On September 17, 2014 UNHCR has signed the Memorandum of cooperation with Kyiv Regional state Administration. This cooperation envisions provision of UAH 1.3 million to Kyiv region for targeted financial assistance to the most vulnerable internally displaced persons. Generally, within the framework of the program 800 IDPs in Kyiv region will receive cash assistance from UNHCR in amount UAH 3,500 to 7,000 each.
Ukraine is facing the problem of internally displaced persons (IDPs) for the first time since its independence. As for September 8, UNHCR estimates some 310,000 IDPs in Ukraine. Majority of them are women, children and elderly persons. UNHCR has conducted assessment of the needs of internally displaced persons in 16 regions, which demonstrates a growing demand for support. Currently, some 9,000 IDPs have been accommodated in Kyiv region. Out of them, there are 7000 women and children, as well as 400 disabled persons and pensioners.
«We make all efforts to establish comfortable conditions for those who had to abandon their homes due to reasons beyond their control. In my and my deputies’ daily agenda among primary issues are employment, pension benefits, charitable assistance for internally displaced persons, as well as coordination of activities of different departments regarding some individual cases», - said Volodymyr Shandra, Head of Kyiv Regional State Administration.
Head of the region focuses on such achievements as harmonized effort of volunteers, religious communities, entrepreneurs and common citizens who provide IDPs with food, hygiene items, clothing, and temporary accommodation. Currently, all officials in Kyiv region have opened their doors for internally displaced persons. Meetings with citizens take place and hot-lines operate all the time.
Many IDPs received assistance from civil society organizations, which have been quite generous in bringing food, clothing, and other items to IDPs, and even offering them temporary accommodation. However, these assistance options are not sustainable and cannot provide durable solutions. Though, the majority of IDPs leave their homes with some amounts of money, their reserves exhaust after few months of displacement. Some persons still have no access to their savings on bank accounts; often they cannot sell real or personal property they left behind because of risks in traveling home or legal obstacles.
Local authorities in many regions, particularly in Kyiv region, have already implemented efficient mechanisms to support the most vulnerable IDPs. For example, with the help of local authorities and civil society IDPs have started accessing social benefits (pensions, child benefits, disability benefits). At this time, Regional State Administration has temporary accommodated some 3,600 families (9,000 persons) and still has an opportunity to accommodate some 300 persons more. Over 3,000 persons have been enrolled in education institutions, while some 1,000 persons have been entitled with social benefits at the new place of residence.
As is was mentioned by Oldrich Andrysek, UNHCR Regional Representative in Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine, this project of cash assistance to IDPs is already the second one implemented in Ukraine. In June, similar project has been implemented in Lviv. In future, financial assistance to IDPs is planned to be rendered in other regions of Ukraine as well.
The UNHCR supports countries in performing their duty of protecting internally displaced persons. That is why the UNHCR and Kyiv Regional State Administration unite their efforts in assisting the most vulnerable IDPs (low-income families; families with many children; families that include persons with special needs, single parents; families with no permanent income and reside in province towns and rural areas; families that include one or more persons with serious disease). Generally 221 families will receive one-time payment from UNHCR through Children and Family Service of Kyiv Oblast State Administration within the framework of the project.
At the same time Oldrich Andrysek emphasized that Kyiv region is especially welcoming and tolerant: «People provide IDPs with food and accommodation in their houses for free. If we could count all financial assistance rendered by common people and civil organizations, I believe, total amount would be significantly bigger. So, I would like to express my gratitude to all those who cares, first of all to Volodymyr Shandra, Head of the KRSA, who helped to organize support to IDPs in Kyiv region from the very first day», - Mr. Andrysek said.
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