(Prague, Kiev, September 2, 2019) The armed conflict in eastern Ukraine has been going on for five years and continues to disrupt the lives of local people every day. According to UN figures, the conflict has had an impact on 5,2 million people, out of which 3,5 million are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, particularly the elderly and children.
A lot of people have been deprived of their homes and have become jobless. Infrastructure is often damaged and many have insufficient access to water. Since the very beginning of this humanitarian crisis, the Czech organization People in Need (PIN) has been operating in this area, helping people on either side of the contact line. Since the beginning of the conflict in 2014, People in Need has provided 3,8 million of those conflict-affected with humanitarian assistance.
“Although we are overwhelmed with the abundance of information around us, it is important to realize that there is a war going on in Europe, destroying the lives of millions of people just at the border of the European Union,” says Šimon Pánek, the director of People in Need, as he is pointing out the gravity of the situation. “Our team provides help for the inhabitants of eastern Ukraine which they now need to get through this difficult period. In 5 years we have managed to help nearly 4 million people, which is fantastic. Yet, everyone wishes just one thing – to live in peace,” adds Šimon Pánek.
The assistance of People in Need in Ukraine:
2,722,100 people – In affected areas, it is vital to ensure drinking as well as non-drinking water for households and institutions like kindergartens and primary schools. This includes securing water supply, installing water treatment units, and rehabilitating water supply systems, as well as sanitation and heating systems. We have also started developing new water resources for a more sustainable approach. Moreover, selected families received sanitary articles.
101,800 people – Renovation of houses damaged as a result of bombardment and shooting. This includes the repair of roofs, walls, windows, water distribution and heating systems. In winter, these people receive coal or briquettes to survive frosts.
113,400 people – Providing crisis psychosocial support helping people (adults as well as children) to cope with the effects of the war and traumatic events. A great emphasis is put on extracurricular activities for children.
32,400 people – Ensuring new sources of livelihood for people living in areas with limited access to services and markets. Agriculture is the most common source of livelihood for local people but they also focus on small and medium businesses, with the help of grants.
888,000 people – Poor economic conditions in the east of Ukraine often make it difficult for families to make ends meet and to provide for life's essentials, challenges that are especially acute in conflict-affected areas. To help reduce the hardship, PIN distributes cash and vouchers for basic needs, as well as food and hygiene items.
3 800 000 people have received aid in total (since 2014 until 2019)
The Relief and Development department of People in Need has been providing assistance in eastern Ukraine since August 2014. At that time, a team of just four humanitarian workers started to distribute aid to those living near the contact line, as well as to build the foundations to increase the support PIN could provide. Currently, aid is being provided by some 100 local and 7 foreign team members, operating from offices in Kyiv, Sloviansk and Stakhanov with the support of their colleagues in Prague. This team provides aid in the government controlled areas of Luhansk and Donetsk, as well as in non-government controlled areas in the Luhansk region.
“The five-year-old conflict in eastern Ukraine is taking its toll on the civilian population. We will continue to provide aid to those in urgent need, to protect the rights and dignity of conflict-affected people, and to support them in rebuilding their lives,” explains Elena Terzi, People in Need´s Desk Officer for Moldova and Ukraine. “Since 2017 we have been a member of the ACCESS consortium of humanitarian organizations, which contributes to successful coordination and targeting of aid. At the same time, we are committed to supporting local communities in their rebuilding efforts and working together for a more sustainable future through our early recovery and development programs.”
Fighting between the armed forces of Ukraine and non-government controlled area forces began in 2014. According to the UN figures, 30,000 people in eastern Ukraine were injured and over 13,000 people are reported dead since the beginning of the conflict. Another 3,5 million inhabitants depend on humanitarian aid and around 800,000 people have been displaced in their own country. There are real individuals behind the enormously high figures of this humanitarian disaster. For five years, war has been an everyday reality for these people. People in Need has captured the stories of some of these people in ten episodes of short documentary films, “This is us, this is Ukraine”, showing the lives of people in war-ravaged villages in eastern Ukraine.
Since 2003, People in Need in Ukraine has also focused on human rights.
Adriana Cerna, media coordinator, People in Need, +420 731 520 896, firstname.lastname@example.org
Elena Terzi, Desk Officer for Ukraine, People in Need, +420 608 030 916, email@example.com