“Struggling to get through each day.” New IOM IDP Survey from Ukraine

Internally Displaced Persons

Kyiv – The plight of hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Ukraine continues, more than five years into the conflict.  

“I met a displaced family who bought a house in horrible condition for USD 200 and renovated it with their remaining savings of USD 3,000. Now they have nothing left, and their three children share a single pair of shoes,” a social worker from Sumy Region, northern Ukraine, told IOM.   

This family are just a few of the 350,000 most vulnerable displaced among the two million conflict-affected that humanitarian agencies seek USD 158 million to assist.  

Officially, there are about 1.4 million IDPs registered across Ukraine.  A new survey conducted by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) confirms the precarious situation of wide swathes of the displaced population in the country.  

A new survey, presented in Kyiv on 20 February, showed that while the average income per IDP household member has increased slightly – to UAH 3,631 (approx. USD 150) per month – it is still one-third lower than the average for Ukraine*.   

The continuous price rises for basics effectively wipe out any gains.  

The share of IDPs who have funds only for food or who limit expenditure just so they can afford food slightly decreased from 47 to 41 per cent over the two years from June 2017 to September 2019.   

“Displaced persons residing in rural areas, elderly people and female-headed households with children struggle just to get through each day,” observed Anh Nguyen, IOM Ukraine Chief of Mission, at the launch.  

Since 2014, IOM has been able to assist almost 500,000 of the most vulnerable conflict-affected people, half of them women and one quarter children.  

“The data we get from our regular surveys, as well as the impact we see from our operations, call for urgent and sustained funding for humanitarian action and recovery efforts, eliminating the suffering of and providing durable solutions for the population in need in Ukraine,” said Nguyen.   

IOM has been conducting regular national surveys on the situation of IDPs in Ukraine since March 2016. The research presents integrated data collected through face-to-face and telephone interviews with IDPs, returnees, key informants and people crossing the contact line, as well as focus group discussions. In the latest, fifteenth round, conducted in July–September 2019, a total of 2,406 respondents were interviewed face-to-face, and 3,970 were reached by telephone.  

The survey was funded by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM).  

* As of April–June 2019  

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 family staying in a village in eastern Ukraine.  

  • Cover of Survey Report: Vitalii is a jeweler. Together with his wife and newborn son Andrii, he fled from non-government-controlled Horlivka in July 2014. Moving from one relative to another the family changed their place of residence for several times and eventually stopped in Kramatorsk, were Vitalii started his own workshop. With IOM’s support, he managed to expand his enterprise.