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 513 300 breathing masks to support the medical capacity in Ukraine.
– Medical care in Ukraine is strained and the country's medical equipment is insufficient. Ukraine has requested help from the EU, says Fredrika Lindholm, project manager at the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB).
Sweden, through MSB, is one of the EU countries responsible for the EU´s stockpile of medical equipment.
– The warehouse is located in Kristinehamn is now being activated for the third time. The first time was in October 2021 when Latvia, due to a strained situation because of covid-19, requested ventilators, says Fredrika Lindholm. The second time was the summer of 2022 when protective aprons were sent to Ukraine.
RescEU and the medical stockpile
In 2020, Sweden was mandated by the EU to stock medical equipment including personal protective equipment (PPE) such as breathing masks and protective gowns as well as ventilators and other equipment to help patients with respiratory problems. 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 aircrafts 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.