Ukraine

Situation Report

Highlights (14 days ago)

  • Ways forward on practical solutions for internally displaced people, despite challenges with funding a national IDP Strategy
  • Economic situation of conflict-affected people continues to worsen, while funds to assist them fall short
  • Integration of internally displaced persons in Ukraine remains a challenge
  • Attacks on education facilities in eastern Ukraine have tripled, while funds to assist remain at record lows
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Credit: OCHA Ukraine/Valijon Ranoev

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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 (2019)

$161.7M
Required
$45.5M
Received
28%
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
Analysis (14 days ago)
IOM Ukraine

Ways forward on practical solutions for internally displaced people, despite challenges with funding a national IDP Strategy

Little progress has been made at national level on the situation of internally displaced persons (IDPs) since last OCHA report on the latest IDP survey by the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The issue of integration of IDPs remains one of the key challenges, along with their constrained access to employment, housing, healthcare and social benefits. Lack of resources, but also limited capacities, especially at local levels, continue to prove a challenge for the Government of Ukraine to implement an action plan, in support of a national Strategy on integration of IDPs.

In late June 2019, OCHA invited a global IDP expert, Professor Walter Kälin to Ukraine, to organize a series of workshops, together with the leading Government entity on the issue of IDPs – the Ministry of Temporarily Occupied Territories and IDPs (MTOT). These workshops, organized for more than 50 representatives from local and national authorities of Dnipropetrovska, Kharkivska and Zaporizka oblasts, allowed participants increase their knowledge and capacities to support the IDPs with the challenges they face at local levels. Finding practical solutions to the acute challenges which IDPs face - housing, access to basic services, and pensions – were at the center of discussion.

This is already the second round of such workshops and demonstrates the readiness of the international community to continue working with the Government of Ukraine at all levels, to address the challenges which IDPs face. The first round of similar workshops took place in Kyiv, Kramatorsk (Donetska oblast, GCA) and Sievierodonetsk (Luhanska oblast, GCA) in late 2018.

While efforts continue to increase the capacities at regional and local levels on integration of IDPs, funding continues to be a key challenge. The most recent development is the Government’s setback from 50/50 to 70/30 housing programmes due to the lack of funds in the regional budget. That is, for an IDP family to receive state funding support for housing, they must to pay 70 per cent of the total rent. Before, this proportion was 50/50.

In terms of access to services, the situation is further exacerbated due to the issue with registration, the so-called “propyska,” that creates an obstacle for IDPs to accessing the basic services like healthcare, or pensions, in a place other than the one they are “registered” to reside officially. Despite the legal support provided, including thanks to humanitarian actors, little progress is anticipated until the right to services and social payments is delinked from the “IDP status”.

In terms of practical ways forward, the workshops participants agreed that restoration of IDPs’ right to vote in the local elections can potentially motivate the local governments to consider more closely the IDP-related problems and invest in appropriate solutions. Above all, the workshop participants agreed that IDPs are the citizens of Ukraine with the same rights, but also responsibilities, and that there are indeed ways at local, regional and national levels, to achieve durable solutions, both for families displaced, but also for host communities.

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Ukraine

Situation Report
Analysis (28 days ago)
Coping strategies matrix

Economic situation of conflict-affected people continues to worsen, while funds to assist them fall short

Over five years of active armed conflict in eastern Ukraine has not only affected the safety and well being of millions of people, it also has had a profound impact on their economic situation. The “contact line” that divides the areas under and beyond the Government’s control has severed the economic ties of two regions that were once united - and closely inter-connected.  The closer to the “contact line”, the worse off people’s economic situation, according to the recently-published Economic Security Assessment conducted by REACH.

The assessment, which included primary data collection from some 820 families living within 20 kilometres of the “contact line” in the Government controlled areas (GCA) of Donetska and Luhanska  oblasts, examined the impact of the conflict on household economic security, employment and income. The findings showed that a reduced employment market, limited trade and decreased industrial production due to the conflict, have led to high inflation rates, and significantly reduced economic capacity among the conflict-affected families.

Almost half of the residents surveyed in the Government controlled areas (GCA) of Donetska and Luhanska  oblasts, indicated that they depended solely on their pensions as the main source of income. Some 10 per cent were unemployed, including due to health or disability reasons. As inflation rates continue to climb, reaching some 11 per cent in the areas at the time of the survey (February -March 2019), nearly all pensioners reported that their pensions did not keep pace with rising prices. This has had a negative impact on people’s spending power, with almost half of the conflict-affected families reportedly having to use negative coping practices to make their ends meet- including spending savings, buying food on credit, borrowing food, or selling family assets. Alarmingly, one-third of families – the majority headed by older people - reported having to reduce essential healthcare spending as a coping strategy to get by.

The assessment once again demonstrates the complexity of the conflict and its negative consequences on civilians. Its impact on the economic security of the region, once the industrial heartland of Ukraine, continues to exacerbate people’s vulnerability. With winter on the horizon, the difficult household economic condition is likely to be exacerbated, when temperatures plummet below -20 degrees Celsius, and the costs of utilities such as heating, increase. The findings also showed that families generally spent around 20 per cent of their limited income on heating.

Humanitarian needs therefore, remain manifold and severe, especially in the areas along the “contact line”. While aid organisations provide support where they can, the lack of funding is one of the main challenges that prevents them from reaching everyone who needs support. As of early June, the 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan, which appeals for US$162 million to reach with aid 2.3 million people, is only 16 per cent funded.

