Ukraine Statement

Access consortium launches humanitarian programme in eastern Ukraine

For the second year, a group of humanitarian organizations coordinate their action with the support of the European Commission to provide crucial aid to those affected by the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Kyiv 12th September 2018 – In eastern Ukraine, at the doors of the European Union, over 4.4 million people have been directly affected by hostilities, which are now well into their fifth year. 800,000 people have been displaced (many of whom frequently move across the contact line) and nearly 3,000 civilians have been killed. With some 3.4 million people in need of urgent assistance, no forthcoming political solution in sight, and support for humanitarian aid waning, vulnerabilities—particularly of those living along both sides of the contact line and in non-government controlled areas (NGCA)—are increasing at a worrying pace. Civilians caught between parties to the conflict face abuses, threats from mines, unexploded ordnance and fighting, and struggle to access assistance. The conflict has damaged schools, health facilities, roads, water infrastructure, as well as numerous homes. Given the high humanitarian needs in both the government and non-government controlled areas, coordinated interventions to support those in need are crucial.

In order to continue to improve the humanitarian situation of the most vulnerable people living in eastern Ukraine, this cooperation is renewed by the European Union together with People in Need (PIN), Médicos del Mundo (MDM), and Agence d’Aide à la Coopération Technique Et au Développement (ACTED), and in partnership with IMPACT Initiatives and two national organizations – Right to Protection (R2P) and the Ukraine NGO Forum (NGOF). The program aims to help over 120,000 people and 199 organizations on both sides of the contact line in Ukraine, through a EUR 4.4 million grant from the European Commission through its Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO).

“Thanks to this diverse support, our school is thriving. The school is the heart of the village. Some people have even come back to the village with their children. Much has been done to improve and repair the school. Moreover, with the support of the psychologists, the children have become more active and positive. Parents are very satisfied with the changes and happy that their children will have one more year of this project’s support,” says Galina Vasilievna, the Director of preschool and elementary school in the frontline village of Novobakhmutivka, where Consortium will continue to provide comprehensive assistance.

“The conflict put a tremendous strain on the civilian population in eastern Ukraine. Supporting all those in need, wherever they are, is a priority for the EU. The EU and its Member States remain the largest humanitarian and developmental donor to projects which address the basic needs of the Ukrainians directly affected by the conflict.”, says EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides. “The people of Ukraine have not been forgotten and we stand by them in their time of need”. 

This new project builds on the success of a previous project which brought together a group of humanitarian organizations in 2017 as the ACCESS Consortium. During the first year of cooperation, the project supported over 260,000 residents of eastern Ukraine. A comprehensive analysis of humanitarian trends and needs was conducted in order to inform evidence-based humanitarian aid planning and delivery. 60,000 people received medical and psychosocial support; 8,000 people improved their livelihoods through sector-specific trainings and grants; and cash-based interventions allowed people to make much-need purchases such as medicine, food and clothing. The partners improved sanitation conditions for nearly 30,000 people, and access to water in the conflict-affected areas was restored through potable water distributions and repairs of critical water systems damaged in the conflict. 2,500 households also received support in repairing their damaged houses.

Successful cooperation and achievements have motivated them to renew and enlarge this experience.