IDPs from eastern Ukraine will have a new home in Kharkiv region
Three-year-old Larysa and four-year-old Yuliya are smiling shyly as the TV cameras zoom in. They are cutting blue ribbons during the inauguration ceremony of the IDP center in a sleepy town of Balaklia in Kharkiv region. Massive shelling that razed their home to the ground forced them to stay in a cellar for more than ten days without water, electricity and heating. They were later evacuated by the military and volunteers to the neighboring Kharkiv region.
The story of Larysa and Yuliya is unfortunately not unique. More than one million people have been forced from their homes since the onset of conflict in the East of the country in mid-2014. Low-income communities, people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups have been hit hardest by the crisis.
The good news is that Larysa and Yuliya will now have a safe place to stay. The newly renovated rooms of the former sports school have been turned into a shelter, and will be hosting more than 60 IDPs' families with children.
- More 1,000,000 people have been forced from their homes since mid-2014.
- The new shelter will host more than 60 IDPs' families with children.
- UNDP is also working to house and provide services for around 20,000 IDPs in 14 newly renovated shelters in the 7 Eastern regions with the most displaced people.
Speaking at a UNDP-supported rehabilitation centre for people with disabilities in the war-torn Donetsk region, Neal Walker, the UN’s Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Ukraine said:
“We are here to help Ukraine address current challenges and provide necessary humanitarian and development assistance.”
“Supporting internally displaced persons and early recovery of social institutions are our top priorities. We stand ready to provide the Government and people of Ukraine with any assistance needed,” he said.
UNDP Ukraine has developed comprehensive support and early recovery programmes for the internally displaced that take into account the rapidly changing reality on the ground. More than 80,000 people received humanitarian assistance comprising of food kits, clothes packages and warm bedding funded by the Church of the latter day saints. Now support is beginning to move past the immediate humanitarian phase, looking to longer term recovery.
With around one million US dollars of support from the European Union, UNDP is also working to house and provide services for around 20,000 IDPs, in fourteen newly renovated shelters in the seven Eastern regions with the most displaced people.
Many are elderly, families with children, or have disabilities. They will receive medical care and vocational training to help them earn a living under new circumstances.
The renovation of the shelters is part of a Joint European Union / UNDP Project titled “Community Based Approach to Local Development” that works with local authorities. The project also supports social care centres for the most vulnerable.
The UNDP – European Union partnership for development in Ukraine spans over 20 years and has helped the country to boost its systems to prevent drug use and drug and trafficking, supported border management, helped foster gender equality, tackled the effects of climate change, upholded consumer rights and mobilised communities to improve basic services and living standards.