Foreign affairs minister outlines Portugal’s contribution to new mechanism for coordinating aid
Portugal is to send generators, heaters and LED bulbs to help Ukraine through its tortured winter.
Portugal’s minister of foreign affairs, João Gomes Cravinho, said today that this will be the country’s contribution to the new mechanism for coordinating aid to the country under relentless attack from Russia.
In Paris, for the “Solidary with Ukraine” conference, organised by French President Emmanuel Macron, Gomes Cravinho said the government is already “identifying local suppliers of generators to send (…) with 650 heaters ready to go now, and 1,000 more per month from February, as well as LED bulbs which consume less (energy)”.
The ‘Paris Mechanism’ is focused on allocating aid “with greater efficiency and distribution on the ground”.
“Portugal will continue to do its part”, pledged the minister, reiterating the government’s pledge of €250 million in aid – an “unprecedented” amount for this country – with an additional €30 million to support Ukrainian refugees arriving in Poland.
The Paris initiative has raised over €1 billion so far, explains Reuters news agency.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the conference via videolink, asking the many heads of state and representatives for €800 million to help his country face the freezing winter with energy infrastructures under bombardment.
The money will be used to buy gas and repair the damage caused by “consecutive Russian strikes”, he said.
France’s foreign minister Catherine Colonna said that over €1 billion has been raised – with €415 million devoted to Ukraine’s energy sector – due to the fact that non-Western countries such as Qatar and Cambodia have joined support efforts.
So far, according to latest figures from the UN, Russia’s invasion has caused the flight of more than 14 million people – 6.5 million internally displaced and more than 7.8 million to European countries. It is the worst refugee crisis in Europe “since World War II”.
Says Lusa, 17.7 million Ukrainians need humanitarian aid and 9.3 million need food and shelter.
The State news agency recalls that “the Russian invasion – justified by Russian President Vladimir Putin with the need to “denazify” and demilitarise Ukraine for Russia’s security – has been condemned by the international community in general, which has responded by sending arms to Ukraine and imposing political and economic sanctions on Russia”.