In 2019, Ukraine witnessed some key developments that impacted the humanitarian situation in the eastern part of the country.
The presidential and parliamentary elections in March and July, respectively, resulted in a shifting of the political agenda.
The introduction of the national energy market reform in April – coupled with other long-standing unresolved issues, particularly the non-payment of debts by some water companies – led to recurring disruptions of water supplies affecting a large number of people living in conflict-affected areas on both sides of the ‘contact line’.
In late October the disengagement process was agreed by the Trilateral Contact Group in three locations along the ‘contact line’ – Stanytsia Luhanska, Zolote and Petrivske. This was a welcome development which allowed for the reconstruction of the damaged pedestrian bridge at the Stanytsia Luhanska entry/exit crossing point (EECP) and the withdrawal of forces in Zolote and Petrivske.
The security situation somewhat improved during 2019, with a descending trend in the numbers of security incidents and civilian casualties. The 167 conflict-related civilian casualties reported represent a 41 per cent decrease compared to 2018, and the lowest figure reported annually since the start of the conflict. The peak of security incidents was observed in mid-April and May – similar to the previous years – which correlated with an increase in the number of civilian casualties during that period.
An average of 1.2 million monthly crossings at EECPs were registered in 2019, which was at similar levels to that of 2018.
Approximately 94 per cent of people crossing were from nonGovernment-controlled areas (NGCA) seeking to address issues with documentation, withdraw cash and avoid suspension of their social payments in Government-controlled areas (GCA). The renovations of the EECPs by the Government of Ukraine which started in 2018 were finalized at the beginning of 2019. Similar efforts were made by the entities in control in NGCA until October 2019.
For more information and detailed analysis of the needs, please refer to the 2020 Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO) available online at https://www.humanitarianresponse.info/sites/www. humanitarianresponse.info/files/documents/files/ukraine_2020_ humanitarian_needs_overview_en.pdf
Overview of 2019 humanitarian funding
The overall level of funding provided to humanitarian action in Ukraine in 2019 remained similar to the funding provided in 2018, at $157 million and $154 million, respectively. Out of this, a higher proportion of humanitarian funding, some 54 per cent ($85 million of $157 million requested) was channeled through the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) in 2019, compared to 46 per cent in 2018.
This showed the improved balance between HRP and non-HRP resource mobilization for the first time since 2016. There were two key factors that contributed to this trend – one was the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) allocation and the establishment of the Ukraine Humanitarian Fund (UHF).
Despite the slight increase of humanitarian funding to Ukraine, the overall level of funding provided to the 2019 HRP remains low, at 52 per cent.
Repeated levels of underfunding have had a negative impact on international humanitarian capacity over the last years – forcing at least eight organizations to either close or significantly scale down their operations in Ukraine.. Low levels of funding have affected the ability of some sectors to reach their targets, particularly water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), which has remained the most underfunded sector consistently over the last two years.
Overview of response achievement Despite scarce resources and unpredictable access, humanitarian partners reached 1.26 million people in 2019 through HRP projects (representing around 56 per cent of the 2.3 million people targeted) – a slight increase compared to the 1.1 million people reached in 2018. 68 per cent were female and 32 per cent were male.
As in the previous years, the distribution of achievements remained uneven across the geographical priorities – relatively high in GCA (around 1.1 million) and significantly low in the NGCA (fewer than 150,000 people). This uneven distribution directly correlated with the level of access humanitarians were granted to operate in certain geographical areas.11 The less restricted the access, the more people reached. In addition to those reached in NGCA, it is estimated that around 15-20 per cent of the 1.1 million people reached in GCA were either IDPs or those crossing from NGCA to GCA to access assistance.
Of the 1.26 million people reached, 207,000 people received humanitarian assistance in the form of cash or voucher.13 A total of 170,000 people received assistance in the form of cash, while 37,000 in the form of voucher in 2019 – the majority living in communities in areas close to the ‘contact line’ in GCA. WASH, Food Security and Livelihoods and Health were the top three sectors that used cash and voucher to deliver aid in 2019.
For more detailed information of the overall response, please visit Humanitarian Insight website at https://hum-insight.info/plan/662.
Achievements and challenges by Cluster (in alphabetical order) For more detailed information of the cluster-by-cluster response, please visit Humanitarian Insight website at https://hum-insight.info/ plan/662.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.