Minister of Social Policy of Ukraine Maryna Lazebna met with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Social Affairs and Public Health of the Kingdom of Belgium Frank Vandenbroucke.
During the meeting, Maryna Lazebna reported on the terrorist nature of the war by russian troops and the devastating humanitarian consequences of such actions for the people of Ukraine.
She stressed the need for comprehensive rehabilitation for war victims, which would include psychological, social and medical components. The Minister proposed cooperation with Belgium on this issue both in the short term to provide emergency assistance to people and in the long term to build a comprehensive rehabilitation system in Ukraine using best practices.
Mr Frank Vanderbroucke said that Belgium provides treatment and rehabilitation of 16 seriously injured Ukrainians now and has prepared all the conditions to accept 60 wounded for treatment and rehabilitation. He noted that despite the fact that the Belgian medical system is overloaded due to the effects of the pandemic, Belgium is ready to expand opportunities and provide up to 150 places for treatment and rehabilitation of the seriously injured in russia's war against Ukraine.
The Minister of Social Policy also thanked for granting temporary protection status to 48,000 Ukrainians and creating the best conditions for 87 children from vulnerable categories who are currently in Belgium, including at the invitation of the Belgian Government. She informed about the need for rehabilitation of Ukrainian children in safe conditions and invited the Belgian side to consider the possibility of inviting young Ukrainians for temporary rest and rehabilitation.
The team of the Ministry of Social Policy presented to Belgian colleagues the experience of digitalization of the social sphere and their effectiveness during the war. These digital solutions have ensured the continuity of social assistance payments, the ability to respond flexibly and quickly to the challenges of war to reach more people with the necessary assistance from the state, and to attract and coordinate assistance from international organizations given limited resources. Frank Vanderbroucke noted that the effective support of the people by the Government of Ukraine in such extremely difficult conditions and the development of social services for people is really impressive. He also praised the implemented verification and targeting of social benefits. The parties agreed on further cooperation in the digitalization of the social sphere.
Maryna Lazebna thanked Belgium for its support in granting Ukraine the status of a candidate country for membership in the European Union. She stressed that the prospect of membership in the European Union sets important vectors for the reconstruction of Ukraine, which should take place right now, not waiting for the end of the war. The Minister outlined the main directions and programs for the reconstruction of the social sphere and proposed cooperation with Belgium on these projects to ensure social welfare for everyone in Ukraine.