Australia increases aid to Ukraine with specific funding for gender-based violence, education and disabilities

Just weeks after announcing an initial aid package for Ukraine, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison offered an additional A$30 million in emergency humanitarian aid, with an additional $10 million pledged specifically for the education of children, people with disabilities and people facing gender-based violence.

Excluding the $10 million package, Australia’s official humanitarian aid contribution to Ukraine now stands at $65 million.

“The Morrison government will extend its support for Ukraine and impose new punitive measures on Russia in response to its relentless and unlawful aggression against Ukraine,” Morrison said in a statement alongside six other federal ministers. “These additional measures will help ensure that Russia pays a high price for its…disregard for international humanitarian law.

The federal government is also providing $8 million to the United Nations Population Fund to ensure displaced women and girls retain access to sexual and reproductive health services.

Another $10 million will go to the World Food Program to “help address growing food shortages.”

Morrison added that Australian materials used to make aluminum would no longer be exported to Russia, effectively hampering trade in one of Russia’s most critical products. Meanwhile, an additional $21 million in military aid will go to the Ukrainian armed forces, bringing Australia’s total support package for defensive military assistance to $91 million.

Other measures announced include changes to Australia’s aid donation rules.

In an effort to encourage citizens to give generously to those in need, the government has included Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Hungary in its foreign aid gift deduction program – meaning that donations made to organizations supporting Ukrainian refugees in these Eastern European countries will now be taxed. -deductible.

Morrison has also pledged $2 million to the Emergency Action Alliance (EAA) Ukraine Appeal: a group of Australian charities.

“We welcome the support of the Australian Government through this contribution of $2 million. This funding will be used to help attract private matching donations – helping to scale up impact,” said the Executive Director of the EAA, Kerren Morris, in a statement. “The crisis in Ukraine is of such magnitude that the Australian charities involved will join forces to raise more funds to help those affected by this crisis.

Previously, Ukrainian assistance programs had seen Morrison promise to speed up the approval of temporary and visitor visas for those forced to flee. Although initially welcomed, many in Australia’s refugee rights sector were quick to point out that employment opportunities and access to Australia’s free healthcare system would not be available for the most part under both visa titles.

Their concerns seem to have been heard, with the announcement of a new temporary humanitarian visa for Ukrainians.

“This visa will be valid for three years and will allow people to work, study and access Medicare,” Morrison explained. “The government will continue to work closely with the Ukrainian-Australian community to ensure that those arriving from Ukraine will be supported throughout their stay. We have awarded a grant of $450,000 to groups communities to facilitate their ongoing work.

Nearly 4,500 visas to Ukrainians have been issued so far, and more than 600 people have already landed in the country.

Helen D. Jessen