and partners, the World Food Programme is working to reach 3.1 million people in Ukraine with ready-to-eat rations, canned goods, bread, wheat, flour, and oil. U.S.-funded humanitarian organizations in Ukraine are operating mobile medical teams and delivering emergency health supplies and medicine to public health care centers, enabling continued primary health services, trauma care, and vaccinations. In collective shelters in places like Mariupol or Lviv, humanitarian organizations are distributing blankets, water containers, and hygiene kits containing soap, toothpaste, diapers, and toilet paper to help thousands of internally displaced persons and mitigate the spread of disease. Mobile teams are also providing psychological support, ensuring especially vulnerable populations have access to services and are protected from risks, including gender-based violence, child-trafficking, and landmines.
- Helping those who have fled in the region. Since February 24, the United States has already provided more than $123 million to complement the work of neighboring countries and the European Union to receive and host millions of refugees, including $48 million in Poland, $30 million in Moldova, $10 million in Romania, $9 million in Hungary, and $4 million in the Slovak Republic. U.S.-funded humanitarian organizations are working in partnership with host governments to launch cash programs that provide refugees with temporary assistance for food, accommodations, and medical care until they can work or receive social support. In addition to counselling, legal aid, and mental health and psychological support, U.S. partners are providing health support for refugees including infection prevention and control, and sexual and reproductive health assistance, as well as providing safe drinking water, strengthening sanitation infrastructure, and providing refugees with basic household items and shelter materials. The U.S. has deployed refugee coordinators to the region to work with the governments of neighboring countries, the UN, and other humanitarian organizations, and donors. Additionally, the U.S. has allocated $5.5 million to facilitate the safe and orderly return of up to 20,000 third-country nationals to return home from Ukraine.
- Bolstering democracy and human rights in Ukraine and neighboring states. In line with President Biden’s commitment to support democracy and human rights globally, the United States is launching the European Democratic Resilience Initiative (EDRI), which is intended to provide at least $320 million in new funding to support societal resilience and defend human rights in Ukraine and neighboring countries. The EDRI is expected to support media freedom and counter disinformation, increase the safety and security of activists and vulnerable groups including LGBTQI+ persons, build resilience to strategic corruption and kleptocracy, strengthen democratic and anti-corruption institutions and the region’s rule of law, and support accountability for human rights abuses and violations of international law. Implementation of the EDRI will be closely coordinated with the European Union and other partners.
- Advancing accountability for Russian war crimes in Ukraine. An important component of EDRI will be support for efforts to document and preserve evidence of potential war crimes being committed in Ukraine. The United States is already supporting several such initiatives. New lines of effort, including the establishment of a conflict observatory, will gather information that can be shared with a range of accountability efforts at the national and international level designed to hold Russia accountable for its actions.
- Protecting children and other vulnerable populations. Russia’s unprovoked further invasion of Ukraine poses an immediate and growing threat to the lives and well-being of the country’s 7.5 million children who face attacks on schools, injuries from mines and explosives, and child trafficking. In response, in both Ukraine and surrounding countries, the United States has been supporting Children and Family Protection Support Hubs where professional case workers, mental health professionals, and legal aid providers are available to assist children, female heads of household, those with disabilities, older persons and other vulnerable populations. These centers offer safe spaces for psychosocial support, hygiene, health and nutrition; provide family tracing for unaccompanied children; as well as protection from sexual exploitation and abuse. With support to nine different organizations, the United States is also supporting 55 mobile protection teams to prevent family separation, mitigate gender-based violence, communicate the risks of mines and war remnants, and address the psychological effects of war.
- Strengthening public health. Since February 24, the U.S. government has rapidly accelerated support to the Ukrainian health system and systems in the region, on top of previously funded programs. Inside Ukraine, U.S. government partners are providing critical medical commodities, expanded immunization support to areas experiencing an influx of internally displaced persons, and supporting continuity of tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS treatment services to ensure patients do not lose access to lifesaving treatments – including through procuring $6.1 million worth of antiretroviral drugs, re-purposing of mobile HIV testing vans, and expanded support to patients and home delivery of medicines. The U.S. government is also supporting the Ministry of Health and World Health Organization with technical assistance on issues such as immunization, outbreak response, blood safety, and overall emergency response coordination. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is also supporting the Ministry of Health to consolidate medicine needs from over 5,000 public, private, and academic institutions in order to guide and prioritize humanitarian assistance efforts, while helping the Ministry of Health to shift and expand warehousing and medicines delivery capacity. The U.S. government is also working with the Public Health Center of Ukraine to roster all CDC-trained graduates of the Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) in-country and support relocation of critical public health equipment and personnel within Ukraine, to mitigate the impacts of the Russian invasion on public health infrastructure. These teams are augmenting the humanitarian response by monitoring the health conditions of the Ukraine population, including refugees and internally displaced persons with focus on COVID-19, HIV, TB, measles, polio, mental health, non-communicable diseases, and maternal and child health.
- Defending global food security. Russia’s war of aggression threatens to disrupt the supply of critical agricultural commodities from the Black Sea region, jeopardizing global food security, particularly for vulnerable populations in the Middle East and Africa. The United States, through the Feed the Future initiative and our nutrition commitments, will be providing over $11 billion over the next five years to address food security threats and malnutrition across the globe – with programming in many of the countries vulnerable to increases in food and fertilizer prices. Ongoing activities within the initiative that help buffer food systems against macroeconomic shocks like the Russian invasion of Ukraine include: increasing the productivity of smallholder farmers, including women, through access to improved agricultural technologies and inputs, financing, and markets; strengthening agricultural market systems by building a vibrant local private sector; and improving people’s access to higher quality diets and safer food for improved nutrition. Additionally, the United States will remain one of the top providers of humanitarian food and nutrition assistance globally, having contributed approximately $4.6 billion in humanitarian food and nutrition assistance in 2021.