Central Emergency Response Fund helps almost 1,000 families restore livelihoods
The conflict in eastern Ukraine has paralyzed the economic and agricultural activity of an otherwise fervent region, severely impacting the wellbeing and living standards of vulnerable people. Unemployment has doubled in the government-controlled areas of Donetska oblast and tripled in Luhanska oblasts between 2013 and 2018. Access to farmland, which was one of the primary sources of income for many families living close to the “contact line,” is severely curtailed due to landmines, making it essential to support people with livelihood activities.
The UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) allocated some US$6 million to Ukraine earlier in 2019. That was a timely support for life-saving humanitarian interventions across both sides of the “contact line” but also projects to address urgent livelihoods needs. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) used that allocation to deliver more than 28,000 chickens to almost 1,000 households in over 30 settlements close to the “contact line.” This means a new source of income – and protein – for families otherwise living in poverty and isolation due to shelling, landmine contamination and disruption of transportation. Households have also received feed and a step-by-step guide to look after the chickens. Ahead of winter, when expenses related to keeping houses warm will add further strain to people’s already overstretched resources, the poultry will come handy.
The CERF’s allocation will help prevent people from suffering further economic losses. The income generated from selling the eggs will help families regain a level of self-sufficiency, but also complement the livelihoods capacities that they have. Over 2,000 additional families are expected to receive vital livelihood assistance through this allocation. As with all CERF projects, this one targets the most vulnerable: mothers with many children, families with pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and the elderly- all living in hard-to-reach settlements.
The US$6 million CERF allocation is responding to the needs of some 250,000 most vulnerable people on both sides of the “contact line” in 2019. Life-saving humanitarian and protection interventions are making a difference. The project is but one of many examples which demonstrate that humanitarians on the ground are making a significant impact on people’s lives, even with minimal resources.
As needs remain high, more resources are needed. The Humanitarian Coordinator has recently appealed for US$52 million for critical humanitarian activities between now and end of 2019. These are the resources required to meet the most priority, urgent needs that simply cannot go unaddressed.