Germany supports WHO in Ukraine

Dec 12, 2016

09.12.2016: Ambassador Dr. Ulrich Seidenberger and WHO Executive Director Health Emergencies Programme Dr Peter Salama signed a funding agreement Enlarge image 09.12.2016: Ambassador Dr. Ulrich Seidenberger and WHO Executive Director Health Emergencies Programme Dr Peter Salama signed a funding agreement (© WHO Boelt)

Kyiv, 9 December 2016—Kseniya, 44, from the non-government controlled area of Luhansk, has diabetes. "I need to monitor blood glucose levels all the time, follow a diet and receive daily insulin injections. I should take medications, but do not have money to afford them," she said. "My salary barely covers food and utility payments."

Now Kseniya can get insulin from the local clinics for free thanks to the recent humanitarian supplies. However, a few months ago it was not possible due to a lack of medications and screening tests in the non-government controlled areas in eastern Ukraine. For next few months she rests assured that lifesaving medicines are available.

The protracted humanitarian crisis in Ukraine remains active along the contact line, in the non-governmental controlled areas and elsewhere in eastern Ukraine. With winter coming and no political solution in sight, some 2.3 million people are in urgent need of emergency health services.

WHO assistance Enlarge image WHO assistance (© WHO Shuvayev)

Since the conflict began in 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) has been leading, coordinating and supporting partners to reach the most vulnerable people affected by the conflict, particularly the nearly 1,8 million internally displaced persons and those living along he contact line and in non-government controlled areas in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. Their access to adequate health care is scarce and in many cases, dependent on humanitarian support.

Mobile Emergency Primary Health Care Units, established by WHO, have provided about 200 000 patient consultations since 2015. However, in 2016, low funding resulted in major delays, interruptions and even discontinuation of critical activities provided by WHO and its partners, such as the Mobile Emergency Primary Health Care Units, that provide services in the hard-to-reach areas.

WHO Assistance Enlarge image WHO Assistance (© WHO Tadevosyan)

"The biggest humanitarian needs in Ukraine are access to essential and lifesaving services and medicines, including care for trauma and injuries, noncommunicable diseases, disease surveillance and proper control for communicable diseases," said Dr Marthe Everard, WHO Representative to Ukraine . "We rely on partnerships with key donors to help us to provide the needed services and support."

Germany steps up help for Ukraine

The Federal Foreign Office allocated €2.5million to WHO to fill critical gaps in the delivery of essential and emergency health services to crisis-affected people in Ukraine. "This is an important contribution from Germany to the people of Ukraine," said Ambassador Ulrich Seidenberger, Deputy Permanent Representative of Germany in Geneva.

"We are partnering with WHO because we wanted to ensure that we can help the most vulnerable people in eastern Ukraine.

" WHO assistance Enlarge image WHO assistance (© WHO Tadevosyan) The funds will be used to fill critical gaps in essential and life-saving medical supplies for conflict affected population, and ensure provision of enhanced access to essential quality health care services.

Germany also continues to support humanitarian aid efforts run by the United Nations and several non-governmental organisations to supply food and winter clothing to the needy population in eastern Ukraine. Since the start of the conflict it has made available a total of more than 50 million euros for this purpose. 

"WHO very much welcomes the continuing support of Germany to help the people of Ukraine," Dr Marthe Everard said. "These funds will allow us to move forward in working with partners to deliver essential health care to the people in eastern Ukraine who need it the most."

© StV-G.Sch