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Germany’s wide-ranging and long-term commitment to Ukraine

Kyiv, Ukraine

Kyiv, Ukraine, © picture-alliance/ITAR-TASS

08.02.2022 - Article

Germany is very keen to see a stable, democratic and economically flourishing Ukraine, which is why the German Government has provided the country with such a high level of support.

Germany is Ukraine’s largest civilian bilateral donor

According to the latest OECD DAC figures, Germany is Ukraine’s largest bilateral donor (with payments amounting to around 220 million US dollars (OECD official development assistance 2018-2019) – ahead of the United States with just under 200 million US dollars. In addition to this, Germany makes contributions through the EU (according to the OECD DAC, more than 400 million euro in 2018-2019, which is the largest amount contributed by any donor). Since 2014, Germany has provided a total of approximately 1.83 billion euro in bilateral support.

Bilateral development cooperation

In the sphere of bilateral development cooperation, Germany has been supporting Ukraine’s political and economic transformation with pledges totalling 771 million euro since 2014. An additional 96.5 million euro in new commitments were agreed at intergovernmental negotiations on 30 November 2021. Cooperation focuses on promoting a sustainable economy (including through vocational education and training), democracy and civil society, energy efficiency and the stabilisation of eastern Ukraine.
Cooperation between the governments of Germany and Ukraine is shored up by more than 70 town and municipality twinning arrangements.
Furthermore, a loan guarantee scheme has been made available to Ukraine; it was launched by the German Government in 2014 and has a volume of 500 million euro.

The German-Ukrainian Energy Partnership

In August 2020, a declaration of intent was signed to establish a German-Ukrainian Energy Partnership, thus creating a central platform for energy policy dialogue between the two countries. The Energy Partnership ties together the various activities of the German Government, as it supports a number of bilateral projects in this sphere in Ukraine. The focus is on renewable energies, hydrogen, the pivot away from coal, as well as promoting energy efficiency and decarbonisation.

A “Green Fund” for Ukraine

On 21 July 2021, the Joint Statement of the United States and Germany on Support for Ukraine, European Energy Security, and our Climate Goals was published. The statement includes, among other things, the commitment by Germany to establish and administer a Green Fund for Ukraine. Germany and the United States will endeavour to promote and support investments of at least 1 billion US dollars in the Green Fund for Ukraine, including from third parties such as private-sector entities. Germany will provide an initial donation of at least 175 million US dollars to the fund and will work toward extending its commitments in the coming budget years. Establishment of the Green Fund will complement Germany’s current engagement in the form of the German-Ukrainian Energy Partnership. 

Humanitarian assistance

Along with the United States, Germany is the largest bilateral donor of humanitarian assistance (around 163.1 million euro since 2014, and approximately 25 million euro in 2021). Having provided a total of 11.5 million euro to date, Germany is the largest contributor to the country-based pooled fund for Ukraine that was established by the UN in 2019. In 2022, Germany plans to maintain the same level of assistance as in 2021.

Support in managing the COVID-19 pandemic

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Germany has helped Ukraine by providing protective equipment, ventilators and diagnostic equipment, vaccines, etc. in a total amount of approximately 63 million euro. An additional 2.5 million euro have been provided to the Country-Based Pooled Fund for humanitarian efforts that is administered by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Moreover, in 2020, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development made available a total of 24.35 million euro for coping with the COVID‑19 pandemic in Ukraine. In 2021, the German Government made available, among other things, some 25 million surgical masks, some 7 million FFP2 masks and 24 PrismaVent 50-C ventilators (value: approximately 29 million euro). Germany also provided, via the WHO, 1.2 million protective masks. In August 2021, Ukraine became the first partner country in the world to be provided bilaterally with 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Special commissioners on decentralisation and gas transit

Germany provides consultancy to Ukraine through the Federal Government Commissioner for Administrative Restructuring and Decentralisation (former Minister-President Prof. Milbradt) and the Federal Government Commissioner for Structural Change in the Ukrainian Coal-Mining Regions (former Minister-President Tillich). Furthermore, in August 2021, Georg Graf Waldersee was appointed Special Representative of the Federal Government for Ukrainian Gas Transit (his second term, following his first appointment in 2019).

Stabilisation measures

Since 2014, Germany has made available funding to the tune of 44.4 million euro for stabilisation measures (with the focuses being conflict mentoring, peace mediation, managing conflicts at the level of civil society, measures to promote reconciliation and dialogue, protection of civilians, and promotion of the rule of law).

A focal country of the Eastern Partnership initiative

Ukraine is a focal country in the programme titled Expanding Cooperation with Civil Society in the Eastern Partnership Countries and Russia (Eastern Partnership). In 2021, 64 cross-regional projects (funding volume: approximately 8 million euro) and 31 bilateral projects (totalling approximately 3 million euro) could be implemented in this context. Between 2014 and 2021, a total of more than 850 projects were implemented, including more than 390 of which involved exclusively Ukrainian partners (funding volume: nearly 30 million euro). Some 500 cross-regional projects were also carried out, together with partners from Germany, other Eastern Partnership Countries and Russia.

Military support

Germany has been supporting Ukraine’s military medical service since 2019 with capacity-building measures (donations of medical supplies and equipment), as well as by providing medical care to wounded soldiers in German military hospitals. Since 2014, a total of 149 members of Ukraine’s security forces have been taken to Germany for medical treatment (in both Bundeswehr and civilian hospitals). Overall, Germany’s donations (including medical supplies) since 2014 amount to more than 13 million euro. In the context of a German-Estonian joint project, Germany is fully funding a deployable field hospital (procurement cost of 5.3 million euro, plus a training component). The estimated delivery date is the end of February or the beginning of March 2022.

The Federal Ministry of Defence has seconded advisors (Defence Reform Advisory Board, Faculty of Land Forces), is expanding its need-based military training programme (15 slots offered per year), and operates a bilateral cooperation programme that focuses on establishing structures based on the rule of law (military law, personnel, infrastructure and logistics, with 53 measures planned for 2022). Germany also supports Ukraine through a number of NATO-Ukraine Trust Funds, to which Germany contributed 8.22 million euro between 2014 and 2020; this funding goes, in particular, to C4-related activities (Command, Control, Communications, Computers), the disposal of radioactive waste, rehabilitation measures for Ukrainian soldiers, and the destruction of ammunition, small arms, light weapons and mines. In response to a request, Germany has also offered to send Ukraine 5000 military helmets.

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