ACT Appeal Ukraine: Emergency Flood Relief - EUUK-11

Originally published


Appeal Target: US$ 571,628
Geneva, 20 March 2001

Dear Colleagues,

Heavy rainfall and a sudden rise of temperatures that caused rapid snow melting has brought severe floods to 12 areas of western Ukraine (Transcarpathian region). The region already weakened by long and bitter years filled with economic decline, poverty and natural disasters, is now overwhelmed by the devastating floods that the local population is unable to cope with. Damage to infrastructure is estimated to be slightly over $38 million. Some of the population most affected by the floods have sought refuge in neighboring Hungary.

As floods have spread across the basin of the river Tisza - a region common to Eastern Hungary, Ukraine and Romania, ACT seeks to assist all three regions respectively through separate appeals.

Traditionally committed to assisting Ukraine, Hungarian Interchurch Aid/HIA seeks to alleviate the plight of the local population through the following humanitarian actions:

  • Nutritional feeding
  • Distribution of food and non-food parcels
  • Provision of disinfectants
  • Distribution of reconstruction kits
  • Distribution of seed parcels

Project Completion Date: 20 September 2001.

Summary of Appeal Targets, Pledges/Contributions Received and Balance Requested in US$

Total Appeal Target(s)
Less: Pledges/Contr. Recd.
Balance Requested from ACT Network

Please kindly send your contributions to the following ACT bank account:

Account Number - 102539/0.01.061 (USD)
Account Name: ACT - Action by Churches Together
Banque Edouard Constant
Cours de Rive 11
Case postale 3754
1211 Genève 3

Please also inform the Finance Officer Jessie Kgoroeadira (direct tel. +4122/791.60.38, e-mail address of all pledges/contributions and transfers, including funds sent direct to the implementers, now that the Pledge Form is no longer attached to the Appeal.

We would appreciate being informed of any intent to submit applications for EU, USAID and/or other back donor funding and the subsequent results. We thank you in advance for your kind cooperation.

ACT Web Site address:

Ms. Geneviève Jacques
WCC/Cluster on Relations
Thor-Arne Prois
ACT Coordinator
Rev. Rudolf Hinz
LWF/World Service

ACT is a worldwide network of churches and related agencies meeting human need through coordinated emergency response.

The ACT Coordinating Office is based with the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) in Switzerland.


  • Hungarian Interchurch Aid (HIA)


Hungarian Interchurch Aid Beregovo, Ukraine (Vengerskij Rajonnij Blagodnij Fond Uhorska Vselenska Sluzba Miloserdija) - registered.

The same staff who implemented the previous ACT appeal will carry out the current program.

Reacting to the suffering caused by the floods in Transcarpathia, Ukraine in 1998, Hungarian Interchurch Aid submitted a proposal to ACT, established a field office in Beregovo and implemented ACT-Appeal EUUK81 consisting of a relief and a reconstruction phase. The previous project locations correspond to those affected in 1998: Beregovo, Vinogradiv, Hust and Tjatsiv Districts. HIA’s relief activities were carried out in 31 settlements. Beside the distribution of food and hygiene parcels for 26,000 beneficiaries, 148 houses were dehumidified, the primary school in Tsetovo (Beregovo District), the kindergarten and health centre in Bobove (Vinogradiv District) were reconstructed. On a bilateral basis HIA distributed 22,879 seed parcels (financed by HEKS), made further reconstruction to the kindergarten and health centre in Bobove (Vinogradiv District) and provided reconstruction kits for 248 families. The last two projects were financed by the Governmental Office for Hungarian Minorities Abroad.

During the realisation of the previous program, HIA assessed the social situation in Beregovo District and in co-operation with HEKS established a Social Foundation based in Beregovo.



Transcarpathia was part of Hungary from the 10th century until World War I. The region is traditionally and historically a multi-ethnic area with the urban German population arriving in the 13th century when the Roman shepherds also settled. The 17th century saw the Russian population becoming the major ethnic group and this was further coloured with Slovaks and Jews.

General economic and social situation

2000 was the first year in independent Ukraine’s history that the GDP increased by 6%. The central budget closed with a 1,5 billion Hr (272 million USD) surplus and the population’s income rose by 7% in comparison to 1999 and last year’s export by 17,5%. Furthermore, Ukraine redeemed USD 2 billion debt. Despite these increasing figures the GDP does not reach USD 1,000 - 5 times less than the Hungarian or Polish figures.

