Following the surprise visit of Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv this weekend, Belgium will send a convoy bearing humanitarian material to Ukraine via the B-FAST emergency aid mechanism.
The Foreign Affairs Department will provide protective equipment and basic necessities during cold climate conditions, including generators, sleeping bags, first aid kits and soup. Two Belgian companies (Elia and Proximus) are donating technical equipment to replace destroyed basic and electrical infrastructure. The Flanders region is donating tonnes of road salt.
Additionally, 1,000 sleeping bags will be donated to the Centre for Ukrainian refugees in the Polish city of Przemyśl following an earlier visit by De Croo and several ministers in March 2022. During this weekend's trip, De Croo and Lahbib visited Borodyanka and Bucha on Sunday, two towns near Kyiv that have been hit hard by bombings and cruelty since the Russian invasion in February.
"The brutality of this Russian war is totally unreal,” De Croo commented, looking over a battlefield abandoned by the Russians. "Hundreds of people lived here and dozens of them died. There are no military installations around us. The Russians shelled residential areas.”
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With this B-FAST convoy, Belgium is responding to the request for assistance sent by Ukraine via the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM) following the country's invasion military invasion by Russia – which targets civilian basic infrastructure. Belgium would like to express its solidarity with the Ukrainian population, now that winter is coming.
The Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation Department will coordinate the B-FAST mission – in which the Prime Minister's Office, as well as the Ministries for Public Health, Defence, Interior and the FPS Bosa for logistical and administrative support, are involved.