The tension is escalating between Ukraine and Russia over the disputed territory of Crimea. Over 1.4 million people flied from their homes. Dorcas has been rendering humanitarian relief in Ukraine since June. A group of Dorcas employees recently assessed the needs of refugees and internally displaced persons in places where Dorcas is active in projects. Although some people would like to return to their homes, the majority of refugees does not intend to do so. But they also have no idea what they will do.
Life is expensive in Ukraine. People urgently need hygiene products, cooking utensils, standard medicines, beds, matrasses, heaters and diapers. Not all beneficiaries choose to register, because they fear that if they do so, they may be sent to the army. Others do not register because their home area is not functional anymore and personal details cannot be accessed.
Particularly at risk are female-headed IDP households, poor ‘host community’ families, and minorities like Muslims and the Roma. Although they were already at risk, and the current situation aggravates their circumstances.
Dorcas helps people who live in the areas where the conflicts are taking place (Sneznoe, Tarez, Makeevka en Donetsk). Pensions and social benefit payments have not been paid now for two to three months. Even if people have work, they barely receive any pay. The whole country is in a difficult economical situation and unemployment is growing rapidly.
What Dorcas does
Dorcas staff, volunteers and the partner organisations make sure people find temporary shelter. Because winter is rapidly approaching, and many of the temporary ‘homes’ are not sufficiently heated, and the IDPs do not have their winter clothes, the people are ‘winterised’ and the search continues for properly heated places to live. Dorcas will continue to distribute hygiene kits and medicines in all locations where Dorcas is active.
30 January 2015