Kyiv, 15 December 2014
As the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) exceeded half a million (540,000 people), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) supported by the EU and Germany will expand its urgent assistance to vulnerable people from Donbas and Crimea to reach 20,000 people more. This humanitarian intervention is supported by the European Union allocating Euro 6.5 million and Euro 680,000 contribution from Germany.
IOM will provide direct cash payments to over 5,300 vulnerable families and disabled to meet their urgent needs in Kharkiv Region, which was chosen for the project as bordering with Donbas and hosting about one-fourth of the total Ukrainian IDP population. The intervention is funded by EU’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO). “Cash assistance proved to be the most effective practice in such circumstances to meet vulnerable families in most dignified way and offers them an opportunity to cover their needs such as rent payment, warm clothes, medicines and other vital items,” says ECHO Head of Office in Ukraine, Mamar Merzouk.
In order to scale up its assistance in the East of Ukraine, IOM will also open a sub-office in Kharkiv. “We aim at strengthening our field presence for assessing the needs of IDPs and providing immediate humanitarian assistance, as well as developing long-term solutions for the social and economic integration of displaced populations and host communities in Ukraine,” states IOM Ukraine’s Chief of Mission Manfred Profazi.
Assisting IDPs through income-generating activities and supporting those communities which host large numbers of IDPs will be in focus of another EU-funded programme IOM just launched. Community and IDP representatives in 34 post-conflict and displacement locations will be encouraged to jointly decide on small social or public infrastructure projects, like the renovation of a school or a kindergarten, or improvement of a first-aid station. In doing so, the project aims at boosting social cohesion and understanding among communities and IDPs. Another 1,000 displaced persons will benefit from a self-employment scheme or participate in professional training courses, making them self-sufficient and contributing to the well-being of their families and host communities.
Additional warm clothes, winter shoes, blankets, heaters, bed linen and other household items will be provided to another 1,400 IDP families under a new German-funded contribution to IOM’s humanitarian assistance programme. The German contribution will also cover improvement of living conditions in collective centres. According to the estimates, collective centres house about 10% of the total IDP population in Ukraine. These centres often lack proper heating, sanitary and other types of facilities which the project seeks to improve.
Since the beginning of the crisis, almost 8,000 IDPs have been assisted by IOM and received warm clothes, shoes, blankets, household and hygiene items, as well as medicine, psychological and other forms of assistance with funding provided by the U.S., the UN, Norway and Switzerland.
For further information please contact
Varvara Zhluktenko, IOM Ukraine’s Communications Officer
(firstname.lastname@example.org, +38 044 568 50 15, +38 067 447 97 92)