Ukraine

Situation Report

Highlights (36 days ago)

  • US$162 million needed to provide aid to 2.3 million people: Humanitarians launch 2019 response plan
  • Civilian casualties due to the conflict go down in 2018, but one is still too many
  • Sharp increase in casualties among water workers in the last 12 months – more than the two previous years
  • Over 700,000 children and teachers in more than 3,500 education facilities need humanitarian assistance
  • Despite challenges with limited funds, humanitarians mounted a collective response
Yevheniy remembers his worst days his family had to go through. Credit: Y. Maloletka
Credit: Y. Maloletka

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Ukraine

Situation Report

Key Figures

5.2M
People affected
3.5M
People in Need
2.3M
People targeted to reach

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Ukraine

Situation Report

Funding

$161.7M
Requirements
$9.8M
Funding
6%
Progress
FTS

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Contacts

Alice Armanni Sequi

Head of Office


Jean-Francois Ruel

New York Desk Officer


Valijon Ranoev

Public Information/Reporting Officer


Ukraine

Situation Report
Feature (36 days ago)
Osnat 1-01

UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator calls for urgent support to fund the US$162 million appeal

“As with previous years, our response plan is only useful if it is adequately funded,” said the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Ms. Osnat Lubrani, in a statement, at the launch of the Ukraine Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for 2019 on 31 January, noting the need to continue and strengthen donor support.

The plan sets sight on mobilising US$162 million to provide aid to some 2.3 million vulnerable Ukrainians on both sides of the “contact line”. The appeal is slightly lower than what humanitarians  asked in 2018 (US$187 million), but aims to reach with life-saving assistance and protection the same number of people as in previous year, through a stricter prioritised set of actions.

Over 120 representatives of the Government, donor, UN and international and national non-Governmental organizations, as well as media representatives attending the event, also heard about the devastating consequences of the conflict from the speakers, which also included the Deputy Minister of Temporarily Occupied Territories and IDPs, Ambassador of the European Union to Ukraine and a representative of the affected community. Moreover, the event provided a forum  to reflect on the humanitarian efforts, existing challenges and discuss opportunities, as the conflict sets into its sixth year this spring.

The launch in Kyiv was followed by the UN Member States briefing in New York, which was chaired by the Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator (ASG/DERC) Ms. Ursula Mueller. The RC/HC briefed the participants via a video conference from Kyiv, and called on the international community to stand in solidarity with the people of eastern Ukraine and support fund the HRP. Mr. Vadym Chernysh, the Minister of Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons of Ukraine (MTOT) also participated in the event and provided his insights on the humanitarian situation, improvements of crossing conditions at the checkpoints and the most critical humanitarian needs of people affected by the conflict. During the briefing, ASG Mueller also announced the establishment of a Country-Based Pooled Fund (CBPF) in Ukraine, which is an additional tool to effectively mobilise funds to support the HRP.

The Humanitarian Response Plan: For the first time in Ukraine, the response will be of a multi-year nature, through a two-year strategy, which aims not only to address immediate needs, but reduce them  overtime through strengthening links with recovery and development action, under the ongoing efforts around the Humanitarian-Development Nexus. The HRP is the result of a collective effort of hundreds of organizations, and is based on evidence methodologically gathered through a Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO), an analysis of over 50 assessments conducted in 2018.

2019 Humanitarian Response Plan: https://bit.ly/2RtQoMy

2019 Humanitarian Needs Overview: https://bit.ly/2DIJPkE

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Ukraine

Situation Report
Analysis (36 days ago)
Casualties-01

2018: Lowest number of civilian casualties since the start of the conflict, but one is still too many

The human cost of the conflict in eastern Ukraine continues to grow, although to a lesser extent. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) recorded 279 casualties in 2018 (55 killed and 224 injured). This is a 54 per cent decrease compared to  2017, when the Office registered 604 civilians killed or injured.

In 2018, the highest number of casualties among civilians was recorded in April and May, when 46 and 62 civilians were either killed or  injured, respectively. As autumn set in, the number of casualties gradually went down, from 38 in June to 9 in December. The low levels of casualties among civilians during these months may be attributed to the recommitments to ceasefire, first agreed in July for harvesting purposes, and another at the end of August, ahead of the start of the school year.

Continuous shelling and small-arms fire along the 427-km “contact line” and explosion of landmines and explosive hazards are the two major causes for death and injury. Of the 279 casualties, 56 per cent were caused by shelling, small-arms fire and light weapons, followed by some 43 per cent of death and injury caused by landmines and other explosive hazards.

While 2018 was the lowest in terms of the number of civilians killed or injured, one is still too many. Obligations under  International Humanitarian Law to protect civilians must be upheld at all times, everywhere and by all.

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Ukraine

Situation Report
Analysis (36 days ago)
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Water workers face life-threatening risks in eastern Ukraine, as they carry out their tasks to ensure millions have access to safe water

Despite the low level of civilian casualties in 2018, there was a sharp increase of incidents affecting water workers in the last 12 months. The water staff of the water utility company “Voda Donbasu” particularly were at risk, as they came under fire on multiple occasions, or encountered landmines, while carrying out their daily tasks.

The Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Cluster reports that 12 workers of “Voda Donbasu” were injured since the start of 2018. In comparison, there were none in the previous two years. This demonstrates a change in dynamics of the conflict and increased risk of landmine contamination, which continue to put essential critical infrastructure and civilian workers in danger. ‘Windows of silence’, usually agreed to protect and allow safe passage of repair workers, do not last long with recurring security incidents around critical infrastructure, including the likes of Donetsk Filter Station.

