The elderly and women continue to struggle in the sixth year of displacement – IOM Ukraine survey

20 February 2020

While humanitarian agencies seek USD 158 million to assist two million conflict-affected individuals, including 350,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs), the latest survey conducted by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) confirms the precarious situation of wide swathes of the displaced population in Ukraine.

The share of IDPs who have funds only for food or limit expenditure on food slightly decreased from 47 to 41 per cent over the two years from June 2017 to September 2019, IOM’s survey revealed. The average monthly income per IDP household member has been increasing and was UAH 3,631 (approx. USD 150) as of September last year. However, it is still considerably lower than the UAH 5,398 average for Ukraine* and slightly below the actual subsistence level calculated by the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine at UAH 3,729**.

“Displaced persons residing in rural areas, elderly people and female-headed households with children face considerable challenges,” observed Anh Nguyen, IOM Ukraine Chief of Mission. In particular, the average monthly income for an IDP living in a village is only UAH 2,295 (USD 95). Among the families comprised only of people aged 60 and over, as well as among displaced single mothers with children, 17 per cent reported negatively coping by limiting their expenses on food.

Since 2014, IOM has been able to assist almost 500,000 of the most vulnerable conflict-affected people, close to half of these women and one fourth of these children. “The data we get from our regular surveys, as well as the impact we see from our operations, call for urgent and sustained funding for humanitarian action and recovery efforts, eliminating the suffering of and providing durable solutions for the population in need in Ukraine,” said Anh Nguyen.

IOM has been conducting regular national  surveys on the situation of IDPs in Ukraine since March 2016. The research presents integrated data collected through face-to-face and telephone interviews with IDPs, returnees, key informants and people crossing the contact line, as well as focus group discussions. In the latest, fifteenth round, conducted in July–September 2019, a total of 2,406 respondents were interviewed face-to-face, and 3,970 were reached by telephone. The survey is funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM).

* As of April–June 2019

** As of October 2019