Brussels, 22 March 2023 (TDI): Anniken Huitfeldt, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway met Janez Lenarcic, European Commissioner for Crisis Management in an official meeting.

The discussion touched upon continued cooperation between both parties on humanitarian aid in Ukraine.

The Norway government agreed on extending the medical evacuation agreement from Ukraine. The agreement will extend through the Civil Protection Mechanism from 1st May to 31st August 2023.

There is a high demand for medical evacuation of patients from Ukraine to hospitals in Europe. Norway has been leading the way in providing medical evacuation assistance to Ukrainians.

Keeping in view the significant demand, the Norwegian Government has agreed to extend its agreement with Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) on the transport of patients from 1 May to 31 August.

Minister of Health and Care Services, Ingvild Kjerkol stated that Norway’s airlift operation utilizes available hospital capacities in various other countries, thereby reducing the burden on Ukraine’s health care services.

He further added that Norwegian health personnel based in the medical hub in Poland are also accompanying the transport operation. The outstanding efforts of Norway have received tremendous international recognition.

Norwegian Ministries, the Norwegian Directorate of Health, local and regional health authorities along with the Norwegian Armed Forces and the Directorate for Civil Protection have been assisting the transport mission since the beginning of the war.

The medical evacuation operation is being coordinated through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. So far Norway has provided support for the evacuation of 1000 patients including their family members.

Furthermore, 745 cases of attacks have been reported in the health sector in Ukraine. Minister Anniken Huitfeldt said on the occasion, “Soldiers and Ukrainian civilians alike are being injured and maimed.

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Hospitals, maternity clinics, and medical warehouses are being bombed. The destruction of health care infrastructure is depriving close to half a million people of health care every month.

The medical evacuation assistance Norway is providing is therefore essential and is now being extended.”

There are many countries with available hospital capacity but lack the means to transport patients. This is the reason Norway’s airlift capacity is high in demand.

The Ukrainian patients are first transported to the medical hub in Poland and then are transported across Europe for medical treatment.

Civil Protection Mechanism. Norway’s commitment to this great cause of providing high-quality medical care is being applauded by the international community. Norway has set a valuable and exemplary role for healthcare professionals.