More than a thousand rockets and bombs are dropped on Ukraine every day, destroying homes and killing hundreds of people. Even if people survive, they lose their homes and all their processions. They become known as IDPs (Internally Displaced People). If they do not get help, they have no choice but to remain in areas under constant bombardment.
To meet IDP’s need for emergency housing, the Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations, through the Ukraine Crisis Appeal and Rotary Ukraine, are currently providing emergency housing for 2,500 people in five locations across Ukraine – Zolochiv, Cherkasy, Rakhiv, Irpin and Bucha/Gostomel towns. Another five locations are currently being funded and being fitted out.
The response from IDP’s has been resounding, “We are very grateful for the new shelters and for all the help, sensitivity and kindness.”
Together, the AFUO, UCA and Rotary Ukraine can save thousands of lives and give hope to the survivors. The goal is to develop 30-40 more shelters and help more than 10,000 people survive this winter.
To DONATE to the UCA and help people find shelter, warmth and security this winter, click here.
To read the latest, full report from Rotary Club Kyiv International about the provision of emergency housing, click here.
Apart from hostilities, Ukraine also has to contend with Russia’s energy terrorism. Critical infrastructure is targeted and destroyed daily. In Donetsk and Luhansk regions, 95-99% of basic infrastructure has been damaged: residential buildings are without heating, windows, ceilings, electricity and gas. Yet many remain occupied.
People are exhausted by the war – emotionally and physically but they understand that the war will not end quickly. They are already planning to spend the winter in a shelter. Hopefully somewhere safe and warm. The AFUO, UCA and Rotary Ukraine are seeking to ensure this can be provided in key areas across Ukraine.
Read on for more information about the current situation in Ukraine:
Preparation for cold weather
Ukraine is preparing for a difficult winter. In mid-September it is already minus 2 in the evenings. According to the Ministry of Regions, Ukraine’s infrastructure is 80% ready for the autumn-winter period but remains under constant threat. In addition to the standard preparation of networks, boiler rooms and fuel reserves (coal, gas), alternative means are also being considered eg. mobile boiler rooms and diesel generators and the preparation of emergency heating stations. Because of the threat of missile strikes, some cities are being provided with supplies of solid fuel, firewood and cooking pots.
To give some idea of the challenges ahead for Ukraine this winter, the war so far has destroyed 334 installations of critical heat supply; 322 boiler houses (310 damaged and 12 destroyed), 10 thermal power plants (6 damaged and 4 destroyed) and 2 thermal power plants. The eastern and southern regions, in particular Donetsk, Luhansk, Kharkiv, Mykolaiv, and Zaporizhzhia regions, are most affected, receiving regular missile strikes on heating stations, power plants, highways, and water treatment plants.
The situation in the temporarily Russian occupied territories is completely out of control. There is no operating heating infrastructure. Therefore, the Ministry of Reintegration recommends the residents evacuate to Ukraine’s western and central regions. The situation is critical and unlikely to improve before winter. Relocation is the only option, otherwise thousands of women and children may die in the cold!
The supply of drinking water to IDPs is undertaken through centralized water supply stations. Often the water requires additional filtration, the situation is very critical. People are falling to various illnesses because they can’t get adequate good drinking good.
According to surveys, IDPs in Ukraine primarily need emergency housing – in July 2022, 78% of people ranked this as the most urgent need followed by food and jobs.
The employment situation of internally displaced persons remains critical and is the mian reason that people are forced to move. According to data, 60% of people who had a job before their relocation have now lost it. 9% of internally displaced persons have had no income since the beginning of the war, and 35% reported that their family’s monthly income does not exceed UAH 5,000, ($250) which is UAH 1,500 less than the minimum wage in Ukraine.
Local government bodies, heads of state institutions and local public organizations are looking for ways to feed IDPs because many of them have no work and no income. Rarely do they receive a complete meal eg. in Vinnytsia, people are fed only once a day. The state provides some cash assistance to displaced persons, and funding to local shelters for communal services.
According to the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, approximately 15 million people need psychological support because of the war.
Being displaced and living with constant uncertainty and fear has a negative impact on the psychological, physical and emotional state of these Ukrainians. IDPs are separated from their villages and usual circle of acquaintances. They feel lonely and isolated, haunted by the very difficult and life-threatening conditions during the first months of the war.
Various charitable organizations regularly conduct family and group consultations for internally displaced persons. During group counseling people are taught to cope with stress and to understand the connection between their mental and physical health. Support hotlines are also being implemented.
The Ministry of Health is expanding the Community Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Program to improve the well-being of war-affected people through mobile support teams. They also provide local psychosocial initiatives, such as art events for children who are separated from their parents eg. cultural tours for children in the Lviv and Transcarpathian regions.