As part of the Commission’s ongoing efforts to provide support in the area of health, Commissioner Kyriakides visited Ukraine to meet Minister of Health Viktor Liashko and pay a visit to a medical centre for children as well as a patient rehabilitation centre. At this occasion, the Commission and the Ukrainian Government have signed an agreement associating Ukraine to the EU4Health programme. This agreement will open access for Ukraine to EU funding in the area of health. This will enable the Ukrainian health system to respond to immediate needs and contribute to long-term recovery. The programme has a total budget of €5.3 billion for 2021-27.
Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety said: “What I witnessed today during my visit in the resilience and stoicism of health professionals and patients was truly humbling. I have been deeply moved and saddened by the pain and suffering I saw as a result of the barbaric and senseless Russian invasion. With the EU4Health programme agreement signed today, Ukraine will be able to quickly benefit from EU health-related funding to immediately support its health care sector as well as support the reconstruction in the longer-term. The Russian war in Ukraine is causing unimaginable physical and mental suffering for millions of people, and it is putting tremendous pressure on a severely damaged public health system. Today, as we deepen our health cooperation, we are sending another clear signal of the EU’s full and unwavering support to Ukraine”.
Minister of Health of Ukraine, Viktor Liashko, said: “Ukraine’s participation in this programme is another example of how European integration will improve the lives of our citizens through access to relevant EU funds. The powerful EU support that we are seeing today means possibilities to receive financial assistance for the modernisation and recovery of our healthcare system”.
With the entry into force of the agreement associating Ukraine to EU4Health, the Ukrainian health authorities and wider health community will be able to fully benefit from the funding opportunities under the programme, on equal terms as their counterparts from EU Members States, Norway, and Iceland. The agreement will be retroactive to 1 January 2022, allowing Ukraine to start participating in funding opportunities immediately under the EU4Health Work Programme 2022.
The EU4Health programme will support mitigating immediate combat-related damage and finance Ukrainian public and private projects helping with Ukraine’s post-war reconstruction.
Representatives from Ukraine will be associated to the political debates with EU Member States during the preparation of future annual work programmes, thereby strengthening cooperation and facilitating implementation of the actions.
In comparison with the three previous health programmes, the EU4Health Programme, adopted in May 2021 with a budget of €5.3 billion for 2021-2027, represents an unprecedented level of financial commitment from the Union in the area of health. EU4Health will make a significant contribution to the EU’s post-COVID-19 recovery and contribute to long-term health challenges by building stronger, more resilient, and more accessible health systems.
EU4Health is implemented through annual work programmes. The first two work programmes have already been adopted, making more than €1.1 Billion available for funding (€311.8 million for 2021; and €835.5 million for 2022). The EU4Health actions fall under four strands: disease prevention, crisis preparedness, health systems, and digital, with a cross-cutting focus on cancer.
Ukraine made an official request for association to the EU4Health programme on 9 September 2021.