Natural Disaster

Melting snow, heavy rains and a sudden rise in temperature (15-20 degrees) are causing the worst floods in the river basin region of the Tisza river and its tributaries for many years. The River Tisza broke its banks on 6 March 2001 with the highest water level reaching 1.3 metres. Some thousands of people were forced to flee their homes. Most of them found shelter in the villages and collective centres were established. And about 25 people found refuge in Hungary. The floods were most destructive in the deprived and underdeveloped regions and the impact could be long-term.

One of the main causes of the floods is the deforestation in the Carpathians.

Description of Damages

According to official information the damage caused by the floods has reached USD 38 million. 216 villages in 12 of the 13 Transcarpathian districts have been inundated, with Beregovo and Vinogradiv Districts being the worst hit.

21,334 buildings are under water, 13,768 people have been evacuated, 826 houses have collapsed and 6 people have lost their lives. About 9,000 houses have been damaged enough to be a danger to their occupants - most of the damaged houses were made of adobe. 100,000 acres of agricultural land are under water.

  • 64 villages do not have access to electricity
  • 75 villages are cut from telecommunication networks
  • 20 bridges damaged
  • 53 km of roads destroyed
  • 9 km of railways destroyed

Impact on Human Lives

As the affected population left everything behind, there is a high demand on any kind of assistance. The full impact remains unknown and there is considerable psychological trauma.

It is still unclear how long the water will remain and if more rain will exacerbate the already severe conditions. Many flood victims will clearly be unable to return home for some time. There is also a risk of contagious diseases due to a shortage of potable water.

On 8 March 2001, the President of Ukraine asked for help from the international community, especially the European Union, as the country has not enough funds available to cope with the disaster. On 9 March he visited the region and promised a 30 million-Hr-assistance to the county. He ordered the government to elaborate the system of interest-free loans for 15 years for the affected population.

The local authorities have supplied the affected population with drinking water and bread, but there are other immediate needs:

  • non-perishable food,
  • hygiene items
  • disinfectants
  • mattresses, blankets, bed linen
  • clothing, shoes
  • medicines and medical supplies
  • candles
  • basic supplies for baby care

Locations for Proposed Response

Upon the information already received HIA wishes to implement its relief program in 3 districts - Beregovo, Vinogradiv and Hust Districts , where the damages are the most serious.

Data received from the spot on 10 March 2001:

Hust District
Beregovo District
Number of damaged settlements
Number of buildings under water
Number of evacuated people
Number of collapsed houses

ACT/HIA will provide support the following villages:

Beregovo District:

  • Tsetovo
  • Orosijevo
  • Heten
  • Zlonkovoye

Vinogradiv District:
  • Sasovo
  • Tsornotisovo

Hust/Huszt District:
  • Kriva


To provide nutritional feeding for the evacuated population in the village Bene and Hust.

To provide family food parcels and hygiene kits for those whose house has collapsed or is deemed unsafe due to damage in the above-mentioned settlements and for host families in three districts.

To provide disinfectants for those whose house was under water in Beregovo, Vinogradiv and Hust Districts

To provide bed-clothes and blankets for those whose house has collapsed

To provide reconstruction kits for 320 families

To provide seed-parcels for 12,000 families whose houses have collapsed or are under water.


The families most affected by the flooding are mostly pensioners or unemployed who make a living from their family plots. The currently affected population was also hit by the inundation in 1998 and since then has been living under the official subsistence wage - under USD 21,46. Their reserves were based on the land and animals kept around their houses (cattle, poultry and harvest). Everything has now been swept away by the floods.

The collective centres for the evacuated population do not offer even the minimum conditions and for this reason many sought shelter with relatives or friends. However, the host families themselves also live under very difficult financial conditions.

The typical Transcarpathian family comprises three generations of 4 - 5 members. The general distribution is: 1-2 pensioners, 2 adults, 1-2 children.

Number and Type of Beneficiaries

During the implementation of the current project ACT/HIA wishes to support those families whose houses have been destroyed or seriously damaged in the chosen settlement in three districts.

