Closed borders, compulsory quarantine, and a locked-down economy have put on hold numerous planned development initiatives for Ukraine.
However, needs are piling up. They include not only tasks related to the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic, but also those addressing its consequences which will hit the poorest most.
Polish diplomatic missions have come to rescue. They were the first to receive requests from health centres and local authorities that asked for help in the fight against the invisible enemy. Within a few days, the Polish Embassy in Kyiv, in cooperation with consulates, Ukrainian hospitals, and social organisations, developed seven projects. Poland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has approved all these projects and decided to transfer nearly EUR 200,000 for immediate support for Ukraine’s health service in the fight against the pandemic.
In Ivano-Frankvisk Clinical Hospital, a ventilator, cardio monitors, and infusion pumps will ease equipment shortages in the intensive care unit and help create additional beds for patients in severe or critical condition in the infectious diseases ward. Personal protection equipment will be distributed among other medical facilities in the oblast (province) where the number of infections is among the highest in Ukraine. The aid will also go to the medical and social care clinic in Kharkiv, run by the Caritas-Spes-Kharkiv religious mission. Poland will also provide assistance to Mykolaivka (the Donetsk oblast) Hospital, which needs ventilators as well as disinfectants and personal protection equipment for its medical staff. This is one of the hospitals in Ukraine’s eastern and southern oblasts that were designated for treating coronavirus cases. The medical workers in Mariupol Oblast Hospital and in Volnovakha Regional Hospital, two medical facilities located in the buffer zone of the military conflict in Ukraine, will also benefit from the assistance. The purchase of personal protection equipment will increase their medical staff’s safety. In the Kherson oblast, Henichesk Central Regional Hospital was set to treat patients with COVID-19 infection. Located in the immediate vicinity of occupied Crimea, the hospital will receive equipment for non-invasive lung ventilation, anti-bedsore mattresses, additional hospital beds, protective masks, disposable suits, and protective overalls for the medical workers. Pulse oximeters, an incubator, and protective equipment for the medical staff will go to Rivne Children’s Hospital, which treats COVID-19 patients and suspected coronavirus cases, mainly children and young people. Our aid will also reach Kyiv, where the Children’s Clinic for Infectious Diseases will receive tests, non-contact thermometers, and protective suits, while a ventilator and personal protection equipment will be donated to Kyiv City Hospital no. 4.
This is not the only aid that will be provided through Polish Aid by Polish diplomatic missions in Ukraine. Additional funds amounting to EUR 150,000 will be earmarked for strengthening the Ukrainian health service, the social protection system, and emergency services. Planned activities include measures to prevent COVID-19 infections, e.g. by purchasing appropriate personal protective equipment for beneficiaries. The assistance will be provided under the quarantine regime in force in Ukraine and ensuring the observance of proper safety measures.