EU medical stockpile in Sweden activated to support Ukraine
Ukraine has requested assistance with medical equipment through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism (ERCC). The EU has decided to activate the Swedish EU medical stockpile, which will send 580,000 protective aprons to support the medical capacity in Ukraine.
Ukraine's healthcare system is under tremendous strain and its medical equipment is inadequate. Ukraine has applied for assistance from the EU, which has decided to activate the medical stockpile in Sweden. The equipment is sent via a coordination centre in Poland, where aid shipments to war-torn Ukraine are coordinated.
Sweden, through the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB), is one of the EU countries responsible for the EU emergency medical equipment. The warehouse is located in Kristinehamn in Sweden, and is now being activated for the second time. The first time the stockpile was activated was in October 2021 when Latvia requested ventilators, due to an emergency situation caused by covid-19.
RescEU and the medical stockpile
In 2020, Sweden was mandated by the EU to stock medical equipment including personal protective equipment (PPE) such as facemasks and gowns, as well as ventilators.
The material is intended to be used in major crises when the EU countries' own resources do not cover their needs.
The Medical Stockpile is part of the development of the EU's joint preparedness under the rescEU, a system of EU-wide resources aimed at strengthening preparedness and response capacities for different types of crises, such as forest fires and pandemics. Sweden also hosts aircraft for forest fires and shelter stockpile.
The project to establish the EU medical stockpile is a cooperation between MSB, the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration and the National Board of Health and Welfare.