Latvia's donations to Ukraine estimated at over €650 million

Latvia has been one of the biggest supporters of Ukraine since the Russian war began. The State Chancellery has estimated that the Latvian government, public and non-governmental organizations, and associations have contributed at least €650 million to Ukraine over the two years of the war, Latvian Radio reported February 23.

Latvia's aid to Ukraine is approaching 1% of gross domestic product. Egita Diure, spokesperson for the State Chancellery, said that of the 650 million, most of the money - more than 370 million - has been invested in military equipment.

"These are drones, helicopters, weapons, equipment, ammunition, anti-tank weapons, anti-aircraft missiles, also fuel. This is what the Ministry of Defense has dedicated to Ukraine from its own resources," Diure said.

War refugees from Ukraine have received €170 million in assistance, ranging from food parcels to social benefits and funds to learn Latvian. Latvia has made international contributions of €36 million to the European Peace Facility, the UN Children's Fund, NATO's Ukraine Assistance Programme and others. More than €12 million has been invested in the reconstruction of the Chernihiv region, and €48 million in humanitarian aid has also been provided to Ukraine. 

"Humanitarian aid includes medical equipment, machinery, medicines, support for critical infrastructure. From the State Police, the State Border Guard, the Fire and Rescue Service, various equipment and material and technical equipment, and cars useful for rescue work. In the future, Latvia will jointly with the UK lead a drone coalition to provide Ukraine with drones and pilot training. Latvia will continue to support Ukraine until victory," the State Chancellery spokesperson said.

Ulvis Noviks, head of the association "Tavi draugi", said that humanitarian aid worth around €5 million had been sent to Ukraine and more than 45,000 Ukrainian refugees had been assisted. Although the core team consists of 15 people from Latvia and the same number of volunteers from Ukraine, the number of volunteers altogether has reached 5,000. Noviks admitted that at the same time, donors are feeling war-weary.

"It is more and more difficult to ask for help because, firstly, people are simply tired of the information and of the war itself and, secondly, if the economic situation does not improve significantly, it is difficult to support someone else for a long time.

"So we are very happy and very appreciative of everyone who finds the opportunity to give a part of their money to charity, whether it is to buy cars or to support the army. There are also various individual projects where either a specific organization in Ukraine asks for support or a specific army unit. I ask everyone to do everything possible so that we can win this war together," said Noviks.

Rūta Dimanta, head of "", said that 90 charities have raised €60 million since the start of the war, but "Ziedot. lv" has raised 24.8 million and the most regular donors are people aged around 50.

"The average donation to Ukraine is between 20 and 50 euros that a person donates at one time, of course there are people who donate every month in hundreds, there are people who give their birthday presents to Ukraine, there are people who have made regular donations until Ukraine's victory. Well, of course, when you donate, when you have taken care of your family and those around you, then you can help others. But in those moments when Ukraine is struggling, like now, for example, when American funding is not clear, both citizens and businesses are much more active in donating," Dimanta said.

Not all support can be measured in monetary terms. Companies and individuals have donated food, clothes and cars, while volunteers across Latvia have woven camouflage nets, made candles, and knitted socks.

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