Hungary + 2 more

Hungary, Romania, Ukraine: Floods Appeal No. 13/01- Final report


Focus on Ukraine
This Final Report is intended for reporting on emergency appeals

Launched on 9 March, 2001 for CHF 1,574,048 for 2 months. Budget revised and programme extended in Situation Report no. 1 (for the Hungary and Romania components of the operation only) -- increased to CHF 2,185,764 and the time frame extended to 30 September, 2002.

Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) Allocated: total of CHF 150,000 (CHF 50,000 for Ukraine)

"At a glance"

Overall Appeal coverage: 81.4%; over 100% for Ukraine

Update/Summary: The Ukraine Red Cross Society (URCS) with the support of the Federation and through timely contributions from donors, implemented an effective flood assistance operation by delivering much needed relief items. The URCS needs to replenish emergency relief stocks depleted by the operation.

The standard Federation final financial report is not attached to this report as this operation is actually a component of a larger appeal involving two other countries (these operations are ongoing). The financial annex attached to this report is also provisional as there are outstanding pledges pending from several donors, as well as a final ECHO payment. These pledges will fully cover the current deficit of approximately CHF 26,684.

Operational Developments:

Severe floods caused by heavy rains started on 3-4 March 2001 in the west of the Ukraine. Rapidly melting snow and heavy rain caused the Tisa river and its tributaries to rise to record levels, provoking some of the worst flooding in Central Europe in decades. Wide areas of Hungary, Romania and Ukraine have been affected, forcing whole communities from their homes and seriously impacting upon the future well being of the population. Tens of thousands of people in northeastern Hungary, northwestern Romania, and western Ukraine were uprooted as Central Europe faced serious floods.

Forced to flee for safety in a sudden exodus, many fled their homes with little more than they could carry. Most found shelter in other communities. With the floods centered on deprived and underdeveloped regions --which reflect the social cost of structural adjustments in the transition to free market economies -- the impact could have long-term implications. The rains left 33,539 houses flooded out of which 1,705 were destroyed. Nine people were killed and 13,769 people were evacuated, with 891 people hospitalized. A total of 270,000 beneficiaries received assistance from the URCS.

Red Cross and Red Crescent Society

CHF 50,000 was allocated from the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF). From the outset of the disaster, all 26 Ukrainian Red Cross branches were involved in emergency response. A total of UAH 456,540 (USD 84,540) was gathered by local Red Cross branches and sent to the Zakarpattya Red Cross branch. Local Red Cross branches also provided in-kind assistance to the Zakarpattya flood victims (food parcels, clothing and shoes, medicine, hygiene supplies, household facilities in the amount of UAH 214,206, equivalent to USD 40,000).

The Slovakian, Swiss, Polish, Austrian, Danish and German Red Cross Societies also assisted the URCS with bilateral in-kind donations totaling UAH 1,766,172 (USD 327,000) to support their relief efforts. The URCS's relief operation concentrated on the provision of food parcels, baby food, hygiene parcels, water disinfecting facilities, bed linen, clothing and shoes, and strengthening of disaster preparedness.

Red Cross and Red Crescent Action


Objective 1 To improve the sanitary conditions of flood victims in the western part of Ukraine (Zakarpattya region) and to decrease the risk of infectious diseases through the distribution of disinfecting cartridges for the open wells.

There was a critical need to disinfect open wells in Zakarpattya as they were highly contaminated during the flood. With no central sewerage system in rural areas the risk of contaminated wells and the spread of infectious diseases was high. Disinfectant was used to clean wells and to restrict the prevalence of infectious diseases.

During the reporting period and over the course of entire operation 4,800 disinfecting cartridges were procured and distributed to the flood victims in the most affected rayons of Zakarpattya: Rakhiv, Tyachev, Beregovo, Vinogradovo and Irshava.

Objective 2 To improve the sanitary conditions of flood victims in the western part of the Ukraine (Zakarpattya region) by making essential basic hygiene care available through the distribution of hygiene parcels.

All the belongings of the victims were either spoiled by flood completely or dirty because of dirty and muddy water coming from the mountings. People couldn't wash themselves because they didn't have clean water and hygiene facilities, even soap was in short supply.

