Krieg in der Ukraine: Nothilfe vor Ort
War in Ukraine

Emergency aid on the ground

Emergency aid in Ukraine

The war in Ukraine continues to have a major adverse impact on people’s lives, and civil infrastructure is damaged in many places. This results in evacuations from the front-line regions and high demand for humanitarian aid. HEKS/EPER has a team operating in Ukraine and endeavours to provide protection for internally displaced persons and to alleviate the suffering of people in the war-torn regions in the south and east of the country as well as in Transcarpathia and Chernivtsi in the west. Close to the front line, HEKS/EPER is primarily providing support for the vulnerable people, particularly the elderly and disabled, who have been displaced and/or whose basic needs, such as accommodation, water, sanitary facilities and hygiene, have been affected.  

Humanitarian aid in southern and eastern Ukraine 

Distribution of aid challenging near combat zones

Intensive bombardments and fighting along the front line in eastern and southern Ukraine are making the provision of humanitarian aid complex and difficult to plan. HEKS/EPER is nevertheless still operating within 15 kilometres of the front line in Donetsk, Kharkiv and Kherson Oblasts. Relief supplies and special hygiene packages are being distributed to women in the regions of  Kherson and Odessa, as well as — where possible —money and vouchers. 

Attacks on energy, water and gas networks are exacerbating the situation. HEKS/EPER is evaluating the healthcare infrastructure damaged in the Donetsk, Kherson and Mykolaiv regions to carry out repair works.  When temperatures drop below freezing during the winter, HEKS/EPER distributes solid fuels to as many people as possible in Donetsk and in Kherson Oblast . Emergency kits for house repairs are also being given out in southern Ukraine.  

Aid for displaced persons returning to their homes

As of the end of November, 3.67 million people had been internally displaced in Ukraine, according to the UNHCR. Particularly in the areas where HEKS/EPER is operating, there is a strong trend towards returning home, despite the risks, often due to financial difficulties. People often move into destroyed cellars or buildings. They are dependent on humanitarian aid from HEKS/EPER, which is the only source of income for many. 

A challenging working environment

Despite all the efforts, there is a lack of humanitarian aid in Ukraine, and the civilian population has no access to information about the aid available. Many people also fear being targeted at the distribution points. There are daily bomb attacks, which are delaying aid distribution, and the situation in mined areas is even more challenging. 

The presence of aid organisations on the front line is limited, for safety reasons, to a maximum of 1 hour in red areas and to less than 30 minutes in hard-to-reach areas. In such an environment it is not easy to find people willing to work on the front line. All of these complexities are driving up operational costs. 

Aid for internally displaced persons and host communities in western Ukraine

Despite the trend towards a return to their places of origin, many internally displaced people, especially those from conflict regions, decide to stay in western Ukraine, either because returning would be dangerous, because their homes have been destroyed, or because they come from regions occupied by Russia. In Transcarpathia and Chernivtsi, HEKS/EPER is providing support for both internally displaced persons as well as host communities. Cash to meet basic needs was previously provided, but now there is a greater focus on integration in the new environment, psychosocial health and the strengthening of relationships between displaced persons and host communities. As part of a community-based approach, HEKS/EPER is supporting local initiatives, such as soup kitchens, the provision of meals for displaced people and elderly people whose relatives have left the country. Social activities for children and their parents or activities to help secure a livelihood and prepare for economic integration are also carried out. HEKS/EPER works with local NGOs and the Reformed Church of Transcarpathia.

Last Update: December 2023



Männer und Frauen steh zusammen vor einem Lastwagen
Andràs D. Hajdu

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