Ukraine Humanitarian 2018 Situation Report, January - June 2018
500,000 # of children in need of humanitarian assistance
3,400,000 # of people in need (Humanitarian Response Plan January-December 2018)
The continued shelling of civilian infrastructure including the water system has exacerbated the urgent humanitarian needs of children, who rely on the system for clean water supply on both sides of the line of contact. Under the leadership of the WASH section and coordination of the WASH cluster, UNICEF continues to ensure uninterrupted access to water, including through the repair of infrastructure, supply of chemicals and coordination of humanitarian and development assistance. As a result, over 770,245 children and caregivers benefitted from uninterrupted access to water as well as sanitation and hygiene assistance in the first six months of the year.
Despite UNICEF’s continued leadership of the psychosocial response to address the trauma, distress, anxiety, and the threat of violence children continue to face on both sides of the line of contact, the need for psychosocial support remains high since the impact of the conflict continues to accumulate.
Under funding, remains a continuing constraint to the needed scope and continuity of required UNICEF response for children affected by the conflict.
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
Ceasefire violations continue to impact the lives of 500,000 children who remain in need of immediate humanitarian assistance. The repeated shelling of critical water, sanitation, electrical and heating infrastructure has threatened access to safe drinking water for 3.4 million people in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, prompting UNICEF to establish and maintain programs aimed at ensuring uninterrupted access, regardless of the scale and intensity of shelling. Such infrastructure was seemingly targeted in at least 57 instances, on both sides of the line of contact in the first six months of 2018.
UNICEF continued to place an emphasis on supporting teachers and educational institutions across Donetsk and Luhansk oblast to provide gender specific and age-sensitive education, as well as improving the conditions of safe learning spaces through the rehabilitation of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities, on both sides of the line of contact. With an estimated 13 educational facilities damaged by shelling since January 2018, the impact of hostilities on schools and the safety of children has been the basis for specific messaging and advocacy framed on the required observance of humanitarian principles and child rights. In May and June 2018 alone, 10 education facilities were attacked, and 8 education facilities were temporarily closed (switched to distance learning) due to hostilities on both sides of the contact line. UNICEF plans to continue to rehabilitate education facilities and provide educational supplies, with 12 education facilities slated for rehabilitation in the second half of 2018 (including 5 schools and 1 kindergarten in Donetsk oblast and 4 schools and 2 kindergartens in Luhansk oblast).
To improve the safety of children and educational staff, UNICEF strengthened the capacity of educators on life skills training and civic engagement and began a safe school modelling in 14 educations facilities in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. Having placed emphasis on school safety, protective learning environments and childfriendliness,
UNICEF in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Sciences developed a comprehensive Safe Schools approach that includes prevention of, preparedness for and, when necessary, recovery from all such threats to children’s lives and well-being, whether they occur at school or on the way to and from school.
In early 2018, the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine endorsed the ‘Safe Schools’ concept framed on four dimensions outlined in its conceptual framework: physical safety, psychosocial well-being, competencybased learning and participatory school governance.
Mines and Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) remain a significant threat to the health and life of the children in the conflict affected regions. In the first 6 months of 2018, one child was killed and 17 injured in mine/ERW related incidents.
The threat of physical violence and emotional distress continue to pose serious risks to over 200,000 children and their families living along the contact line. UNICEF continues to provide psychosocial support including helping children and caregivers learn how to cope with stress, distress, anxiety, and the threat of violence. As a result, children are demonstrating a growing tendency to engage less in disruptive behaviour, and many exhibited prosocial, helping behaviour. In schools, pupil-teacher relationships were markedly improved, and the school environment became more supportive and friendly for children. In many cases these outcomes are described as life-changing and helped children and caregivers rediscover hope for the future.
Gender-based violence (GBV) remains a significant risk in eastern Ukraine, particularly in the areas along the contact line. UNICEF provided support to 2176 GBV survivors and 242 children in the first six months of 2018.
Health service networks remain seriously disrupted and coupled with low vaccination rates raise concerns about the outbreak of disease. Access to services for children and adults living with HIV and prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV remains a key objective. During the reporting period UNICEF continued to ensure access to uninterrupted antiretroviral treatment for over 13,000 people living with HIV in Donetsk and Luhansk NGCA.