© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: United States Agency for International Development Administrator Samantha Power speaks on the U.S. Strategy on Global Women’s Economic Security during an event with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the State Department in Washington,
By Daphne Psaledakis
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. aid chief Samantha Power is set to announce more than $500 million in humanitarian assistance for Ukraine on Monday during a visit to the war-torn country, where the United Nations says some 17 million people need help following Russia’s invasion.
U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Power in Kyiv will announce the assistance to respond to the needs of Ukrainians affected by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to an announcement shared in advance with Reuters.
Tens of thousands of Ukrainian civilians and soldiers on both sides have been killed and millions have fled their homes since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, triggering Europe’s biggest land war since World War Two.
The aid, which will be provided through the United Nations and other non-governmental organization partners, will increase support for those who have been displaced or otherwise affected by the war with emergency food assistance, health care and safe drinking water, among other assistance, according to the announcement.
“The U.S. will continue to stand with the people affected by Russia’s devastating full-scale war and remains committed to providing life-saving assistance to those who need it most,” the announcement read.
Over 9,000 civilians have been killed and 16,000 injured since Russia invaded Ukraine, and there are nearly 6 million Ukrainian refugees across Europe, according to the United Nations.
With Monday’s announcement, the United States will have provided over $2.6 billion in humanitarian assistance since the war began, including more than $1.9 billion through USAID.
During her visit to Ukraine, Power will meet with farmers, energy workers and emergency response teams, among others, and will also visit USAID partners who deliver vital assistance to those suffering as a result of Russia’s invasion, according to the agency.
Monday’s announcement of assistance comes just a month after the collapse of the Kakhovka hydroelectric dam on June 6, flooding hundreds of houses in both Ukrainian and Russian-controlled territory in one of the greatest disasters of the conflict thus far.
International legal experts assisting Ukraine concluded last month that it is “highly likely” that Russia was responsible for planting explosives at the dam. Moscow has said Ukraine blew it up on the suggestion of Western leaders.
Ukraine launched a counteroffensive in June, aiming to retake occupied territory and seize the initiative in Russia’s invasion. Kyiv has made incremental gains in parts of the east and south since launching its long-awaited counteroffensive.