WHO, with EU and US support, donate more ambulances to Ukraine to help cover emergency health needs during the war
27 March 2023
The WHO Country Office in Ukraine, with support from the European Union and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has donated an additional 33 ambulances to the Ministry of Health of Ukraine to enable the provision of emergency medical care to patients during the war. The handover of ambulances took place in Lviv, western Ukraine, on 27 March in the presence of Dr Viktor Liashko, Minister of Health of Ukraine, Dr Jarno Habicht, WHO Representative in Ukraine, Maciej Popowski, Director General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations and Tetiana Rastrigina, Senior Project Management Specialist, USAID/Ukraine Health Office.
The donation includes 20 ambulances equipped with a stretcher and first aid equipment. They are intended for the non-critical transportation of patients. A further 13 ambulances, equipped with patient ventilators, oxygen supply, medication bags and other equipment that will allow the transportation of seriously injured patients to health facilities.
The ambulances will be donated to hospitals and emergency medical centres throughout the entire country, with a particular focus on the eastern part of Ukraine.
“The purpose of this donation is to further enhance the timeliness and quality of health services provided by national emergency medical services and this further strengthens the capacity of Ukraine’s health system in leading the activation and coordination of this response in the immediate aftermath of any emergency,” explained Dr Jarno Habicht, WHO Representative in Ukraine during a ceremony held jointly with the Ministry of Health of Ukraine and EU Humanitarian Aid and USAID.
“The availability of ambulances is a priority to reduce mortality from emergency situations and mass casualty events. By providing these emergency vehicles, we pursue the goal of ensuring adequate conditions to provide urgent medical care and to further improve emergency response practices in Ukraine.”
Since 24 February 2022, a total of 56 ambulances have been donated to the Ministry of Health of Ukraine by WHO and its partners.
Dr Viktor Liashko, Minister of Health of Ukraine, noted: “I want like to thank our partners for their strong support. Despite all the odds, we work together to provide Ukrainians with high-quality, affordable, and free medical help. Soon, we will send 33 ambulances to the regions where they are needed and will help our brave medics to save people's lives.”
Janez Lenarčič, European Commissioner for Crisis Management said: “It is one of our top priorities to support the Ukrainian healthcare system, which has come under extreme pressure since the start of the war. We are working with partners like WHO to ensure that medical professionals have the means and equipment to reach people in urgent need of medical assistance. These ambulances will save lives across the country, including in hard-to-reach areas.”
“These ambulances, co-funded by the United States and the European Union, will help Ukraine’s emergency workers respond to crises on the ground,” said USAID/Ukraine Mission Director James Hope. “It is just one example of how USAID assistance helps Ukraine meet urgent needs created by the war. We will continue partnering with the European Union, WHO, and other partners to provide Ukraine with life-saving support.”
WHO has delivered more than 3000 metric tonnes of life-saving medical supplies to Ukraine since the war began, including in hard-to-reach areas close to the front line. Deliveries include power generators, ambulances, oxygen supplies for medical facilities, supplies for trauma and emergency surgeries, and medicines to help treat non-communicable diseases and more.
The delivery was made possible with funding from EU Humanitarian Aid and the U.S. Agency for International Development Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (USAID).