Read caption Chicken distribution in Muratove village, Luhansk oblast. Photo: NRC

Our country programme in Ukraine

Published 07. Jun 2016
Over 2.5 million people are displaced as a result of the conflict in Ukraine, with no resolution in sight. Fighting continues along the frontlines, despite diplomatic efforts and a 2015 ceasefire agreement.


Total number of refugees
Internally displaced persons
Refugees from other countries
New refugees
Voluntary returns
Source: UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC). The figures are from the beginning of 2016.

Humanitarian and political background

In 2014, following political demonstrations, clashes escalated into armed conflict between separatists and Ukrainian forces.

Despite a fragile ceasefire signed in 2015, localised fighting still occurs along the frontlines between Ukrainian and separatist forces in eastern Ukraine. More than 9,400 people have been killed and some 31,000 wounded. Serious human rights concerns persist inside the conflict zone.

Civilians in eastern Ukraine are severely affected. According to the UN, some 3.1 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance. Over 2.5 million Ukrainians have been displaced by the violence, and struggle to access their rights. Of those, some 1 million have fled the country.

In many areas affected by the hostilities, particularly along the frontlines, civilians lack access to basic services. Employment is scarce, the sick cannot access medical care, and the population at large lacks adequate food, shelter, heating and money. Water supplies have been damaged. Prices of basic goods have significantly increased.

People we helped in Ukraine in 2015

people benefited from our shelter programme
people benefited from our ICLA programme
people benefited from our WASH programme

NRC in Ukraine

"We want to be on the frontline of where people need us most. Here, we can help them protect their rights."

Programme development manager, Miradije Hodza

Through our Ukraine programme, we provide shelter, clean water, and legal aid to civilians forced to flee, the families that host them, and other vulnerable groups.

We began our activities in Ukraine in late 2014, delivering emergency assistance. In April 2015, we started our Country Programme in Ukraine.

We operate from our country office in Kyiv, with field offices in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions of eastern Ukraine.


We work to ensure civilians have proper shelter by repairing damages and building durable, winter-proof houses.

We protect civilians displaced by violence by providing information and legal counselling. We provide clean water and hygiene items to communities along the front lines.

Shelter/Non-food items (NFI)

In Ukraine, we help people displaced by violence through:

  • Building emergency shelters.
  • Building sturdy, transitional shelters.
  • Providing shelter materials to make repairs.
  • Repairing community infrastructure, such as hospitals and schools.
  • Preparing civilians for the cold winter temperatures with heating, proper insulation and clothing.

Information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA)

To protect civilians who had to flee or have damaged homes, we provide free legal information and counselling.

Our activities include:

  • Operating three legal aid centres.
  • Dispatching mobile teams of lawyers.
  • Making home visits to the elderly and people with disabilities.
  • Running a telephone hotline.
  • Organising group information sessions.
  • Conducting research and advocacy efforts on legal issues of displaced civilians.

Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)

For communities affected by conflict to have access to clean water, we implemented a WASH programme.

Our activities include:

  • Delivering potable water to communities along the frontlines.
  • Repairing water pumps and water stations.
  • Distributing hygiene kits.
  • Providing items such as water filters, toilets, washbasins, water pumps, and water heaters.


NRC in Ukraine

Budget 2016
NOK 45 million
International staff
Field offices
Luhansk and Donetsk regions
National staff


Country Director

Christopher Mehley


+38 067 828 5818