For example, a single incident on 10 January 2019 injured three water workers of “Voda Donbasu”, when they were simply clearing snow to access the road to a major pumping station. Noting the alarming trend of increased incidents, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine, Ms. Osnat Lubrani, issued a statement, stressing that “Clean water is a human right…” and calling to uphold obligations to spare civilians and protect these vital critical infrastructures under the international laws. “Voda Donbasu” delivers clean water through many pumping and filter stations to more than 3.5 million people on both sides of the “contact line”.

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Ukraine

Situation Report
Analysis (36 days ago)
SCHOOLS-01

Children are not protected: 750 education facilities damaged or disrupted since 2014

Over five years of protracted humanitarian crisis had a profound negative impact on children, teachers and the whole education system in eastern Ukraine. The Education Cluster estimates that over 770,000 children and teachers in more than 3,500 education facilities in eastern Ukraine are affected by the hostilities and in need of humanitarian assistance. More than 400,000 children experience direct impact of the conflict as they live, play and go to school on both sides of the “contact line”, where shelling and extreme levels of mine-contamination threaten their lives and well-being.

Sadly, schools often come under fire in eastern Ukraine. Since the beginning of the conflict, the Education Cluster reported over 750 education facilities to have been either damaged or disrupted. At least seven cases were already recorded this year, with one school in Zolote-5 coming under fire four times in a wake of six weeks. Hiding in bomb shelters is not an option for many, as only 30 per cent schools (Education Cluster) in eastern Ukraine have a safe space or a properly equipped shelters.

Nightmare, fear, conflicts with parents and peers, inability to concentrate on studies are only a few signs of psychological trauma that became a part of their lives. According to the Education Cluster, within the 20-km “contact line”, 6 in 10 schools observe the impact of the conflict on children’s ability to learn and/or their wellbeing, making the psychosocial support even more important.

Humanitarians continue delivering assistance to children and teachers to improve access to education services in eastern Ukraine. During 2018-2019 school year, some 49 per cent of education facilities have received at least one type of support. Within the 5-km “contact line” where conflict related education needs are most acute, some 93 percent of schools and kindergartens received support. This was only possible due to generous support from donors. While needs remain high, this support must be further strengthened to reach all children and teachers who need support.

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Ukraine

Situation Report
Analysis (36 days ago)
Funding 1

Despite challenges with limited funds, humanitarians mounted a collective response

In 2018, Ukraine received US$136 million in funding for the humanitarian response (of which, $72 was channeled through the 2018 HRP - 39 per cent of funds requested - FTS as of 18 February 2019) Despite Ukraine being among few countries requesting the least amount of funds in 2018 globally, funding gaps were among the largest for the year.

While this has put a relentless pressure on the operations, humanitarian actors, nevertheless, mounted a collective response and provided aid to some 1.3 million people on both sides of the “contact line” in 2018. This is reflected in 50  convoys that crossed  the “contact line” with some 6,700 tons of aid, including shelter, household and winterisation items, hygiene kits, as well as  provision of support to improve access to education, clean water and sanitation  and protection services.

Since 2014, coordinated response efforts for Ukraine have mobilised more than US$800 million to help millions of people on both sides of the “contact line” (over half of it was mobilized though the UN-coordinated response plans). However, analysis indicates that for the last two years, overall funding for humanitarian operations in Ukraine has been on decline. After almost five years, the impact of this protracted conflict is more severe and complex. Additional funds to address the long-term challenges and needs of millions of people on both sides of the “contact line” are now required more than ever.

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Ukraine

Situation Report
Background (36 days ago)
Map of Eastern Ukraine
Eastern Ukraine with the 427-km long "contact line" and five checkpoints

Humanitarian Context

As the crisis in eastern Ukraine is well into its fifth year, civilians continue to bear its heaviest brunt. Fear of shelling, violent clashes, or treading on one of the many landmines or unexploded remnants of war (eastern Ukraine has been branded one of the world’s most mine-contaminated areas) are the daily reality for millions of people living on both sides of the over 420-km-long "contact-line", which is about the length of the French-German border. Since the start of the conflict, more than 3,300 civilian men, women and children have been killed and another 9,000 injured.

The crisis in eastern Ukraine has become protracted. The long-term consequences are serious with daily hostilities damaging critical infrastructure and often disrupting essential services, such as water supply and sanitation facilities. Every month, more than 1.1 million civilian crossings were recorded at the five checkpoints in 2018, where people often have to endure long waiting hours in the bitter cold in winter and scorching heat in summer to maintain family links and access basic services. This is especially arduous for the elderly, who make up 30 per cent of all people in need, the highest proportion in the world. People are increasingly affected by mental health issues having lived in fear for far too long, and lacking self-esteem after losing their job. The economic situation of the Donbas region, once the economic heartland of Ukraine, is dire which has seriously impacted household wellbeing and living standards.

Despite enormous challenges, the UN and its humanitarian partners continue to deliver lifesaving assistance to millions of people across the country every month. Over the course of 2018, more than 1.3 people benefited from some form of humanitarian assistance and protection services. Since 2014, over US$460 million has been mobilised through humanitarian response plans.

The humanitarian response is coordinated within six clusters: Shelter and Non-Food Items; Protection; Health and Nutrition; Education; Water, Sanitation and Hygiene; and Food Security and Livelihoods. Cluster partners conduct joint assessments, coordinate the response and monitor humanitarian assistance and programming. Relief and early recovery supplies, including food and non-food items, shelter materials, medicine, psychosocial support and hygienic and education kits are distributed. Access to safe drinking water through in-kind as well as cash assistance is provided. Other urgent humanitarian assistance includes provision of farming inputs, mine clearance and mine-risk education as well as other protection services.

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