• Family-style orphanages in Ukraine coordinated by the Olena Zelenska Foundation have received €800 000 from the EIB Institute, the philanthropic arm of the EIB Group.
  • The donation will support more than 2 000 children currently living in 280 family-style orphanages in six regions of Ukraine.
  • Foster families will receive everything they need for the children, including home appliances, hygiene products, bed linen, dishes and water tanks, as well as generators, heaters, warm blankets and sleeping bags to keep them warm this winter, and laptops and other educational equipment. 

The European Investment Bank (EIB) Group’s philanthropic arm, the EIB Institute (EIBI), has donated €800 000 to support family-style orphanages in Ukraine coordinated by the Olena Zelenska Foundation, a Ukrainian charitable organisation founded by the First Lady of Ukraine. This donation made in late December 2022 will help 2 082 children living in 280 family-style orphanages in the Kyiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Odesa, Sumy, Chernihiv and Zhytomyr oblasts. Many of these orphanages were evacuated from frontline areas. Due to the war and constant energy and communications outages, they need immediate help.

The EIBI donation aims to improve the living conditions of each child by purchasing heaters, generators and other household items, ranging from washing machines to IT equipment. The foundation works with each family individually to understand and resolve their needs, the most important right now being to help them survive a long and harsh winter.

So far, almost three dozen family-style orphanages in the Kyiv oblast have received generators, convectors, household appliances, gas stoves, bed linen, furniture, educational equipment and more.

The First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska said: “Since the start of the war, children’s lives have changed dramatically. With our partners, we have been doing the impossible to evacuate children and orphanages from the occupied territories, and are continuing to support them to this day. New needs and requests are emerging every day. I established my foundation so that we can act more effectively. The foundation’s current priority is to support family-style orphanages across Ukraine by providing them with everything they need. Many of these orphanages were evacuated from frontline areas, and we want to do everything we can to improve the conditions. I am grateful to the EIB for supporting the foundation. Together, we will be able to ensure decent living conditions for the children.”

EIB Vice-President Teresa Czerwińska, who is in charge of the Bank’s operations in Ukraine, said: “Since the first days following Russia’s invasion, we have worked closely with our Ukrainian partners, the European Commission and others to mobilise immediate financing to cover Ukraine’s most pressing needs. I am proud that in addition to the €1.7 billion deployed to cover immediate financial needs and urgent repairs in Ukraine, the EIB Group, through the EIB Institute, was also able to provide an unprecedented humanitarian aid package totalling €3.6 million in 2022. We are glad that we can help family-style orphanages in Ukraine through this €800 000 donation to the Olena Zelenska Foundation’s humanitarian project. The cooperation means we can reach the most vulnerable children and the families most in need of assistance in the country. Today, as more and more people are left living in houses without windows, heat or light, and as Russia destroys Ukraine’s energy system day after day, it is crucial to talk to the children and their guardians to make sure they have exactly what they need, be it new appliances or equipment, or new furniture or generators. Olena Zelenska and her foundation are channelling critical support to people in need in Ukraine, and we are honoured to be supporting these activities. All of this will increase Ukraine’s chances of prevailing.”

“The ongoing war in Ukraine is having a terrible impact on civilian populations, particularly children who have been orphaned because of the conflict,” said Shiva Dustdar, Director and Dean of the EIB Institute. “At the EIB Institute, one of our missions is to provide grants for disaster relief. I am proud that this donation to the Olena Zelenska Foundation will provide some comfort to more than 2 000 children, helping them to live a more normal life despite the dramatic situation. We stand ready to continue our support. The Ukrainian people are always in our thoughts.”

EIB Group’s emergency and ongoing support for Ukraine 

The war in Ukraine triggered an unprecedented EIB humanitarian aid package totalling €3.6 million in 2022 coordinated by the EIB Institute to support those affected by the war. A humanitarian aid package of €2.5 million provided in March 2022 was followed by another donation of €95 000 for two projects (TUMO and All for Victory Charity Foundation), and later by two additional donations. €800 000 was donated to support family-style orphanages coordinated by the Olena Zelenska Foundation, and €200 000 to LUkraine asbl, a non-profit organisation representing the Ukrainian community in Luxembourg, to purchase ambulances, fire trucks, generators and other items to meet the humanitarian needs of people in Ukraine.

The donations come on top of €1.7 billion of financing for Ukraine in 2022 as part of the EIB’s Ukraine Solidarity Package. This support helps Ukraine cover urgent financing needs, restore some of the most critical damaged infrastructure, resume the provision of municipal services — including transport services and vital infrastructure networks — and support cities in the process of recovering basic functions and basic services for the population.

The Bank remains committed to stepping up its activities in Ukraine, in line with the mandate given by EU leaders, and in close cooperation with the European Commission, the European Parliament and international partners