A young girl from Ukraine is due to arrive this week to undergo cancer treatment in Malta, Prime Minister Robert Abela has announced.
The child will be treated at Sir Anthony Mamo Oncology Centre as part of the country's humanitarian effort to help victims of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
"The first young girl with cancer will arrive this week," Abela told the audience at a question and answer session organised by the Chamber of Small and Medium Enterprises at Villa Arrigo on Monday morning.
"It is a heartbreaking situation," he added, thanking cancer charity Puttinu Cares for their help.
Malta is one of several countries in Europe who are taking on the care of cancer patients fleeing Ukraine. The UK has airlifted 21 children to be treated while Poland has also begun caring for these vulnerable refugees.
Abela thanked the business community for its generosity in donating to the Ukraine crisis.
€1.4 million in medicines
Malta has committed to delivering aid, including medical and protective equipment, and medicines, as well as Covid test kits and vaccines to the country.
Abela said €1.4 million in medicines was sent over to Ukraine on Saturday morning.
Last week he said Malta had taken in 26 Ukrainian refugees so far and that they would stay in the country for the foreseeable future.
Meanwhile, he said the government have drafted economic plans on how to tackle the impact on Malta, which relies heavily on Ukraine and Russia for goods like oats, maize starch and crude sunflower-seed oil, and would meet social partners on Tuesday to brief them.
"This administration has the know-how and the will to manage this situation," he said, indicating the management of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Throughout the pandemic he said he had a "gentleman's agreement" with Paul Bugeja, president of the Chamber of SMEs, that government would help as long as businesses would agree not to fire people.
"Had we not taken these decisions, we certainly wouldn’t be in this situation today," he said. "The forecasts of more than 50,000 unemployed would have materialised."
"Now we have fresh challenges, not least of which is the developing situation in Ukraine," he said.
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