Ukraine: Analysis of Humanitarian Trends - Government Controlled Areas of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts, 5km Zone – September 2017
The humanitarian crisis in eastern Ukraine continues after more than three years of regular conflict in the Donbas.
As of November 2017, an estimated 4.4 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance and 10,000 have died as a consequence of conflict1 . The line of contact (LoC) between government controlled areas (GCA) and nongovernment controlled areas (NGCA) has stabilized but regular armed clashes are still common within 5 km on both sides. The populations living within this region continue to experience significant disruption to their daily lives due to the many challenges created by the ongoing fighting.
Since the start of conflict, a number of humanitarian actors have conducted independent and multilateral assessments to guide their decision making. To support them, REACH has conducted a number of assessments on humanitarian vulnerabilities in Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts finding that areas close to the LoC experience higher levels of humanitarian needs due to disruptions of services and exposure to conflict. This report builds on these and other assessments in order to provide a picture of the evolving humanitarian landscape in Donbas, focusing on the area near the LoC through a household survey, focus group discussions with enumerators and extensive tracking of indicators from other humanitarian actors across time. The data collected through 562 household surveys is representative of the population in the 5 km area with a 90% confidence interval and 7% margin of error.
The assessment finds an evolving and deteriorating humanitarian situation along the LoC. While certain sectors such as education (particularly access to educational services) have seen improvements, others, including economic security, have seen significant declines since 2016.
Specifically, this report points to households continuing to face protection risk due to active shelling in densely populated areas around the LoC. While households are reporting improvements in the overall security situation, exposure to conflict is a regular concern for three in four households living in these areas. At the same time, economic security has reportedly deteriorated. This could be due to increased prices of goods and services, as well as fewer employment opportunities within the area. A lack of employment opportunities could lead to further and more frequent employment-related travel by workers both within the GCA and to other regions of Ukraine, or engagement in negative coping strategies such as dangerous or illegal work. The economic deterioration relates closely to decreased food consumption scores and increased barriers to accessing healthcare, often due to the high cost of care and distance to healthcare facilities. Education indicators have improved both in terms of enrollment and educational services provided in schools. Finally, the assessment finds both improvement and deterioration in several water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) indicators, showing that progress in some areas may be at least partially offset by backsliding in others, particularly visible in the reduction in the proportion of households experiencing water shortages correlating with an increase in households using untreated water sources.
The findings from this report indicate a need for aid actors to focus on economic security along the LoC, alongside continued assistance in other sectors. Access to livelihoods have been disrupted not only due to ongoing fighting, but also by the restriction of movement of goods and services between communities in the GCA and large urban centres located in the NGCA .