Ukraine

Ukraine: Floods DREF operation No. MDRUA004

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Situation Report
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The International Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) is a source of un-earmarked money created by the Federation in 1985 to ensure that immediate financial support is available for Red Cross and Red Crescent response to emergencies. The DREF is a vital part of the International Federation's disaster response system and increases the ability of national societies to respond to disasters.

CHF 437,942 (USD 429,355 or EUR 272,014) has been allocated from the International Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the National Society in delivering immediate assistance to some 5,000 families. Unearmarked funds to repay DREF are encouraged. An emergency appeal will be issued in the next few days.

Summary:

Heavy rains and storms at the end of July have caused floods in western Ukraine. Thousands have been left homeless, hundreds of towns and villages have been left without electricity and many bridges and roads have been damaged.

The operation aims to provide immediate support to the most vulnerable groups of the population by distributing basic food items and hygiene kits to 4,000 families as well as water filters to 5,000 affected households. Some 300 elderly people living alone will receive small emergency cash grants to cover urgent expenses.

This DREF operation is expected to be implemented over three months, and will therefore be completed by 30 January, 2009; a final report will be made available three months after the end of the operation (by 30 April, 2009).

A more detailed assessment of the needs is currently ongoing, and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies will issue an emergency appeal for international assistance in the next few days.

The situation

As a result of heavy rains and storms on 26 and 27 July 2008 some parts of the territory of Ukraine were flooded. Six regions were affected in western Ukraine: Ivano-Frankivsk, Chernvitsy, Zakarpattya, Lviv, Ternopil and Vinitsia. In these regions 655 settlements, with about 40,000 houses, more than 30,000 hectares of crop lands and 680 kilometres of roads have been damaged by flooding. Over 8,000 people have been evacuated, and some 300 towns and villages were left without electricity. According to reports water levels were dangerously high on the Prut and Dnestr rivers after five days of persistent rain, equivalent to one year's normal rainfall.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Emergency Situations, assisted by the Red Cross, has been evacuating people from the flooded area by helicopter, boat and road. Immediate measures have been taken to clean the river banks, pump water out of the houses, restore power and clean the water supply in the affected regions. However, 108 settlements are still hard to access because of high water levels. The total damage is now estimated at over 800 million US dollars, including significant losses to housing, crops and infrastructure.