Ukraine faces major humanitarian crisis

Currently, 1.6 million people are displaced and 3.1 million people are in acute need because of the conflict in eastern Ukraine. The Ukraine Joint Response, a cooperation between Cordaid, Dorcas, Save the Children and Terres des Hommes wants to draw attention to this crisis now that the referendum about the association agreement is getting a great deal of publicity. In Donetsk alone, 1,800 explosions have been reported in one week, despite the Minsk II agreement. People are hiding or living in bomb shelters and there is a lack medication in the area. The economy in the conflict area has come to a near complete halt and currency is losing its value quickly.

In the media, the crisis in eastern Ukraine has been pushed to the background because of the refugee problems in Greece and in other European countries. Ruben Mulder, Disaster Response Officer for Dorcas, just came back from Ukraine. He says the situation is terrible and chances are slim that the displaced can return to their homes anytime soon. No sustainable solution for the conflict has been found yet. Many of the refugees have have had to spend all their money in the last two years and they now depend on relief work to survive. Especially vulnerable groups such as the elderly, the handicapped and single mothers are facing extreme challenges.

In order to show people what the situation is really like, Living Image made the documentary ‘Face Down’, in which personal stories of three of the displaced are shown. One of these stories is about Elena and her three children. She and her young son saw her sister die in an explosion. Elena now lives in a small room with two of her children, without any hope for a better future.

About the DRA
The Dutch Relief Alliance (DRA) quickly and effectively helps victims of international crises. The Alliance is a cooperation between thirteen Dutch NGO’s, financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In Ukraine, Dorcas, Save the Children, Terre des Hommes and Cordaid are implementing the relief efforts. Together, these organisations have been able to provide food, medical aid, shelter and wintersation solutions for 25,000 people in the last six months. The four organisations want to continue their relief work in the future.

The Dutch Relief Alliance consists of the following organisations: CARE Nederland, Cordaid, Dorcas, ICCO and Kerk in Actie, Oxfam Novib, Plan Nederland, Save the Children, Tear, Terre des Hommes, Stichting Vluchteling, War Child, World Vision and ZOA.

04 April 2016

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