Durable solutions and social housing for IDPs: international policies and Ukrainian experience

KYIV, Ukraine, 5 July 2017 (UNHCR). The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) together with the Mariupol city authorities have organized an open discussion on challenges and achievements of IDPs integration into hosting communities. The roundtable took place in Kyiv.

The roundtable has marked the first anniversary of the national initiative “Cities of Solidarity”, launched by UNHCR in July 2016. Mariupol has become the first city in Ukraine to be acknowledged for the strong commitment and the spirit of solidarity of the local authorities and people of Mariupol provided to over 100,000 IDPs since the onset of the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

 Photo: UNHCR/T.Kravchuk

«To the various mayors and municipal authorities present here today, I encourage you to join the Cities of Solidarity initiative by providing support to the internally displaced and other conflict affected populations.  You need to see them, not as burden but as agents of positive change.  In doing so, you need to include them into your local recovery and development plans», said Pablo Mateu, UNHCR Representative in Ukraine, while opening the roundtable.

The participants of the roundtable – representatives of the local authorities, donor and diplomatic communities – discussed international practices in finding durable solutions for IDPs, including provision of social housing.

Photo: UNHCR/T.Kravchuk

Today, more than 170 thousand internally displaced persons are registered in Kyiv - this is the largest number among all the cities of Ukraine. Among them - 77.8 thousand receive benefits, 19 thousand receive pensions. City authorities have a clear position on IDPs: every displaced person should have the opportunity to integrate into society”, stated Mykola Povoroznyk, Deputy Mayor of Kyiv. 

Local authorities from Kyiv, Mariupol, Slovyansk, Kherson, Vinnytsia and Poltava presented their experience and best strategies of local communities in transition from emergency to recovery and development.

In their presentations, municipalities also presented infrastructure projects that would help local communities to absorb and integrate IDPs smoothly and without overloading local social infrastructure in case of implementation.  

 

Photo: UNHCR/O.Berezhnyi

«In 2014 році thousands of people came across Mariupol while escaping the war.  At this moment nearly 60 thousand IDPs reside constantly here, and 40 thousand more transit through Mariupol. Many of the cities perceive displaced people as an issue, a problem. For us – they are new citizens of Mariupol and a chance for further development», declared Vadym Boychenko, Mayor of Mariupol, while his presentation.

The list of speakers also included also ambassadors of European countries, international shelter reconstruction experts from Balkans and Georgia. 

More photos are HERE

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 For additional information please contact Nina Sorokopud, Public Information Officer, UNHCR Ukraine: +380 50 310 1767, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.