In order to support the OSCE Special Observation Mission in fulfilling its mandate and to ensure that the monitoring mission operates safely during the Covid 19 crisis, the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Ukraine, Anka Feldhusen, handed over a package consisting of protective gear, breathing masks, protective masks for mouth and nose, and surgical gloves to OSCE SMM Chief Monitor Yaşar Halit Çevik.
“The work of the OSCE SMM must remain on track, especially in the crisis,” said Anka Feldhusen during the presentation. She recalled the need to ensure free access for observers to the area not controlled by the Government. The Covid crisis should not be used as an excuse to prevent the mission from fulfilling its mandate. The Mission has taken extensive security precautions. Germany would like to provide additional support in this regard.
The handover of protective equipment is part of a comprehensive multilateral and bilateral German response to the Covid 19 pandemic. Germany is also active in the fight against Covid-19 in cooperation with Ukrainian partners, for example as a member of the EU: 1.2 billion euro of macro-financial assistance is flowing to Ukraine within the framework of the EU’s Eastern Partnership programme. In April, Germany already provided bilateral support to the Ukrainian civil protection service by supplying protective equipment with a total value of 175,000 euro. As part of the U-LEAD decentralization project supported by the EU and several EU states, Anka Feldhusen handed over protective equipment intended for particularly vulnerable communities in eastern Ukraine. In addition, various German-funded projects are working with Ukrainian communities on the ground to actively support the fight against the virus there, for example by producing protective masks or providing equipment for hospitals.
Internationally, Germany is committed to the development of vaccines against Covid-19 . Germany will disburse 1.4 billion euros for humanitarian aid at an early stage (“frontloading”) in order to support the operability and responsiveness of the humanitarian aid system in this global crisis; the German Bundestag has pledged an additional 300 million euros for humanitarian organisations in their fight against Covid-19 and its consequences. The WHO is supporting Germany with a further 55 million euro.