For the fifth year, a group of humanitarian non-governmental organisations coordinate their actions with the support of the European Union to provide crucial aid to civilians affected by the conflict and living on both sides of the line of contact in eastern Ukraine.
The seven-year-long conflict in eastern Ukraine has taken a heavy toll on the lives of millions of ordinary Ukrainians living on both sides of the 427 km contact line dividing the region into areas under the Government’s control (GCA) and those outside it (NGCA). Many families and friends have been forcibly separated and are unable to meet or visit. Market links have been disrupted. Many enterprises have shed jobs or collapsed. Entire communities in the region have fallen into poverty. One-third of those in need in Donbas are elderly, which makes the crisis in eastern Ukraine one of the “oldest” humanitarian crises in the world. The impact of COVID-19 pandemic has created additional pressure on the suffering populations.
Consortium partners People in Need (PIN), ACTED in partnership with IMPACT Initiatives, Help Age International (HAI), Médicos del Mundo (MdM), and Right to Protection (R2P) with support by EU Humanitarian Aid, will continue to provide critical humanitarian assistance to ease the suffering of people living on both sides of the line of contact. In 2022, the partners aim to help at least 96 097 people through multi-sectoral humanitarian assistance such as protection; health services including mental health and psychosocial support; water, sanitation and hygiene activities; shelter rehabilitation and winterisation; and multipurpose cash and vouchers to meet food and other basic needs through a EUR 5.6 million project funded by the European Union through its Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO).
“Thanks to ACCESS, our family received needed help. We were provided with coal in winter, which was a great relief as we don’t have gas to heat our houses during the cold season due to the conflict. Besides, my disabled mother is supported by a volunteer and a social worker who regularly visit us. Moreover, during the hard time of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have received hygiene items so needed for our family. We are happy that humanitarian organizations continue to support the families like ours who remained in the settlements where most people have left”, says Iryna, a resident of frontline Marinka.
In parallel, the Consortium partners will engage with 35 to 50 organisations in Ukraine to improve the humanitarian response and further raise awareness for the ongoing conflict. The Consortium will also continue to advocate with national and international decision makers to ensure that essential needs of the conflict affected populations are met and humanitarian assistance can reach those in need.
“The civilians in eastern Ukraine continue to suffer the consequences of the conflict going on for more than seven years. COVID-19 has further worsened the situation for the most vulnerable. The EU continues to stand by them and calls for attention to their humanitarian needs. Thanks to the partnership of the EU and the ACCESS Consortium, conflict-affected people in Ukraine will continue to receive much needed support” says Janez Lenarčič, EU Commissioner for Crisis Management.