Ukraine: Protection Cluster Factsheet - August 2021 [EN/UK]



Protection of Civilians: According to INSO, the number of security incidents decreased by 20% compared to July. However, the number of civilian casualties increased - OHCHR recorded eleven conflict-related civilian casualties compared to six in July. Nine out of eleven persons suffered from active hostilities, which is comparable to the numbers observed before the ceasefire (27 July 2020). Damages to civilian housing have further increased from 25 cases in July to 36 in August. At least in 12 settlements in GCA electricity supply was interrupted due to shelling, with repairs taking up to 3 weeks. Severe shelling of residential areas and civilian infrastructure took place in Avdiivka, and the railway service has been suspended for one week. The last time the town experienced shelling of such scale was in 2017.

Freedom of movement: Only two out of seven entry-exit crossing points (EECPs) continue to operate. The number of crossings through the EECP ‘Stanytsia Luhanska’ increased by 12% compared to July reaching more than 85,000 crossings. Since 5 August, the Government re-established COVIDrelated requirements and people entering Government-Controlled Area (GCA) through EECPs orinternational borders are required to install the ‘Diya’ app, to undergo 10-days self-isolation, or take a COVID-19 test.

IDP housing: On 11 August, the Cabinet of Ministers adopted Resolution #844 providing state subvention for compensation of the purchase of housing for IDPs, who are veterans and civilians with disability incurred due to hostilities.
On 31 August, the second group of 150 IDPs who will benefit from the preferential long-term mortgage loans (KfW) was selected. So far, 300 IDPs were selected. It is expected that in 2021-2022, 680 households or 1,768 IDPs will benefit from this programme.

Legal developments: On 18 August, the Government adopted the Strategy ‘On economic development of Donetsk and Luhansk regions until 2030’. The document provides for the improvement of the economical situation in the region; support of small and medium enterprises; stimulating investments; development of local infrastructure, including transportation, railways, electricity supply, internet coverage; demining of agricultural lands; empowerment of local communities.

Access to pensions: On 26 August, Oschchadbank prolonged the validity of the cards expired during quarantine restrictions until 1 October. This will allow the residents of NGCA to continue withdrawing their pensions and social payments without undergoing physical identification and re-issuing the new bank card.

Decentralization: After 9 months since the beginning of the process, all 18 Heads of Civil-Military Administrations (CMAs) are appointed. The appointments provide more clarity in leadership at local level and ability to initiate process to establish all expected social and administrative services. According to the monitoring conducted by the Protection Cluster in 27 conflict-affected communities along the contact line (18 CMAs and 9 Amalgamated Territorial Communities (ATCs), there is some progress observed since July: a) TSNAPs are officially established or have mobile coverage in 24 out of the 27 monitored communities; b) Centers for provision of social services are established in 21 of the monitored communities; c) Services for child affairs were established in 26 of the monitored communities. The availability of specialized protection services varies according to different locations, with partners reporting gaps in specific services, shortages of staff and/or lack of training of local service providers. Access to services for people residing in isolated settlements still remains a concern. Thissituation is temporarily addressed by UHF-funded projects on social transportation launched by two protection partnersin July 2021. Seven protection partnerslaunched projects in 23 communities (15 CMAs and 8 ATCs) to support authorities and the local population during the decentralization process through capacity building activities, community mobilization, and technical assistance.