The full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 has disrupted the lives of millions of people and increased people’s needs in war-affected areas, as well as those that were occupied and then liberated, such as Kharkiv, Kherson and Sumy regions. While humanitarian needs have grown for more than 17 million people across the country, Acted, in coordination with a large network of civil society organizations, continues to provide assistance to support the most vulnerable people.
With the financial support from the UK FCDO, Acted is implementing an 11-month project to address the critical humanitarian needs of internally displaced and war-affected people in Ukraine through multi-purpose cash assistance, in-kind food and non-food assistance.
Acted provided electric blankets, winter boots, power banks, torches, stoves, heaters, coal, firewood, building materials, food, and hygiene kits to 3,389 people in Kharkivska and Khersonka and Donetsk oblasts.
People in front line areas must spend hours in cold basements every day because of the bombing. There is no access to food and drinking water. Electricity, gas, heating, and water supply lines are damaged. Although people’s lives are in danger, they stay there because they have no other choice. Some are afraid to leave their homes and belongings unattended, others are afraid of having nowhere to go.
In addition, many collective centres are not properly equipped to meet long-term shelter needs. They need heating, construction repairs, sanitary facilities, and other assistance.
Mrs. Olena is 57 years old. She and her husband live in Huliaipole, in the Zaporizhzhia region, a city seven kilometers from the front line.
Our city is bombed every day. Our house is barely standing and soon there will be a minefield of shrapnel in front of the door. It's scary to live like this, but there is no way out, nowhere to go. We stay in the basement and try to survive as best we can.
Mr. Bohdan* is also a native of Huliapole. He has lived there all his life with his wife and children.
My wife and I were born here in Huliaipole, we met here and have lived here for many years. Since the beginning of the war, we have not left our house and we have stayed here under fire. Every day we sit in the basement, protected from the shelling.
Many Ukrainians have lost their incomes, that is why they often cannot afford temporary housing in safer regions of Ukraine.
Mr. Bohdan’s house was damaged by the bombing, the windows were broken, and the roof was destroyed by the debris.
The situation here has changed dramatically. Before the war we had a wonderful little town, we had everything we needed.
“Now there are no more shops, no more infrastructure, there is nothing left, only ruins. We used to live quietly and peacefully. I had my own farm, a vegetable garden, an orchard, chickens and even a cow. I sold eggs and milk. That was enough to live on. Now I don’t know how we will live. Our cow was killed by the debris from the bombing and the chickens died too. The orchard burned because of a shell that hit it head-on. There are only ashes left.” said Mr. Bohdan.
Since the beginning of war in February 2022, more than 8 million refugees have crossed into Europe, and about 5.4 million people had to leave their homes and move to safer areas of the country. However, people often have to return to hostile areas because they spent all their savings. According to the International Organization for Migration, 5.5 million Ukrainians had to return home by January 23, 2023.
Acted, in partnership with the civil society organization “Territory of Action”, has distributed 900 wooden boards, tarpaulins, polyethylene films and building fixtures to 200 people living in hard-to-reach areas in the municipality of Huliaipole.
We received building materials from Acted to repair our house. The windows and roof have been repaired, and now we are slowly moving out of the basement and into the house. We have stopped being cold and the snowdrifts no longer pile up in the house.
As part of this project and thanks to the financial support of the UK FCDO, ACTED has distributed building materials to 1500 people living near the front line in the regions of Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia and Mykolaiv.
*Names have been changed for protection purposes