To address the needs of conflict-affected people in eastern Ukraine, the European Commission on February 28 announced €24m in humanitarian assistance.

The funding comes as the European Commission and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs organise a high-level conference in Brussels to raise awareness about the humanitarian consequences of the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

“Four years of conflict have put a tremendous strain on the civilian population in eastern Ukraine,” said European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides. “We cannot overlook that there’s a humanitarian crisis at the European Union’s doorstep. Supporting all those in need, wherever they are, is a priority for the EU. Our new aid package will provide essential assistance such as food, healthcare and education for children.”

According to a Commission press release, the new EU funding will help address the basic needs of the most vulnerable populations along the contact line including in the non-government controlled areas. It will help those who fled the conflict areas to neighbouring countries.

Together with the member states, the EU is the biggest donor of humanitarian aid, early recovery and development assistance to Ukraine.

The latest €24m brings total EU assistance to eastern Ukraine to over €677m since the beginning of the conflict in 2014.