On July 12, 2022, the U.S. and World Bank announced the provision of $1.7 billion in aid to help pay Ukraine’s health care workers and supply “other essential services.”
Ukraine’s Health Care Workers
Despite the ongoing Russian offensive, many Ukrainian health care workers have opted to remain in the country, performing their duties under extreme strain and hardship. These individuals are key to Ukraine’s continued resistance, providing essential medical services for soldiers and civilians alike. Ukraine’s minister of health, Viktor Liashko, expressed that “the overwhelming burden of war” has made it more difficult to pay health care workers, emphasizing the urgency of continued financial support.
Importance of Humanitarian Assistance
The latest aid package brings the total U.S. budgetary assistance to Ukraine, via USAID, to $4 billion as of July 2022. Ukraine has used this aid to maintain essential social services, such as ensuring schools and medical facilities receive gas and electricity, providing basic humanitarian supplies and supporting civil servants. USAID Director Samantha Power expects that Ukraine’s dependence on foreign aid will continue as the Russian offensive continues targeting Ukraine’s public services.
The importance of supporting Ukraine’s hospitals cannot be overstated. Russia’s offensive strategically targets health care institutions alongside other public works. Ukraine noted 269 attacks on Ukraine’s public health institutions as of June 2, 2022. Russia’s strategy has decimated vital supply lines and infrastructure. The recent U.S. aid to help pay Ukraine’s health care workers is a step in the right direction, however, continued international support for Ukraine’s humanitarian services remains essential.
Additional International Support for Ukraine
The U.S. has sent the most aid to Ukraine since the start of the war, however, many other countries have also stepped up to support Ukraine’s humanitarian and military needs in this time of crisis. As of July 4, 2022, the U.K. had committed about $3.5 billion and the European Union had pledged nearly $1.5 billion to the cause. The IMF and World Bank have also sent multiple aid packages worth several billion U.S. dollars since the conflict began. The private sector is also a valuable source of aid for Ukraine, with major corporations such as IKEA, Adidas and Google pledging millions of dollars worth of assistance.
Fund-tracking platforms such as Devex estimate that there are a total of about $100 billion in aid commitments to Ukraine as of July 2022. Unfortunately, only about $8.5 billion will be allocated toward humanitarian aid, with the remaining funds being tied up in military packages or loans that cannot be allocated toward emergency services.
The $1.7 billion in U.S.-World Bank aid to help pay Ukraine’s health care workers and sustain essential services will bolster Ukraine’s health system and public institutions. As Russia’s offensive grows more protracted, the continuance of such humanitarian assistance is crucial.
– Mollie Lund