Donetsk, Feb 22 - DAN. The Donbass people reunification humanitarian programme will expand to cover new areas, DPR Head Alexander Zakarchenko said at a joint news briefing with acting LPR Head Leonid Pasechnik on Thursday.

“Together with the LPR head we state that the programme will continue and that it will expand,” Zakharchenko said. “It will probably add new kinds of assistance because we’re one Donbass people; our fellow countrymen are out there. We’ll unite with them sooner or later.”

Pasechnik said that the People’s Republics would move beyond their achievements. “Taking into account our fellow countrymen’s requests we decided to expand the range of services provided under the aegis of the humanitarian programme,” he said.

Earlier on Thursday, Zakharchenko said the humanitarian programme had involved more than 18,000 Donbass residents over a year.

In 2017, DPR Health Care Ministry expanded the range of humanitarian programme services to residents of Kiev-controlled areas. They will include gynaecological assistance, surgery, x-ray therapy in cancer cases, intraocular lens implantation, and surgical treatment of degenerative disorders and backbone injuries.

DPR noted at that time a large increase of requests from residents for broader assistance. On top of that DPR Labour and Social Policy Ministry planned to increase the number of groups eligible to one-time humanitarian programme payments in 2018.

DPR and LPR have been implementing the humanitarian programme since 17 February 2017. It provides for medical and financial assistance, quotas for higher and vocational education for residents of Kiev-held areas, and their involvement, together with DPR population in sport and cultural events and measures aimed to preserve spiritual and cultural values in the region. *jk