(Kyiv, 29 January 2020): The United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine, Ms. Osnat Lubrani today launched an appeal worth of US$158 million to provide humanitarian aid and protection to 2 million most vulnerable people in the conflict-affected areas of eastern Ukraine in 2020. Onstage, she was joined by the Deputy Minister for European Integration of the Ministry of Veterans Affairs, Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons Mr. Oleksii Illiashenko.
“Last year, we have witnessed a number of important developments: the resumption of talks in the Normandy Four format, the disengagement of forces in several areas, and the restoration of the wooden footbridge at the “Stanytsia Luhanska” crossing point have created a momentum that may help bring lasting peace,” Ms. Lubrani stated. “Yet, the conflict in eastern Ukraine is still active and continues to impact the lives of innocent civilians and produce significant humanitarian needs,” Ms. Lubrani emphasized. “Today, 3.4 million people require humanitarian assistance and protection to live a life with dignity in conflict-affected areas,” she added. “We still hope for the best and for progress on the political front – but until that is the case, the people of Donbas count on us.”
Ms. Lubrani also recognized the important progress achieved by the Government of Ukraine on addressing and preventing humanitarian needs. Deputy Minister for European Integration of the Ministry of Veterans Affairs, Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons, Mr. Oleksii Illiashenko, highlighted that “The Government of Ukraine undertakes concrete measures to improve the lives of conflict-affected people both on the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine and Government-controlled areas. In 2019 and early this year, we have made several Governmental decisions to simplify the procedures for the crossing of the “contact line”. We have adopted a compensation mechanism for housing damaged or destroyed by the conflict. We also restored voting rights for internally displaced people who live in the Government-controlled areas,” Deputy Minister noted.
The United Nations and humanitarian partners have been on the ground in eastern Ukraine since 2014, mobilizing relief and protection worth more than half a billion U.S. dollars. Every year, humanitarian actors have been able to reach over 1 million people on both sides of the “contact line” with assistance and protection services.
The Humanitarian Response Plan – a strictly prioritized and comprehensive plan of action – lays out how 56 partners including UN agencies, national and international organizations aim to provide aid to 2 million most vulnerable civilians in 2020. The Plan encompasses different sectors including education, food, health, protection, shelter, water and sanitation.
“We appreciate that humanitarian actors have been standing by our side since 2014. As humanitarian needs are significant and urgent, the continued support of the humanitarian actors remains crucial,” Deputy Minister Illiashenko noted. “We join the call of the humanitarian community and ask donors to support the humanitarian response efforts in eastern Ukraine,” the Deputy Minister concluded.
“Without an end to hostilities, humanitarian needs are expected to remain high,” Ms. Lubrani continued. “Our response, therefore, plays a crucial role in saving lives and sustaining communities. We are thankful to our donors for their continued support, but we appeal for more funding as the Plan that we have presented today, can only make a difference if it is sufficiently funded.”