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Ukraine

Situation Report
Analysis (46 days ago)
“I don’t have anywhere else to go. I cannot stay at my sister’s house forever too,” Anatolii, 62, moved in to live temporarily with his sister’s family in Toretsk, after his house was burnt down to ashes by shells in May 2018. Credit: OCHA/V. Ranoev/2018
“I don’t have anywhere else to go. I cannot stay at my sister’s house forever too,” Anatolii, 62, moved in to live temporarily with his sister’s family in Toretsk, after his house was burnt down to ashes by shells in May 2018. Credit: OCHA/V. Ranoev/2018

Integration of internally displaced persons in Ukraine remains a challenge

About 1.3 million conflict-induced internally displaced persons (IDPs) were registered across the country by the Ministry of Social Policy (MoSP) in March 2019. Despite a national strategy on the integration of IDPs and finding long-term solutions, many IDPs still face significant challenges to integrate into local communities. 

The latest survey on IDPs undertaken by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) reveals that as of December 2018, only half of IDPs reported to have been integrated into local communities, citing that housing, regular income and employment were the main conditions for their integration.

According to the survey, conducted every quarter, IDP households continue to suffer from general economic insecurity. Average monthly income per IDP household member was considerably lower compared to Ukrainian households (apprx. US$92 vs. $166) and still lower compared to the actual subsistence level, which is US$128, calculated by MSoP. Over 50 per cent of surveyed IDPs noted that they still rely heavily on government support, followed by pension and social assistance as source of income, demonstrating the lack of full-fledged programmes at the community level for their self-sufficiency. At the time of the survey (December 2018), 51 per cent of IDPs assessed their financial situation as having “enough funds only for food,” or “having to limit their expenses even for food,”, which is a 7 per cent increase compared to December 2017.

After years of internal displacement, durable solutions are still elusive for many IDPs in Ukraine. In late 2018, the Government of Ukraine developed an action plan to implement the national IDP strategy. While this is ground-breaking work, and indication of the commitment that the Government of Ukraine has towards IDPs, the results of the latest survey, demonstrate that the plan has not been fully translated into concrete actions, particularly at oblast and local levels. 

The findings of the Report on Regional IDP Integration Programmes in Ukraine reveal the need to link national programmes with local context; and to increase the capacities of local authorities on the integration of IDPs into communities.  Professor Walter Kaelin, a global IDP expert, will travel to Kharkiv and Dnipro in June 2019 to help strengthen local capacities and to contribute to addressing some of the challenges of IDP integration.

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Ukraine

Situation Report
Analysis (49 days ago)
Education damages-01-01

Attacks on education facilities in eastern Ukraine have tripled, while funds to assist remain at record lows

The conflict in eastern Ukraine entered into its sixth year this spring. Children, and other vulnerable groups, are among the most at risk and bear the heaviest brunt. Hostilities and the presence of landmines on both sides of the “contact line” place thousands of girls and boys at daily risk, while also leaving long-term psychological scars. Children also have limited access to safe and protective learning environments as many schools in eastern Ukraine are no longer safe. 

The Education Cluster released daunting numbers of attacks on schools. Between January and mid-May 2019, attacks on educational facilities, located on both sides of the “contact line”, have tripled compared with the same period in 2018. At least 14 instances have been recorded between 1 January to 14 May 2019, when schools came under shelling and small-arms fire, damaging facilities and disrupting classes. This is almost three times more than the incidents recorded during the same period in 2018 - and close to the number of incidents recorded by the Cluster during 2018 (16 in number). The increase in frequency of the attacks so far this year reminds us of the challenges to adhere to International Humanitarian Law and makes the endorsement and implementation of the Safe Schools Deceleration (SSD) even more critical.

Some 750 education facilities have been damaged and disrupted in eastern Ukraine since the start of the conflict in 2014. One school, in Zolote-5 (Luhanska oblast), with serves over 100 girls and boys, has come under fire eight times already this year. It even had to close for a month due to insecurity, leaving children without classes. Temporary closure of schools due to insecurity, including proximity of military personnel or equipment, is not new to the children and teachers in eastern Ukraine. Some 50 schools were temporarily closed last year due to the conflict, with two similar instances recorded so far this year. 

Today, over 700,000 children and teachers need humanitarian assistance and protection and some 3,500 schools need safety. Against this background, funding for child protection and education programmes under the 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan remains inadequate, with only less than 7 per cent of the required funds received so far. Nevertheless, humanitarians continue to stretch to address children’s needs. According to a response monitoring report released earlier in April, in 2018 alone, over 210,000 children on both sides of the “contact line” have benefited from humanitarian assistance, including through repair and rehabilitation of over 100 schools, systems to allow children to continue their education remotely, provision of school supplies, and support with psychosocial counselling and mine-risk education.

Raising awareness on the risks that children face in eastern Ukraine and advocating for their protection is one of the top priorities of the international community. On the launch of a campaign called “Stop the War on Children” by Save the Children in Ukraine earlier in May, the UN Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine called the Government to speed up with the endorsement of the SSD, protect children and education facilities from the harms of the conflict and increase donor funding for humanitarian education and child protection programmes.   

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Ukraine

Situation Report
Background (46 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 3,320 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$470 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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Media (75 days ago)

What it takes to live in eastern Ukraine? Spend two minutes with Sergii and his family who have been living in fear of shelling and landmines for almost five years.