Swiss join efforts to help Ukraine through the winter

Ukrainians face the prospect of a freezing winter, many without power. Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

Switzerland is giving CHF100 million ($108 million) to help Ukraine “get through this crisis”, Swiss President Ignazio Cassis told an international conference in Paris on Tuesday.

This content was published on December 13, 2022 minutes

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky estimates the country's needs at $800 million this winter. Countries attending the Paris conference on Tuesday pledged nearly $1 billion in aid to the population of Ukraine, where civilian infrastructure including power installations have been damaged by Russian missile strikes, according to the host France.

"I expect this conference to gather all the means and resources necessary to help Ukrainians through the crisis and, beyond, to give them hope," said Cassis in his speech. He stressed that the various conferences for Ukraine held in Warsaw, Berlin and now in Paris "allow us to continue the common commitment observed in Lugano (Switzerland)" in July.

The $100 million has been approved by the Swiss parliament and will be used for civilian infrastructure and aid for the Ukrainian population. "Whether through the principles of the Lugano conference on reconstruction or through our humanitarian expertise on the ground, Switzerland is very present in the field of aid and reconstruction of Ukraine," said Cassis.

Earlier this year Switzerland already allocated CHF80 million in humanitarian aid for Ukraine after it was attacked on February 24 by Russia.

A UN representative in Ukraine said on Tuesday that more than 10 million Ukrainians living in the most affected areas faced winter without water, heat, and electricity. An estimated 50% of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure had recently been directly affected, with power cuts affecting just about everyone in the country, he said. Nearly 18 million people – 40% of Ukraine’s population – need humanitarian aid.

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