The conflict in eastern Ukraine continues affecting over three million people, especially children, young people and the elderly in both government (GCA) and non-government (NGCA) controlled areas. The protracted conflict continues to take a heavy toll on civilians.
In the last three months, four civilian casualties were reported (one child killed, two boys and one woman injured as a result of shelling and small arms and light weapons (SALW) fire). Despite the ceasefire, attacks on critical water infrastructure, along the Line of Contact (LoC), continued to limit access to basic services and impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of residents. During the reporting period, 10 incidents affecting water/sanitation/hygiene (WASH) facilities were recorded. On a positive note, no incident related to education facilities was registered by the Education Cluster during the last three months.
The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak continued to generate an additional burden on already weak healthcare services, and as a result the health system was unable to fully render appropriate medical services to the population in need. Quarantine measures introduced by authorities on both sides of the LoC have severely restricted humanitarian access for the UN and partners to deliver critically needed aid. This situation has also significantly restricted the freedom of movement for civilians across the LoC.
Funding Overview and Partnerships
UNICEF has appealed for USD 9.8 million to sustain the provision of life-saving services for children and women in conflict-affected eastern Ukraine. Since the beginning of 2020, the governments of the USA, Italy, Estonia and Germany, as well as ECHO, have generously contributed to UNICEF Ukraine’s Humanitarian Action for Children (HAC) appeal. UNICEF also expresses its gratitude to all public and private donors for the contributions received to date. Despite this, at the end of Quarter Three, the UNICEF 2020 HAC remains underfunded by 53%, with major gaps still faced in the WASH, Education and Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV/AIDS) sectors.
UNICEF remains committed to expanding its services to people affected by the crisis. UNICEF in coordination with other humanitarian organizations continued strengthening social and psychosocial support, as well as health, education and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services. Using its leadership role within the WASH cluster, UNICEF continued building and expanding humanitarian coordination to better respond to the needs of the most vulnerable groups affected by the armed conflict, and as well COVID-19 pandemic. UNICEF with support of its WASH cluster partners ensured the provision of safe drinking water to over a hundred thousand people during the reporting period.
To ensure the sustainability of its interventions, UNICEF prioritizes capacity building of the service providers and facilitating coordination among humanitarian actors to ensure effective results for children. With UNICEF support, nearly 150 doctors, nurses and health workers were trained on infection diseases control. Over 300 service providers were provided with knowledge on life skills education (LSE) and child-friendly school models. In partnership with local Non-Governmental Associations (NGOs), UNICEF continued to provide services to the affected population by combing online and off-line modus operandi to reach the targeted population with important messages on Psychosocial Support (PSS), mine risk prevention and Gender Based Violence (GBV). UNICEF continued using social media and digital platforms to engage and empower the targeted population.
Continuous dialogue with local authorities in both sides of the LoC, NGCA and GAC proved to be critical to facilitate and advance UNICEF’s workand reach the most vulnerable people.