Heating homes in Ukraine this Christmas

15 December 2022

Turku, Leipzig and Florence are among the first cities to commit generators to Ukrainian cities as part of Eurocities campaign generators of hope, which we are running with the European Parliament.

In August, Turku and Kharkiv, both members of Eurocities, signed a twin city agreement, aiming for assistance activities and for mutually beneficial long-term cooperation in urban development. Last week, Turku organised a collection for electricity and heating equipment – asking companies and residents to donate what they can to help the people of Kharkiv.

86 power generators, 157 heaters and 19 water pumps have already been collected as a result of the good will of local residents.

Meanwhile, Constanta has sent 30 power generators to Odesa; Riga has sent 15 more, and 100 heaters to Kyiv; and Freiburg has sent five generators to Lviv.

Tallinn has completed the public procurement necessary – and gathered support through the Estonian Association of Cities and Municipalities – to buy new generators for cities in the Zhytomyr Region of Ukraine.

From Leipzig, over 100 smaller power generators have already been sent to Kyiv, for use in clinical facilities and so-called civil heat centres, including one large generator.

And, the two initiators of the generators of hope campaign, Dario Nardella, Mayor of Florence and Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament, have also donated their first generators to Ukraine.

Everywhere, the good will is apparent. The city of Bruges is in direct contact with the city of Kopychintsi to assess what goods are most needed, and what it can provide.

Many cities in Poland, such as Bydgoszcz, have also sent power generators, as well as vehicles and medical equipment. And, even smaller municipalities, such as Ventspils, have organised to send generators.

The city of Munich, which supports the generators of hope campaign, but has not yet sent generators, has received over €3 million in transfers from residents in the last nine months to help Ukraine, and has provided a further €1.5 million from the city’s own funds, and is working actively with the local community to find more ways to help.

Cities at the heart of the campaign

Have you heard about the “generators of hope” campaign? With 30% of Ukraine’s power stations having been damaged or destroyed, leaving an estimated 10 million Ukrainians without electricity as winter begins to bite, the country’s authorities have shared a request to send high-voltage electricity equipment, especially transformers and similar energy hardware, and power generators.

The requests are based on needs, identified at the local and regional level, to give Ukrainians the best chance of making it through the winter and beyond.

In practical terms, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism is being used to connect cities via national authorities and provide the logistical means to transport the generators from cities to one of three EU hubs for Ukraine. All city administrations are invited to contact their national authority to organise this.

Wider reconstruction efforts

Sending generators can help bring relief to millions of Ukrainians this winter, and all cities are encouraged to get involved. More widely, Eurocities, as well as other organisations, is already engaging in the longer-term sustainable rebuilding of Ukraine.

Following the mayors mission to Ukraine in August, Eurocities has already launched a city-to-city pilot programme to experiment with how cities can be matched to bring together the knowledge and expertise needed for a climate-resilient and inclusive reconstruction, and, crucially, ensure that Ukrainian local authorities are key actors in shaping and implementing any long-term reconstruction vision.

Main image credit – European Parliament


Alex Godson Eurocities Writer