Over 21 000 vulnerable internally displaced persons in Ukraine enabled to buy clothes, medication and other essentials with cash provided by the EU

6 March 2015

The European Union has provided assistance to ensure immediate support to internally displaced persons (IDPs) arriving from the areas affected by the crisis in Eastern Ukraine to Kharkiv Region, which currently serves as a safe haven for over 130,000 people according to the official data. Through the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department (ECHO) initiative, implemented in cooperation with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), between December 2014 and February 2015, 6,500 families, or over 21,000 beneficiaries in total, received one-time unconditional cash assistance of EUR 235 in the national currency per household for basic winter needs – warm clothing, utilities, heating, etc. The project focused on the most vulnerable households: with the disabled or the elderly and families with children.

According to the confidential post-distribution monitoring, conducted by the IOM team via telephone and face-to-face interviews with 1,322 households, all the respondents reported that the cash assistance was provided in a convenient way and helped them to cover their most substantial needs. However, only 65% were satisfied with the amount, and one-third stated it was not sufficient to cover the needs of all members of the household.

Forty-six per cent (46%) of the surveyed beneficiaries said that their families spent the cash support on winterization purposes exclusively: 7% for utilities’ expenses and 39% for warm clothes. Twenty-one per cent (21%) used it for medication, health care services and medical equipment, and 16% for food. Ninety-four per cent (94%) of the households split the cash assistance over several options.

According to the survey results, the main income sources for the IDPs are pension (29%), Government assistance (34%), and salary (13%). The income level per displaced person remains very low. The majority of the respondents reported income between UAH 500 and UAH 1,500 (as the national currency, Ukrainian hryvnia, has suffered severe devaluation, now these sums are just about EUR 15 – EUR 45).

“We are very grateful to our donors for their ongoing support. With tens of thousands IDPs assisted, our Mission and NGO partners receive many more requests from desperate people daily. To serve the vulnerable, we urgently need additional funding,” says IOM Ukraine’s Chief of Mission Manfred Profazi.

Two-thirds of the surveyed IDPs expressed the intention to remain in the area of their displacement in Kharkiv Region, around 10% confirmed their willingness to return home, and 20% are currently unable to decide one way or the other.


For more information, please contact Varvara Zhluktenko, IOM Ukraine, +38-044-568-5015, vzhluktenko@iom.int


About ECHO:

The European Commission's Humanitarian aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) aims to save and preserve life, prevent and alleviate human suffering and safeguard the integrity and dignity of populations affected by natural disasters and man-made crises. EU assistance, amounting to one of the world's largest, is enshrined in the Treaty of Lisbon and supported by EU citizens an as expression of European solidarity with any person or people in need. For more information: http://ec.europa.eu/echo

http://www.facebook.com/ec.humanitarian.aid, https://twitter.com/eu_echo.