During the reporting period the URCS procured and distributed 17,800 hygiene kits consisting of toilet soap, washing powder, sand soap, shampoo, cleaning substance, tooth brush and tooth paste. In addition 1,000 hygiene kits were procured and stored in the DP stock of Zakarpattya, and they can be used along with other items in case of further flood or any other disaster.

Relief distributions:

Objective 1 To ensure that flood victims in the western part of Ukraine (Zakarpattya region) have a basic source of food through the distribution of food parcels and baby food.

With flooding in the rural areas a large amount of food stocks were destroyed. Some 19,000 food parcels and 4,000 jars of baby food were procured and distributed by the URCS during the reporting period.

Objective 2 To improve the living conditions of flood victims in the western part of Ukraine (Zakarpattya region) through the distribution of clothing/foot-wear and household facilities.

The URCS procured and distributed 1,540 pairs of shoes for adults and children and 3,100 rubber boots for adults. Including the in-kind donation from the Danish Red Cross the URCS provided more that 6,680 flood victims with clothes and shoes. In addition, 500 bed linens were procured and distributed in the most affected districts of Zakarpattya region.


Objective 1 To organize and carry out local procurement of all humanitarian items.

All procurements were organized and carried out in Ukraine. All tendering and procurement procedures were done in accordance with the Federation's logistics requirements. There were no problems or delays in procurement, and humanitarian supplies were of high quality. There were no lost or damaged items during transportation.

Objective 2 To distribute humanitarian relief supplies among flood victims in the Zakarpattya region. All supplies were procured in Kiev and were delivered to the Zakarpattya Red Cross organization by the suppliers. Onward delivery was done by means of oblast and rayon Red Cross organizations of Zakarpattya. The Zakarpattya Red Cross organization has a well developed and well functioning distribution structure operating in two ways:

  • Through distribution points usually through either Red Cross branches or Red Cross warehouses. Beneficiaries are informed about the dates and time of distribution by means of telephone, home visits, neighbours and advertisements on the Red Cross branches. This kind of distribution is usually used in towns and cities.
  • Home visits. This kind of distribution is used in villages and with bedridden and disabled beneficiaries.

All distribution was made according to distribution lists compiled jointly by the Red Cross oblast/rayon representatives and local authorities. Three categories of victims were developed by the government in the days immediately after the floods: A - houses totally destroyed; B - houses partially destroyed; C - houses flooded.

Apart from distribution lists each beneficiary was given an individual card which identified to which category this beneficiary belonged (A, B, or C), and was used by local authorities and NGOs.

Objective 3 To replenish the DP stock of the Zakarpattya region.

During the first days of disaster the URCS used all its DP stock (created in the framework of the contract ECHO/UKR/215/1998/01001 during the 1999 flood). For the purpose to replenish this stock the URCS procured and stored 1,000 blankets, 1,000 bed linen, 1,000 pillows, 1,000 towel packs, 1,000 mattresses, 1,000 folding beds, 40 tents, 200 water cylinders, 1,000 hygiene parcels and 400 first aid kits. The DP stock is completed and can be used for the case of further floods and other emergencies.

National Society Capacity Building

As a result of the flood operation the number of volunteers in the URCS's Zakarpattya Red Cross branch increased by 25%. Furthermore, the image of the National Society has improved considerably, given the media coverage during the floods operation. The relations between the URCS and local authorities are further improved. Disaster preparedness of the URCS has been strengthened

Outstanding needs

With an appeal coverage of close to 100%, the only remaining needs is for replenishment of disaster preparedness stock.

For further details please contact: Penny Elghady, Phone: 41 22 730 4319; Fax: 41 22 733 03 95; e-mail:

All International Federation Operations seek to adhere to the Code of Conduct and are committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (SPHERE Project) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

This operation seeks to administer to the immediate requirements of the victims of this disaster. Subsequent operations to promote sustainable development or longer-term capacity building will require additional support, and these programmes are outlined on the Federation's website.

For further information concerning Federation operations in this or other countries, please access the Federation website at

John Horekens
Relationship Management Department

Lynette Lowndes
Europe Department

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