First support package for Ukraine in 2023: €274 million for defence and recovery

The Netherlands is to provide Ukraine with extra support. On Monday, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Liesje Schreinemacher and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wopke Hoekstra informed the House of Representatives about a new package worth €274 million, which is part of the €2.5 billion the government has set aside for support to Ukraine in 2023. The €180 million announced by Ms Schreinemacher will help fund humanitarian aid, agricultural support and repair work. The remaining €94 million, announced by Mr Hoekstra, will be spent on non-lethal assistance to the Ukrainian armed forces, preservation of cultural heritage, and efforts to combat impunity.

Humanitarian aid, recovery and reconstruction

Ukraine remains in desperate need of support. Ms Schreinemacher’s extra contribution of €180 million should help meet the most pressing needs. Of that total, €20 million will be spent on humanitarian aid, €10 million on mental health and psychosocial support, and €10 million on demining agricultural land and other areas. The minister is also making €40 million available to purchase seeds and equipment for the Ukrainian agricultural sector.

A further €100 million will go to recovery efforts focusing on hospitals and healthcare services, energy supplies, housing and infrastructure. To implement the support package the Netherlands will partner with the UN, the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and a range of NGOs.

Special envoy

Ms Schreinemacher has appointed former diplomat Ron van Dartel as Special Envoy to promote the involvement of the Dutch business sector in Ukraine’s reconstruction. Mr Van Dartel will maintain contacts with Dutch companies and the Ukrainian authorities, help identify Ukraine’s specific requirements, and explore how those needs can be met with the help of Dutch expertise. Mr Van Dartel will also liaise with major international institutions that issue tenders, with a view to creating opportunities for Dutch companies.

Non-lethal assistance, accountability and cultural heritage

The government will continue supporting Ukraine for as long as the country needs to defend itself against Russian aggression. The €94 million contribution announced by Mr Hoekstra consists largely of support for NATO’s Comprehensive Assistance Package for Ukraine. A sum of €75 million will be used to intensify support for Ukraine and expand it to include future capacity-building that will enhance cooperation between Ukraine and NATO. In addition, €14 million has been made available for the fight against impunity for international crimes. This will be spent in part on the establishment in The Hague of a register of damage sustained by Ukraine, the Dialogue Group on Accountability for Ukraine, and support for the ICC’s forensic investigation. A further €5 million will be spent on protecting and preserving cultural heritage crucial to Ukraine’s national identity.