Russia-Ukraine War

Belgium tried to donate nearly expired drugs to Ukraine: Report

Government might have tried to get rid of expiring medical stockpile by donating to war-torn country, local media claims

Agnes Szucs   | 18.05.2022
Belgium tried to donate nearly expired drugs to Ukraine: Report File Photo


The Belgian government tried to send nearly expired medicines from its strategical stockpile to Ukraine as humanitarian aid, local media reported on Wednesday.

According to an investigation by the Het Laatste Nieuws (HLN) newspaper, the €3.4 million ($3.6 million) worth of humanitarian aid that the Belgian federal government sent to Ukraine in early March originally contained 20% drugs and 10% medical equipment close to the expiration date.

Around 280,000 medicines and 140,000 syringes would have expired in three weeks and another 10,000 goods only had 2-5 months left after arrival, if the trucks had not been stopped from reaching Ukraine.

Later in March, the Health Ministry tried again to send 140,000 syringes and 40,000 drugs with one week of expiration.

Dirk Ramaekers, the ministry’s director of crisis management, admitted to HLN that they were aware of the short expiry date, but he claimed that the humanitarian aid had to be fast and the Ukrainian authorities accepted the donation knowing the details.

The country’s strategic stockpile for pandemic only contains €98.5 million worth of expired goods now but this number could be way higher, according to the newspaper’s calculations.

The World Health Organization (WHO) advises donating medical supplies with over one year of validity as humanitarian aid.

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