Humanitarian Action for Children 2020 - Ukraine

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2020 requirements: US$9,834,000

Total people in need: 3.4 million
Total children (<18) in need: 430,000

Total people to be reached: 800,000
Total children to be reached: 128,000

In eastern Ukraine, some 3.4 million people, including 430,000 boys and girls, are living along the 420-km contact line. These people are bearing the brunt of the five-year, protracted conflict, with direct threats to their physical and mental well-being, and limited access to basic services. In one of the world's most mine-contaminated areas, fear of stepping on a landmine is a daily reality for conflict-affected communities. The area is also prone to freezing temperatures in winter, which further increases vulnerability. Water infrastructure is relentlessly targeted in the fighting, with a total of 67 incidents so far in 2019, threatening access to safe water for millions of people. Access to learning is also imperiled, with 23 education facilities damaged in 2019 compared with 16 in 2018. With no resolution in sight, children and their families require continuous psychosocial support and protection services, including for gender-based violence and violence against children. Ensuring access to basic services, including safe water supply, sanitation, hygiene and education, remains a priority. Given the disturbingly low immunization rates and high HIV prevalence, access to essential health services, especially for children and women living with HIV, is of critical importance.

Humanitarian strategy

In 2020 and 2021, UNICEF’s strategy in Ukraine will focus on protecting children and realizing child rights on both sides of the contact line. Responding to the urgent needs of 800,000 children and their families, UNICEF will continue to strengthen social protection and psychosocial support, as well as health, education and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services. The capacities of local professionals, authorities and civil society actors will be enhanced to strengthen preparedness and accountability to affected children. UNICEF will improve access to quality, inclusive, age- and gender-sensitive social services for children and families to increase their resilience to protection-related risks, including through cash-based interventions. UNICEF will work with humanitarian partners to target those closest to the contact line, while also strengthening educational and community-based systems to support those impacted by the conflict. This bridging of humanitarian action and development programming will be central to UNICEF’s approach. As lead agency for the WASH and education clusters and the child protection sub-cluster, UNICEF will continue to advocate with parties to the conflict to comply with international humanitarian law and child rights standards. This includes intensifying advocacy efforts with the Government to endorse and implement the Safe Schools Declaration.

Results from 2019
As of 31 August 2019, UNICEF had US$7.1 million available against the US$21.1 million appeal (33 per cent funded). The provision of water treatment chemicals and pipes to water utility companies facilitated uninterrupted access to safe water for 1.3 million people. Over 90,000 children, women and persons with disabilities benefited from hygiene promotion activities and the distribution of hygiene kits. After comprehensive assessments, UNICEF completed the rehabilitation of seven educational facilities in areas along the contact line, ensuring safer learning environments for over 3,000 children and reaching some 7,100 children and educators with life-skills education. Mental health and psychosocial support services reached more than 25,000 children, youth and caregivers, and over 25,000 children and families received mine risk education. UNICEF also carried out the first-ever needs assessment on mine victims. Mobile teams provided psychosocial support and referral services to over 1,500 survivors of gender-based violence; trained over 900 community professionals; and provided awareness and prevention sessions to 3,500 people. UNICEF supported 1,000 vulnerable women and children under 5 years through an e-voucher system, while a polio campaign for three cohorts in non-government controlled areas (NGCAs) is planned for late 2019. Over 500 children living with HIV received comprehensive care services.