Ukraine: Storms DREF Bulletin no. MDRUA002

Glide no. ST-2007-000118-UKR

The Federation's mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world's largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in 185 countries.

In Brief

This DREF Bulletin is based on the situation described below reflecting the information available at this time. CHF 80,000 (USD 65,041 or EUR 48,280) was allocated from the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to respond to the needs of this operation, or to replenish disaster preparedness stocks distributed to the affected population. The operation will be implemented over 3 months, and will be completed by 30 October 2007; a Final Report will be made available three months after the end of the operation (by 30 January 2008). Unearmarked funds to repay DREF are encouraged.

This operation is aligned with the International Federation's Global Agenda, which sets out four broad goals to meet the Federation's mission to "improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity".

Global Agenda Goals:

- Reduce the numbers of deaths, injuries and impact from disasters.

- Reduce the number of deaths, illnesses and impact from diseases and public health emergencies.

- Increase local community, civil society and Red Cross Red Crescent capacity to address the most urgent situations of vulnerability.

- Reduce intolerance, discrimination and social exclusion and promote respect for diversity and human dignity.

Background and current situation

A massive storm and heavy rains descended on Ukraine between 22 and 24 July, spreading across 14 oblasts (regions) or 56 per cent of the country's territory. Gusts of wind reached 15-20 m/sec, causing extensive damage to homes and other buildings, destroying food stocks and infrastructure such as telephone and electricity lines, which resulted in frequent telecommunication and power blackouts. A total of 717 settlements were without electricity for several days, and 15 settlements are still without electricity at the time of reporting. Volyn Oblast was hardest hit: in its seven districts 1,848 buildings and houses were damaged (including 181 homes which were totally destroyed). Several hundred hectares of forest have been knocked down and a significant amount of crops were destroyed, indicating the possibility of a food shortage in the coming months.

Some 6,268 people were directly affected by the disaster, including 156 older persons, 232 multi-child families and 1,183 low-income families. 17 people were injured (five of them hospitalized) by flying debris such as uprooted trees or parts of roofs. A total of 1,267 people have been left homeless by the storms. The total population living in the areas severely affected by the disaster is 1,037,700. The estimated cost of the damage in Volyn oblast alone is CHF 7,672,500.

Rescue teams and local authorities are working to assess the damage. Over 2,915 people, including local authorities, rescue teams from the Ministry of Emergencies and local residents, are engaged in restoring communications and damaged buildings. The Ministry of Emergencies has allocated funds from its reserves to alleviate the effects of the storm.

Red Cross and Red Crescent action

The Red Cross has carried out an assessment of the situation and initiated relief efforts. In the days immediately following the disaster the Volyn branch of the Ukrainian Red Cross responded to the emergency by distributing 390 food parcels, 120 family hygiene parcels and 1,020 sets of clothes and footwear to the affected people.

Since the beginning of the relief operation, 590 people have received assistance from the Ukrainian Red Cross, but the branch's depleted emergency stocks have been a constraint. Therefore, the Ukrainian Red Cross has mobilized local resources among the population and corporate/business sector. During the first week after the disaster some CHF 18,018 was collected by the Ukrainian Red Cross for purchasing of food parcels and the other supply items.

However, these efforts are not sufficient to meet the current level of need. The Federation has allocated CHF 80,000 from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to procure blankets, bed linens, family hygiene parcels and kitchen sets (including transportation costs and volunteer support). The National Society plans to assist at least 1,000 families by supplying these vital essentials until the local government restores homes in all seven districts of Volyn oblast.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

Ukrainian Red Cross: Ivan Usichenko, President, Phone: +380 44 235 01 57, or Alla Khabarova, Executive Director, Phone: + 380 44 235 0334, email: international@redcross.org.ua

Federation Regional Representation in Moscow: Alexander Matheou, Regional Representative, Phone + 7 495 126 15 66; email: Alexander.Matheou@ifrc.org

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's) in Disaster Relief and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (Sphere) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

For longer-term programmes in this or other countries or regions, please refer to the Federation's Annual Appeal. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for national society profiles, please also access the Federation's website at http://www.ifrc.org