The large-scale military operation launched on 24 February 2022, has led to an unprecedented level of need, both inside Ukraine and in neighboring countries. It has also lead to the largest refugee crisis in Europe in half a century. As of December 2022, over 8 million refugees have fled Ukraine according to UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Military operations have caused massive internal displacement, extensive damage to public and private infrastructure, and significant disruption of essential services. Many houses require urgent repairs, which is all the more critical as winter temperatures remain low.
Ms. Alina*, a 68-year-old retired factory bookkeeper, is from Barvinkove city in Kharkiv oblast. She has been living and working there since 1985. She misses her former life.
Life was better before the hostilities. It was calm, no one was shooting. Now everything is unstable
Barvinkove is near the front line. The city suffered frequent shelling during the initial stage of the armed conflict. Infrastructure and roads are in poor condition. About 2/3 of the buildings were damaged and destroyed by the bombing. Many people who had to stay cannot repair their windows and roofs. There are very few jobs, and the pensions are low.
“I am disabled now. Before the fighting, I used to go to Poland to work. Now I’m constantly looking for work to earn some money and, in the meantime, I stay at home. My window was damaged during the hostilities, but I wouldn’t afford to buy a new one as my disability pension is too small. Thanks to ACTED’s help, I was able to install a new double-glazed window. Now the house is bright and warm.” Ms. Olena*, a 50-year-old woman from Barvinkove.
With the financial support of the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, and in cooperation with the Ukrainian civil society organization Dobrobud, ACTED provided materials to repair the damaged houses in Barvinkove, allowing 350 families to receive double-glazed windows, sheet glass and roof slates.
As part of this nine-month project, ACTED is providing emergency food assistance as well as items such as stoves, heaters and electric cookers in besieged and severely at-risk locations of Northern and Eastern Ukraine. ACTED is also delivering multi-purpose cash assistance to address the critical humanitarian needs of 24,500 individuals.
We never left the city since the conflict oubreak, even though it is shelled every day. Sometimes the earth trembles so hard that it seems the ground is slipping away from under our feet. But this is our land, and we won’t leave it. Here, they have covered the roof with a tarpaulin, sewed up the windows, and patched up the doors. We can live. There’s almost no draughts, when we heat the stove everything is fine.
*Names have been changed for protection purposes
— the field