EU disburses €600 million in Macro-Financial Assistance to Ukraine
The European Commission, on behalf of the EU, today disbursed €600 million in Macro-Financial Assistance (MFA) to Ukraine to address its acute financing gap related to its exceptional humanitarian and defence needs.
The first tranche of €600 million of this emergency macro-financial assistance operation, worth €1.2 billion, was paid in two tranches on 11 and 18 March.
These funds are provided to Ukraine in the form of long-term loans on highly favourable terms. They contribute to financing part of the sizable funding gap of the country, estimated by International Financial Institutions at around $15 billion for the second quarter of 2022.
The disbursement of this macro-financial assistance was to be conditional on the implementation of a series of the structural policy measures by the Ukrainian authorities. However, due to force majeure circumstances, the Commission decided to allocate the second tranche as a matter of urgency.
“Going forward, the EU will continue to provide short-term financial support to Ukraine while accompanying it in its long-term reconstruction, in line with the plans announced on Wednesday. Ukraine will get back on its feet as a democratic and prosperous country,” President Ursula von der Leyen said.
Find out more
EU: Georgian authorities must act if Saakashvili’s health condition is critical
The Georgian authorities have a responsibility to act if former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili’s health is in a critical condition, European Commissioner for Budget and Administration Johannes Hahn told the European Parliament on 2 February.
Speaking on behalf of the EU High Representative Josep Borrell, Johannes Hahn noted that, “it is in everyone’s interest that the Georgian authorities consider drawing on medical expertise from an independent, uncontested, international organisation.”
According to the Commissioner, the EU has frequently raised the issue both with the Georgian authorities directly, as well as in its public statements following numerous reports on Saakashvili’s deteriorating medical condition.
“Most recently, on 28 December, our European Union Delegation together with the European Union Member States represented in Georgia, carried out a formal démarche vis-à-vis the Minister of Justice. This was followed up with a dedicated meeting with the Ministry of Justice by our European Union Ambassador in Georgia. In these instances, and in all previous occasions, we have repeated that it is the Georgian authorities’ responsibility to take all necessary measures to protect Mr Saakashvili’s health,” Hahn told the European Parliament.
Find out more
Georgia: New Head of EU Monitoring Mission appointed
On 31 January, the Council of the European Union appointed Dimitrios Karabalis, a Greek diplomat, as the new Head of Mission for the European Union Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM Georgia).
Dimitrios Karabalis is currently Director for Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, South Caucasus, and Central Asia at the Greek Foreign Ministry. His mandate as Head of EUMM Georgia will run from 1 February until 14 December 2023.
Karabalis succeeds Ambassador Marek Szczygiel, a Polish diplomat, as Head of Mission.
EUMM Georgia is an unarmed civilian monitoring mission consisting of over 200 monitors from the EU member states, deployed in Gori, Mtskheta and Zugdidi in October 2008, following the conflict between Georgia and Russia.
Find out more
EU agrees extra €500 million of military support for Ukraine
The Foreign Council of the European Union reached political agreement for a 7th tranche of military support to Ukraine worth €500 million.
The Council also agreed on an additional assistance measure worth €45 million for the Ukrainian forces being trained by the EU’s military training mission, EUMAM Ukraine. This brings the total military support under the European Peace Facility to €3.6 billion. According to EU High Representative Josep Borrell, the EU’s military, financial, economic and humanitarian support for Ukraine has now reached nearly €50 billion.
Before the Council discussed Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba addressed EU foreign ministers via video conference and briefed them on recent developments on the ground and on Ukraine’s current priorities.
Regarding the creation of an accountability mechanism, EU foreign ministers stressed the importance of preserving the crucial role of the International Criminal Court in international criminal justice and expressed broad support for the establishment of the International Prosecutor’s Office in The Hague as a first step.
Regarding the effectiveness of sanctions, Josep Borrell noted that Russian oil (Urals) sells for US $40 a barrel while Brent sells for US$80. “This means that the Russian oil is being sold at a discount of 50%, and it is being bought by mainly India and China,” said Borrell. “So, it is losing US$40 per barrel. It is a big hit on Russia’s financial stability.”
Find out more
EU-supported initiative provides first aid training for 32 kindergarten staff in Telavi
The European Union in Georgia, Denmark, UNDP in Georgia and the National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia (NALAG) have helped kindergartens in Telavi municipality of Georgia to organise a first aid training course for their staff.
The initiative covered 32 pre-schools. Two kindergartens received additional support to equip doctors’ offices in their premises.
The importance of these courses is due to the fact that Georgian legislation obliges kindergartens to certify their first aid personnel in order to be allowed to protect children’s health and prevent accidents.
This initiative was selected as part of a grant competition funded by the EU and Denmark to improve management, policies and services in municipalities in Georgia.
Find out more
Humanitarian aid: EU increases funding to €1.7 billion for 2023
The European Union has adopted its initial annual humanitarian budget of €1.7 billion for 2023.
EU humanitarian aid helps those affected by natural disasters and military conflicts, including forcibly displaced or trapped populations as well as host communities. Assistance is mainly provided through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.
A total of €207.8 million from this budget will be directed to Southeast Europe and the European Neighbourhood, addressing mostly the consequences of Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine, as well as funding projects for ongoing needs in the Caucasus.
Another €141.5 million will be used to answer sudden onset emergencies in 2023, €122 million are reserved for unforeseen humanitarian crises that can arise throughout the year, and €108.2 million will be committed to horizontal activities, innovative projects and policy initiatives.
“Humanitarian needs are rising steeply. Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine has made a bad situation dramatically worse. Today, the number of people in need of life-saving assistance worldwide is higher than the population of the US,” said Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič. “The European Commission’s funding for 2023 will continue to make sure that humanitarian assistance is available for the most vulnerable, no matter who and where they are.”
Lenarčič also called for a shared responsibility for the entire global community, mentioning that currently only 10 largest donors provide for more than 80% of all humanitarian funding.
Find out more