UNHCR provides humanitarian assistance to Slavyansk


22 July 2014. UNHCR continued to distribute humanitarian aid to the most vulnerable returnees in Slavyansk, Donetsk region. 12 tons of personal hygienic items for different age and gender categories along with kitchen sets will be provided to those who have lost their houses and property in the city, heavily affected by major displacement after the recent conflict and crossfire. In June 20 metric tons of hygienic items and 20 metric tons of food were delivered to Sviatohirsk and some 5,000 displaced persons received relief items in Krasniy Lyman.

According to various estimates, more than half of the city population fled their homes since the beginning of the conflict. Some 15,000 persons of them are reportedly returned to Slavyansk since July 5. Due to breakdown of services and order majority of residents have not received their salaries and social allowances in last three months and cannot address their basic needs.  Many continue to rely on handouts provided by the government and numerous NGOs.

The UNHCR assistance is coordinated with local authorities and returnees and on the basis of a UN interagency assessment of needs. First 100 returnee families received their sets with hygienic items and kitchen appliances already on the day of delivery on 18 July. Three groups of volunteers assisted and three private individuals provided local transportation.

Priority for distribution is given to the returnee families whose houses and apartments were completely or partially damaged. Distribution of the humanitarian aid will be possible with the assistance of volunteers from Slavyansk and Sviatohirsk. UNHCR will conduct another assessment visit this week and its staff will monitor the distribution.

The latest profiling of internally displaced persons in Ukraine indicates to UNHCR that humanitarian needs shall exist in the region as displacement from Luhansk and Donetsk regions continues. The numbers of displaced persons from East has risen sharply from 2,649 on 6 June to 80,300 on 18 July 2014.