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 3,000 civilians have been killed.. Two million people living in government-controlled areas are exposed to explosive ordnances.
About 3.5 million need humanitarian assistance. Civilians living along the 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 every month, despite armed clashes, to maintain family ties, look after property, and access markets or health care.
People we helped in Ukraine in 2018
We support internally displaced Ukrainians in conflict-affected communities in government-controlled areas of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, especially along the so-called 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 January and April 2019, we provided legal services to 7,312 people.
Our ICLA teams:
- operate three legal aid centres
- dispatch mobile teams of lawyers
- conduct field visits to the settlements along the contact line and settlements hosting internally displaced people
- make home visits to the elderly and people with disabilities, as well as to hard-to-reach communities
- 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. Between January and April 2019, we assisted 670 individuals (283 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
- disburses small business development grants to stimulate economic recovery and self-employment
- supports capacity building of local rural organisations
- supports local government to improve employability of internally displaced and conflict-affected people
Shelter and settlements
We work to make sure that displaced persons and civilians along the contact line have roofs over their heads, heating, fuel for winter and essential household items. Between January-April 2019, 90 families (195 people) received aid from NRC to repair their damaged or destroyed houses. In addition, 2 families (11 people) from two frontline districts received cash and construction materials for their housing insulation.
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 January and April 2019, we helped 206 people with shelter and household items.
NRC in Ukraine
- Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NMFA)
- Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)
- The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR)
- The US Agency for International Development (USAID)
- European Commission / EIDHR
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.