After 7 years since the beginning of the conflict, people living along the line of contact in eastern Ukraine continue to be at risk of shelling, utility disruptions and inability to meet basic needs. COVID-19 pandemic has created additional challenges for the struggling populations: a threat to health and life, mobility restrictions and decline economy.
Altogether, these problems put the most vulnerable population on the brink of survival. It is especially hard for the elderly people, who make up more than one-third of conflict-affected people in need of humanitarian assistance in Ukraine, making this conflict the ‘oldest’ humanitarian crisis in the world.
Halyna* is an 80 year old woman who has lived in Svitlodarsk village, eastern Ukraine for the last 50 years. She’s always had an active life and devoted much of her time to the wellbeing of the local community by supporting social activist movements. For the past 11 years, she has been the chairman of the public organization. The goal of the organization is to to help vulnerable people and coordinate the distribution of humanitarian aid to the most vulnerable.
Halyna had never received humanitarian aid before, relying only on her own resources, but things have changed with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Halyna fell ill with the COVID-19 virus in 2020. The disease was difficult and she needed hospitalization, medications, care, as well as money for the long recovery period.
Her family, friends, and volunteers from the organization “Children of War and Labor” were very supportive.
“Being around, they literally put me on my feet, I learned how to breathe and walk again. It has been a long journey, and the consequences of COVID are still being felt, but I have already returned to my beloved duties and continue my work in the organization,” – Halyna says.
ACTED, under the EU humanitarian aid-funded ACCESS Consortium, provided multi-purpose cash assistance to Halyna to help meet her basic needs, including medicine, food and others during her recovery period.
I am grateful to ACTED for the assistance that I received. It helps me to cope with difficulties and feel that I am not alone.
“When I fell ill with COVID, I realized how incredibly important support is. The feeling that you are not alone means a lot.”