Factbox-Big bits of Washington’s $40 billion aid package for Ukraine
WASHINGTON: The U.S. Senate on Thursday passed a bill that would provide some $40 billion in additional military, economic and humanitarian aid to Ukraine after the Russian invasion as the Biden administration predicts a protracted conflict.
The war has reduced cities to rubble, forced millions from their homes and, according to the United Nations human rights body, killed an estimated 3,500 civilians. Russia has little to show beyond a sliver of territory in southern Ukraine and marginal gains in the eastern part of the country.
The United States has rushed $3.9 billion worth of weaponry to Ukraine since the Russian invasion on February 24, including howitzers, Stinger anti-aircraft systems, Javelin anti-tank missiles, munitions and drones armed.
Here are some of the main elements of the funding program:
The legislation includes more than $4 billion in international disaster assistance to meet humanitarian needs in Ukraine and other affected countries, including the provision of emergency food and shelter.
The legislation also includes $350 million in migrant and refugee assistance for the US State Department to help refugees from Ukraine and support other countries in Eastern Europe.
The number of people fleeing Ukraine to escape the Russian invasion has topped 6 million, in Europe’s worst refugee crisis since the end of World War II, a United Nations refugee agency said on Thursday. refugees.
Most crossed into the European Union through border points in Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania, where volunteers and governments rushed to help them find accommodation and provide support.
ECONOMIC SUPPORT FUND
The package also includes nearly $9 billion for an economic support fund for Ukraine and other conflict-affected countries, including anti-human trafficking programs and cash that can be used to address food insecurity.
The funds can be used to provide direct financial support to the Ukrainian government, according to the draft law, although cash transfers are subject to a memorandum of understanding, as well as certain safeguards and controls.
The Global Network Against Food Crises, set up by the United Nations and the European Union, said in its annual report this month that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – both countries are major food producers – poses serious risks to global food security, especially in vulnerable countries including Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Haiti, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
The package includes nearly $15 billion for defense operations and maintenance, including $6 billion for Ukraine’s Security Assistance Initiative and $8.7 billion to replenish defense stocks. American equipment sent to Ukraine.
The legislation includes hundreds of millions of dollars for the purchase of missiles, weapons and tracked combat vehicles, ammunition and aircraft, among others.
It also provides US$4 billion in foreign military funding to support Ukraine and other crisis-affected countries, and US$100 million for non-proliferation, counterterrorism, mine clearance and programs. related.
PRESIDENTIAL DRAWING AUTHORITY
The legislation authorizes up to an additional $11 billion in presidential drawdown authority, allowing the president to authorize the transfer of items and services from U.S. stocks without congressional approval in response to an emergency .
The legislation authorizes nearly US$200 million for US State Department diplomatic programs to respond to the situation in Ukraine and conflict-affected countries.
It also authorizes US$110 million for embassy security, construction and maintenance.
(Reporting by Daphne Psaledakis; Additional reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by Mary Milliken and Daniel Wallis)