There is a rapidly increasing need for medical supplies in Ukraine and its neighbouring countries. The war has led to shortages of all kinds of medicines, ranging from common painkillers to vital medicines such as insulin, heart medications and antibiotics. Norway is now sending medical supplies worth roughly NOK 43 million to alleviate the acute situation created by the war.
‘In times of crisis, it is vital that we help each other. We know that it will be very difficult to provide medical help to everyone who needs it, and that the Ukrainian health system is under great pressure. It is a given that Norway would help in this situation,’ said Minister of Health and Care Services Ingvild Kjerkol.
The supplies provided by Norway to Ukraine are being channelled through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM). As early as last week, the first deliveries of medical supplies arrived in Poland: 22 kits of ‘100-10’ surgical supplies, each kit stocked with supplies for 100 inpatients for 10 days.
On Sunday, 6 March, the EU agreed to accept a substantial donation of essential medicines from Norway. The donation, worth NOK 43 million, will contain a variety of different medications.
‘There is a great sense of solidarity with Ukraine in Europe. Norway is proud to be working with its partners in the EU to alleviate the situation in Ukraine and its neighbouring countries,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt.
The medical supplies Norway is sending are in response to the needs reported over the weekend by Ukraine and its neighbours. The shipment from Norway is now being prepared.
The EU Civil Protection Mechanism has a good framework in place for ensuring that the medical supplies reach their destination, despite the challenging conditions.
Norwegian health workers ready to help
Norway is maintaining a close dialogue with the EU and European countries on the situation and potential future scenarios. Norway has a great deal of experience in deploying health workers to provide assistance in crises.
‘The Norwegian Emergency Medical Team (NOR EMT) is on standby to respond quickly and provide support to the local health services in Ukraine’s neighbouring countries, if needed,’ said Minister Kjerkol.
In connection with a European effort to map capacity, Norway has reported that at present its hospitals could receive around 550 Ukrainian patients, including children, burn victims and cancer patients.
‘We are now looking at the possibility of further expanding this capacity as needed. We have also offered to airlift patients from areas near Ukraine,’ said Ms Kjerkol.
Norway operates its own air ambulance for the EU civil emergency authorities. This aircraft was made available for European assignments as of 1 March 2022.
‘We know that this war will have enormous humanitarian consequences, and Norway’s position is clear. We will support Ukraine and stand ready to provide further assistance in the time ahead,’ said Foreign Minister Huitfeldt.