Criteria in Beneficiary Selection

The staff of ACT/HIA FO has contacted the local authorities, the flood committee and pastors of the selected settlements to assess the damages. A list will be drawn up on the families belonging to the different categories and will be approved by the local administration.

Number of Targeted Beneficiaries According To Proposed Assistance

  • Supporting the evacuated population in Bene and in Hust with food items: 320 beneficiaries
  • Distribution of family food and hygiene parcels: 1,750 affected families and 700 host families
  • Distribution of disinfectants: 2,380 families whose houses were under water
  • Distribution of bed-clothes and blankets: 771 families
  • Reconstruction kits: 320 families
  • Seed parcels: 12,000 families


In the Crisis Phase assistance ACT/HIA contributed to the nutritional feeding of the evacuated population, while in the Post Crisis it seeks to implement food and non-food distributions along with shelter rehabilitation and re-construction.

Implementation methodology

Nutritional feeding

ACT/HIA supported the catering for the evacuated population in Bene and Hust who were accommodated in community buildings. The evacuated population receives bread, margarine, cans, sugar and tea. From Hungary HIA shipped 2 tons of pasta, rice and sugar along with 2,000 litres of edible oil and 1,000 litres of disinfectants - altogether 8 tons.

Distribution of food and non-food items

ACT/HIA will distribute food and hygiene parcels to the affected population and one delivery for the host families as they also live under the poverty line and hosting the affected families is stretching them beyond their resources.

Those whose houses were destroyed or badly damaged will receive food and non-food parcels. A food parcel contains 10 cans of luncheon meat, 5 kg Pasta, 2 kg rice, 5 kg flour, 3 ltr edible oil and 4 kg sugar. Food parcels will be distributed on a bimonthly basis, 3 times during the implementation. A hygiene kit contains 6 kg washing powder, 10 soap, 2 ltr shampoo and 5 packs of toilette paper. There will be only one distribution of hygiene kits.

2 sets of bedclothes, 2 blankets and disinfectants will be distributed to returnees. Only those who were registered with ACT/HIA will benefit from these distributions. 2 transport monitors will escort the cargo and hand over the parcels. The acknowledgement receipts will be signed by the beneficiaries and confirmed by the local administration.

Reconstruction kits:

After finishing the damage assessment and compiling the beneficiary lists, ACT/HIA will provide reconstruction kits for 320 of the most vulnerable families affected by the floods. A reconstruction kit will contain lime, cement, bricks, tiles etc. in the value of USD 750. More concrete information can only be provided after completion of the assessments.

ACT/HIA in co-operation with the local administration will monitor the utilisation of the provided kits.

The assessments will be done as soon as the settlements can be approached by road. The lists will contain the name of the head of each family along with family members, address and current residence. The lists must be approved by the local administration.

Procurements will be carried out in Ukraine and in Hungary.

ACT/HIA Beregovo Field Office has all the necessary equipment.

Distribution of Seed parcels

ACT/HIA wishes to support those families whose houses were completely destroyed or badly damaged during the floods. As the affected population are mostly poor and living in rural areas, their household plots were in many cases the only means of livelihood. A seed parcel will include: carrot (3 packs), radish (2), onion (2), pepper (2), tomato (2), green peas (2), beans (1) and parsley (3) and the value will be around 3 USD.


The project will be implemented by ACT/HIA Beregovo staff that consists of 9 persons: Project Officer, Logistic Director, 3 Project Assistants, 4 Transport monitors. The Transport monitors and Project Assistants will be employed part-time. All of them are Ukrainian citizens and took part in the implementation of ACT-Appeal EUUK81 and related bilateral programs.

Their activities will be supervised and monitored by ACT/HIA Budapest Head Office. Beside ACT/HIA HO will be responsible for finances and reporting towards ACT CO, the donors and UN agencies.

ACT/HIA Budapest and Beregovo will carry out the assessments.


Start-up: 20 March 2001
Assessments: 10-30 March 2001
Close-down: 20 September 2001.


ACT/HIA co-ordinates its activities with other NGOs in Transcarpathia along with the Diaconal Office of the Reformed Church, Caritas, Maltese Aid, Eastern European Mission in addition to the local authorities of the district and Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Government Office for Hungarian Minorities Abroad. ACT/HIA contacts UNDP Kiev and Bratislava and ECHO.

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