Kyiv, 30 June 2016
More than two years into the conflict with more than 1.7 million people being officially registered as internally displaced persons (IDPs) from the Donbas and Crimea, those directly affected and host communities are facing a multitude of complex and interrelated challenges. The influx of IDPs into communities across Ukraine has been a strain on local budgets as well as on the local social infrastructure. This causes numerous problems which IDPs and host communities now have to overcome jointly.
A survey series on IDP integration*, recently launched by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), reveals that housing and a lack of employment remain the biggest obstacles to integration of IDPs. Only slightly more than a half of those employed before displacement managed to find a job at their new place of residence, and about 40% of surveyed IDPs state that they have to save even on food. About 70% of IDPs are renting accommodation, and their main concern is high rent.
The conference, jointly organized by the Ministry for Temporarily Occupied Territories and IDPs of Ukraine and IOM, and co-sponsored by the Governments of Japan and Norway, brought together about 200 IDPs and community members from the East with state authorities, the international community and civil society, to provide a platform for dialogue and interaction, in order to discuss what challenges IDPs and host communities face, and what is needed to progress with integration of IDPs, social cohesion, recovery, and peacebuilding
“Communities which host IDPs need attention and support from the state, as they are reliable supporters for internally displaced people. Well-organized work at the community level addresses the range of crucial issues IDPs are dealing with, i.e social protection, accommodation, healthcare, education of children. This corresponds with the main principles of the decentralization. Community’s capacity is a key to solving the problems,” stated Minister for Temporarily Occupied Territories and IDPs Vadym Chernysh.
Minister for Temporarily Occupied Territories and IDPs Vadym Chernysh
With IDPs’ needs in housing and employment remaining high, and host communities requiring support with reconstruction and investment in social infrastructure, further assistance is needed from the international community and the Government. “IDPs and host communities need assistance now to overcome their challenges. What is needed are quick impact, grass root level initiatives that reach those in need immediately, for instance through further micro-grants and access to affordable micro-loans,” said IOM Ukraine Chief of Mission Manfred Profazi.
Deputy Minister for Temporarily Occupied Territories and IDPs Heorhii Tuka and IOM Ukraine's Chief of Mission Manfred Profazi
Ambassador of Norway to Ukraine Jon Elvedal Fredriksen underlined that Norway recognizes the huge challenge to Ukrainian society posed by the outflow of IDPs from the territories affected by the ongoing conflict. “The IDP situation in Ukraine is a European problem and needs European solutions, even if other migration-related challenges are now at the top of the agenda,” he said.
“If Ukraine is destabilized, it impacts the whole Europe and the globe as well. That is why Japan pays so much attention to the human security and recovery in Ukraine,” added Ambassador of Japan Shigeki Sumi.
Since the beginning of the crisis, IOM, supported by its donors, has provided support to over 100,000 conflict-affected people. IOM’s current focus lies on providing income opportunities for IDPs and host communities, and facilitating social cohesion, recovery and peacebuilding. These efforts include business trainings for over 5,500 IDPs and local communities’ members, with grants on equipment and vocational training provided to over 3,300 beneficiaries. IOM has also supported about 50 communities in seven regions of Ukraine with community development training, social cohesion initiatives, and refurbishment of social infrastructure objects which will be used by approximately 150,000 locals and IDPs.
Round tables on e-governance, access to finance and microcredits, social entrepreneurship, and community development were part of the conference
Mini-exhibition of the products of IDPs and host community members supported within IOM's livelihoods programme
* In cooperation with the Ukrainian Centre for Social Reforms in partnership and StatInformConsulting agency, every month 600 randomly selected IDP households from all regions of Ukraine are surveyed in order to obtain updated information about their socio-economic status.
For more information, please contact Varvara Zhluktenko, IOM Ukraine, firstname.lastname@example.org, +38 044 568 5015, +38 067 447 97 92