‘Shocking’ 97 Per Cent Shortfall in Humanitarian Funding for Ukraine’s Conflict-Affected – IOM

Humanitarian Emergencies, Internally Displaced Persons

Kyiv – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has highlighted a disturbing lack of funds for the millions affected by conflict in Eastern Ukraine.

“Today, 3.4 million conflict-affected people in Ukraine urgently require humanitarian assistance and protection, but the international humanitarian appeal to help address their needs is a shocking 97 per cent unfunded,” said IOM Chief of Mission in Ukraine, Thomas Lothar Weiss.

Ambassador Hugues Mingarelli, Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine said, "The conflict in Eastern Ukraine continues to trigger new humanitarian needs, to damage local infrastructure and negatively affect incomes of many families. Unfortunately, displacement and lack of opportunities forces many internally displaced to return to insecure areas and risk their lives.

“The EU, as the largest donor, will continue doing everything in its power to  improve the conditions of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and increase their access to employment and basic services. Thousands of IDPs have already benefitted from the EU's assistance for housing; many more are receiving much needed trainings and small grants for starting their own business. Apart from grants and humanitarian aid, European Investment Bank, the EU’s bank, is providing Ukraine loans for reconstruction projects in the five Eastern regions," Ambassador Mingarelli added.

With the conflict in eastern Ukraine entering its fifth year, 1.5 million people are registered as IDPs. Those building their lives from scratch in new communities face growing economic challenges, IOM warns.

New data collected by IOM shows that over half (54 per cent) of IDPs have barely enough money to buy food on a day-to-day basis. The United Nations and its humanitarian partners estimate that the number of food-insecure people in Ukraine has doubled over the last year, to 400,000 people in the government-controlled area, and to 800,000 in the non-government controlled territories. 

According to the latest IOM survey, the National Monitoring System (conducted with funding from the European Union), the current average monthly income per IDP is UAH 2,239 (USD 85), a little less than the UAH 2,446 (USD 93) recorded in December 2017. These values are lower than the current subsistence levels calculated by the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine of UAH 3,215 (USD 122) per month. One-fourth of IDP households surveyed have a monthly income of up to UAH 3,000 (USD 114), while almost half of IDP families live on UAH 3,000 to UAH 7,000 (USD 114 to USD 266) per month.

IOM data shows healthcare is unaffordable for many IDPs due to the cost of medicine and services. The share of IDPs satisfied with the accessibility of health care services declined from 85 per cent in December 2017 to 62 per cent in March 2018.

At the same time, the situation with employment has remained relatively stable since June last year, with 48 per cent of displaced persons having a job. Twelve per cent of IDPs are currently actively seeking employment. Among them, the overwhelming majority (78 per cent) are women, and up to 40 per cent are concerned about the lack of vacancies.

IOM has been conducting surveys on the situation of IDPs in Ukraine on a regular basis since March 2016. In the latest round, conducted in March 2018, 2,420 IDPs were interviewed face-to-face, and 3,611 IDPs were interviewed by phone.

For more information, please contact Varvara Zhluktenko at IOM Ukraine. Tel. +38 044 568 50 15, +38 067 447 97 92, Email: vzhluktenko@iom.int

  • A displaced woman living 5 km from the contact line separating the two sides in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Photo: IOM