August 31st, 2023 – KYIV, Ukraine. With generous funding from the European Union, Acted, together with IMPACT Initiatives and Ukrainian NGO Right to Protection, worked together with local authorities to improve emergency preparedness and civil protection capacity in Dnipro, Odessa, Chernihiv, and Vinnytsia Oblasts. In addition to improving public alert systems and renovating bomb shelters to meet national standards, Acted and partners delivered critical priority equipment to oblast and hromada local authorities and the State Emergency Services of Ukraine (SESU).
The large-scale invasion of the country on February 24, 2022 generated civil protection and emergency response challenges that continue to stretch authorities and first responders to a breaking point. Acted works with SESU to ensure it can respond efficiently and effectively to ongoing emergencies. Key procurements have included large inflatable tents used as temporary emergency coordination hubs, protective equipment for firefighters including suits, boots, gloves, helmets, fire hoses, backpacks, laptops, and others high priority items. Local authorities have also benefitted from civil protection and mapping expertise to review and update existing emergency response plans, reflective of the changed and volatile context. Acted also delivered 14 first aid trainings to SESU personnel, public servants involved in civil protection, and representatives of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in targeted cities since the beginning of the project. First responders learned how to distinguish between injuries and conduct a quick local and trauma examination of casualties. Right to Protection offered civil protection, protection mainstreaming, humanitarian standards, and Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) training to public servants of social institutions and others key stakeholders involved in social care and emergency response.
With the war ongoing, constant air attacks and surface bombardments have forced people to regularly seek safety in basements, bomb shelters, underground stations, and temporary accommodation. However, a lot of shelters are poorly maintained and ill-equipped, and fail to meet Ukrainian government standards. Many lack spaces for people to sit, adequate lighting and ventilation, WASH facilities, potable water, and mandatory emergency equipment such as fire extinguishers and tools. Acted, together with partners and local volunteers in Dnipro, Odesa, Chernihiv, and Vinnytsia, renovated 14 shelters and donated critical equipment allowing shelters to safely open to the public. Some of these shelters were in public schools which were able to reopen for on-campus learning as a result. Informational, educational and communications products on risk reduction, bomb shelter behaviours, and emergency preparedness were also part of the package of support.
The main success of the project is the possibility to be back to school for over two thousand children. They can hide in the bomb shelter in case of threat.
Thanks to the financial support of the European Union, local authorities, first responders and communities are better equipped and more prepared to respond to emergency situations.