The armed conflict in eastern Ukraine enters its seventh year this month. Although the conflict has faded from the headlines, the crisis continues. There are over 5 million people affected by the fighting, and a staggering 3.4 million of them are in need of humanitarian assistance. ACTED and other members of the ACCESS Consortium are marking this grim milestone with three short animated videos that tell the collective story of Europe’s forgotten conflict. The actors may be fictitious, but the narratives they share are unfortunately very real.
In 2019, 27 civilians in eastern Ukraine were killed and 140 were injured. Thirty-four people died at crossing points along the 427-kilometer contact line separating government and non-government-controlled areas. Some 3.2 million people live within 20 kilometers of the contact line, and as the war drags on, they continue to face hostilities, food insecurity, a lack of access to healthcare, a dearth of job opportunities, and limited public transport. Much like the characters of our animated series, these people are drivers, nurses, professors, and other ordinary citizens. They work and live in schools, healthcare facilities, and homes that are in desperate need of repair.
People in this region need emergency assistance and mental health support. The elderly are among the most vulnerable, representing over 30% of those in need; children of vulnerable families make up an additional 20%.
Despite the prolonged conflict, the European Union and the ACCESS consortium, a group of humanitarian, non-governmental organizations, continue to provide aid to the people of eastern Ukraine. With funding from the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations, members of the ACCESS consortium – PIN, Médicos del Mundo, ACTED in partnership with IMPACT Initiatives, Help Age International, and Right to Protection – have supported over 85,000 people on both sides of the contact line in 2019 and 2020.
Find the videos here: