Ukraine will allocate about USD 26 million to the construction of shelters in hospitals

The President of Ukraine, Volodimir Zelensky, visited wounded soldiers in a hospital in kyiv on December 6, 2023 (REUTERS) (UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SER/)

The government of Ukraine approved this Friday a series of budget items on health and that include, among other aspects, an allocation of one billion hryvnias – about 26 million dollars – for the construction of shelters in hospitals in order to reinforce security conditions.

Along with the budget to strengthen security conditions in health centers, the Ukrainian Government will increase financing for medicines so that they are “more accessible and of high quality regardless of where each person lives,” according to the Ukrainian news agency. Ukrinform.

Likewise, the Prime Minister of Ukraine, Denis Shmigal, stressed that the Executive “will pay close attention to the financing of rehabilitation, maternal and child care, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.”

With all this, the Ukrainian Government will increase the health budget to 239,000 million hryvnias – just over 6,220 million dollars -, about 31,000 million hryvnias – more than 807 million dollars – more than last year.

Zelensky awards a Ukrainian service member at a pre-hospital medical aid center in the Zaporizhzhia region (Reuters)
Zelensky awards a Ukrainian service member at a pre-hospital medical aid center in the Zaporizhzhia region (Reuters) (UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SER/)

Stabilize aid to Ukraine

On the other hand, the president of the European Commission (EC), Ursula von der Leyen, urged this Friday to advance in all the avenues open to “urgently stabilize” financial aid to Ukrainewhich could not be agreed upon at the last summit in 2023 due to Hungary’s blockade, either by convincing Budapest or with a plan B that Brussels is finalizing to circumvent its veto.

“Following the historic decision to start accession negotiations with Ukraine, we must urgently move forward to stabilize our financial aid to the country. The Commission will go to the European Council with operational solutions to ensure that we can reach an agreement on the mechanism for Ukraine,” the German explained in a press conference.

Von der Leyen stressed that the priority remains to convince Hungary to lift its veto on the revision of this budget, which includes a package of 50 billion euros (about 54 billion dollars) for Kiev, but that in parallel they must “prepare other options” in the event that Budapest castles in its refusal to that route.

Neighbors of the Nyzhnie settlement, Luhansk region, receive bread delivered by volunteers (Reuters)
Neighbors of the Nyzhnie settlement, Lugansk region, receive bread delivered by volunteers (Reuters) (ALEXANDER ERMOCHENKO/)

The Prime Minister of Ukraine affirmed on Wednesday that the country is counting on its allies in the West to provide it with financial aid in a stable manner and estimated that the economy needs more than $37 billion to stay afloat facing the onslaught of the Russian invasion.

“This year more than $37 billion is needed. We count on constant, stable and timely help from our partners,” declared Prime Minister Denis Shmihal at the first cabinet meeting of 2024, after Russia intensified its attacks in recent days.

The country, which has been fighting a Russian invasion since February 2022, last year it received $42.6 billion in external financing, of which 27% were donationsShmihal said. According to the minister, the main supports were the European Union (EU), the United States, Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

In 2023, the Ukrainian government estimated it needed $41 billion in financing from its allies and international multilateral organizations to keep the economy running.

(With information from AFP and EuropaPress)