The armed conflict in eastern Ukraine, which began in 2014, has remained unresolved despite diplomatic efforts and numerous cease-fire agreements.
Some 5.2 million people have been affected by the conflict and about 800,000 people are permanently internally displaced. Over three thousand civilians have been killed and another nine thousand wounded. Over 2 million people, including 220,000 children, live in areas that are heavily contaminated with mines and unexploded ordnance.
About 3.5 million are in need of humanitarian assistance. Civilians living along the so-called contact line, which separates government controlled areas and non-government controlled areas, are considered the most vulnerable. Here, employment is scarce, medical care is difficult to access, and many don’t have adequate food, shelter or heating.
Although freedom of movement is a challenge, over one million civilians risk their lives by crossing the frontlines (the so-called “contact line”) every month, despite armed clashes, to maintain family ties, look after property, and access markets or health care.
People we helped in Ukraine in 2017
We support internally displaced Ukrainians in conflict-affected communities in government-controlled areas of the Luhansk region and in the northern districts of the Donetsk region, especially along the contact line.
Our support addresses basic needs, but as displacement becomes protracted, we have also begun to contribute to durable solutions. Our activities in the country are shifting from emergency relief to early-recovery and recovery.
Information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA)
Between September and December 2018, we provided legal services to 5,632 people.
Our ICLA teams:
- operate three legal aid centres
- dispatch mobile teams of lawyers
- make home visits to the elderly and people with disabilities
- run a telephone hotline and a Facebook page for legal information
- conduct research and advocacy efforts on legal issues concerning displaced civilians and civilians affected by the conflict
- help strengthen capacity of local lawyers and state-run legal aid centres on the rights of internally displaced people
Livelihoods and food security
We work to restore Ukrainians’ self-reliance and sustainable livelihoods. For communities living along the contact line, we improve access to local markets. Between September and December 2018, we assisted 12,489 individuals (6,947 families) through various projects and activities.
Our livelihoods and food security team:
- provides cash transfers, so people can buy food and meet their basic needs
- assists the most food insecure households and communities to restore infrastructure of vital importance for community welfare
- provides agricultural assistance to restore production capabilities
- provides small business development grants to stimulate economic recovery and self-employment
- assists unemployed internally displaced and other conflict-affected people to increase employability through vocational training courses
- supports capacity building of local rural organisations
- arranges trainings on marketing and financial management for new entrepreneurs
Shelter and settlements
We work to make sure that displaced persons and civilians along the contact line in Luhansk region have roofs over their heads, heating, fuel for winter and essential household items. Between September-December 2018, 491 families (989 people) received aid from NRC to repair their damaged or destroyed houses. In addition, 803 families (1,472 people) from three frontline districts received cash for solid fuel, hand presses and wood shredders so that they can produce fuel briquettes from wood cuttings and waste materials to heat their homes in the winter.
Our shelter team:
- provides emergency shelter, recovery shelter (through light and medium, heavy repairs) and full reconstruction of houses
- prepares civilians for cold winter temperatures with fuel and proper housing insulation
In total, between September and December 2018, we helped 2,675 people with shelter and household items.
NRC in Ukraine
- Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NMFA)
- Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)
- Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)
- The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR)
- The World Food Programme (WFP)
- European Commission / EIDHR
- The Vatican “Pope for Ukraine” Fund
Ukraine: How we help those affected by conflict survive the winter
The conflict in eastern Ukraine is approaching its fifth year, and hostilities, isolation and depletion of resources continue to affect civilians along the frontlines. During the harsh winter months, they need to find means to buy costly fuel and basic goods, which have tripled in price in recent years.
Over five million people affected by forgotten Ukraine crisis
Almost five years of conflict has affected 5.2 million Ukrainians. Despite growing needs, the conflict in eastern Ukraine continues to be a forgotten crisis.