UK government pledges £10m to provide homes and power to Ukraine

More than 700 of the most vulnerable Ukrainians will be housed in the new temporary villages

The UK-Poland shelter project is being delivered by Solidarity Fund Poland to help Ukrainians. AP
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The UK government has announced a partnership with Poland to build two temporary villages in Ukraine to provide vital housing to those forced from their homes by Russian attacks.

The UK will offer £10 million ($13 million) in funding to support the new partnership, which will deliver temporary shelters, energy supplies and assistance to those who have lost their homes since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The two accommodation villages in Lviv, in western Ukraine, and Poltava, in the east, will offer accommodation for more than 700 of the most vulnerable Ukrainians who have fled heavy fighting on the front lines or lost their homes due to Russian shelling.

More than 17.6 million people are thought to be in humanitarian need in Ukraine, with more than eight million having registered as refugees in Europe, the largest displacement of people in Europe since the Second World War.

Nearly 50 per cent of Ukraine’s prewar population is in need of humanitarian assistance due to the impact of President Putin’s invasion.

About six million are currently displaced within Ukraine, having been forced to leave their homes and facing freezing winter condition due to the war.

"For the past year, Putin has continued to target civilian homes and infrastructure, with the Ukrainian people paying a heavy price,” UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said.

“This new UK-Poland partnership will help bring light, heat and homes to those most in need.

“The international community is resolute in our shared determination to support the Ukrainian people and see them prevail with a just peace on Ukrainian terms.”

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Continuing Russian targeting of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure has also left nearly 10 million people without power.

Widespread power cuts, some lasting eight to twelve hours a day, have forced families to resort to desperate measures for survival, such as melting snow for water and heating bricks for warmth.

The partnership will also provide £2.6 million worth of generators to support up to 450,000 people via schools, hospitals and community centres in retaken and front line areas, including Kharkiv, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, Mykolaiv, Odesa and Kherson.

The UK and Poland are also working with the Ukrainian Red Cross, donating up to £2.5 million to support those living through extreme cold in harsh winter conditions.

"Poland was first to help Ukraine already in the early morning hours of 24 February, 2022. The United Kingdom followed shortly after,” Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau said.

Today we stand together in our joint endeavours to help Ukraine and its people.

“From the pages of the Polish history we know that Ukraine is fighting not only for their freedom but also for our freedom.

“There is no free Europe without free Ukraine,” he added.

The British and Polish ambassadors to Ukraine, Melinda Simmons and Bartosz Cichocki, attended the opening of the new accommodation village at the Lviv site on Monday, alongside Ukrainian officials.

The UK-Poland shelter project is being delivered by Solidarity Fund Poland.

It builds on Poland’s existing shelter programme in Ukraine, which has already provided housing for tens of thousands of people.

To date, the UK has helped reach more than 15.8 million people in need during the crisis.

Updated: March 28, 2023, 8:00 AM